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Main inspection: You have to go to the TÜV with this sticker

With the turn of the year, the regular main inspection (HU) is due again for some cars. The round plaque on the rear license plate shows when your car needs a technical inspection. If the badge is pink, then the HU is due in 2023. Here all the details.

Since January 1, 1961, there has been a plaque on the license plate in Germany - because even then, drivers were willing to ignore invitations to the appointments for the general inspection. Since 1980, the police and public order office have been able to unmask HU sinners at a glance using the color of the badge. For 2023, the so-called "TÜV badge" is pink. All cars with a corresponding sticker must therefore go to the HU.

The top digit in the "twelve o'clock" position shows the month in which you have to present your car to TÜV, Dekra, GTÜ or another testing organization. So if the badge is turned so that the "9" is at the top, the HU is due in September 2023. The black bars between the "1" and the "11" are used to make the month position easier to read from a distance.

It quickly gets expensive with a yellow sticker

If your car still has a brown sticker from the year 2022 with the month of October, then you need to hurry. If you overstay the deadline by two to four months, you have to pay 15 euros, four to eight months late cost 25 euros, more than eight months it costs 60 euros and one point in Flensburg. There could also be a threat of vehicle immobilization. In addition, owners risk trouble with the car insurance in the event of an accident. Higher fines apply to commercial vehicles that are subject to a safety check.

, In Germany, after first registration, passenger cars have to undergo a general inspection after 36 months, after which a two-year period applies. If the vehicle is roadworthy, the period is extended by a further two years. The next date can then be seen from the new sticker on the license plate. The date is also listed in Part 1 of the registration certificate, the earlier vehicle registration document.

Is the badge a certificate?

By the way, the shape and color of the badge are of course standardized. It has a diameter of 35 millimeters, the lettering height of the year is five millimeters, the month digits are four millimeters high, the knitting thickness is 0.7 millimeters. The six colors that change every year are also standardized in Annex IX to §29 StVZO. The brown of the current sticker corresponds to the RAL color 8004, 2023 it is pink according to RAL 3015, followed by green (RAL 6018), orange (RAL 2000), blue (RAL 50015) and yellow (RAL 1012).

By the way 2.0: The test sticker itself is not a certificate, only in the fixed connection with the license plate is it a so-called composite certificate. In some court judgments, a corresponding entry in Part 1 of the registration certificate is also mentioned as a prerequisite for a certificate.

, Read our photo show to find out what else will change for motorists in 2023.


If the TÜV sticker is brown, then a general inspection is due in 2022. Anyone who overdraws must expect severe penalties.


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