Low-emission zone in Berlin

In January 2008, Berlin was one of the first German cities to designate a low-emission zone within which an emissions sticker is compulsory. In 2019, a partial diesel ban was introduced. On this page you can read everything you need to know about the situation in Berlin. Are you looking for other cities where an emissions sticker is needed? Then look a this list. If you want more information about the German emissions sticker in general, then go to our homepage.

Order the German emissions sticker

Order your sticker

Order the official German emissions sticker, now for only €12,50 including VAT and delivery costs.

Map of the low-emission zone in Berlin

map: Umweltzone in Berlin

On the map above, the low-emission zone of Berlin corresponds with the orange area. It is almost identical to the part of the city within the Ringbahn, which is formed by lines S41 and S42 of the S-Bahn of Berlin. The entire city center and parts of Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf, Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg lie within the zone.

Exceptions

There are a few exceptions within the Ringbahn that are not part of the low-emission zone. Usually these are streets that enable you to reach a station of the S-Bahn. The beginning and end of the low-emission zone are always clearly indicated, so you do not need to worry that you will accidentally drive into a part of the city where an emissions sticker is needed. A sticker is also not necessary on the A100, the Autobahn on the western and southern end of the zone.

Parking outside the low-emission zone

If your car is too old to be eligible for a green emissions sticker, you could consider parking outside the low-emission zone. There are plenty of S-Bahn stations with Park & Ride parking lots next to them. It goes too far to mention all of them, but highly recommended is the Messe Berlin (A on the map) just west of the city center with about 2000 parking spaces. It can be reached by highways A2 and A9 and from here a train takes you to the city center in about 15 minutes.

Which emissions sticker do you need in Berlin?

The green emissions sticker

Since 1 January 2010, the green emissions sticker is the only sticker that allows you to drive within the low-emission zone of Berlin. If you have a red sticker, a yellow sticker or if your car is not eligible for any sticker, you risk a fine of €80.

Where to get the emissions sticker for Berlin

There are plenty of possibilities to get the green emissions sticker for Berlin. Good to know in advance is that if you have already bought the sticker elsewhere in Germany, that it can also be used in Berlin. This is because a German emissions stickers can always be used in all low-emission zones in Germany.

Buy the emissions sticker online

Probably the easiest way to obtain a German emissions sticker is online. If you use the order form on this website, your sticker will be sent out within one working day. Depending on where in the European Union you live, you will receive your sticker one to several days later. The obvious advantage is that you can order your sticker before you make your trip to Berlin. A digital copy of your vehicle registration certificate is needed to complete your order though.

Order your emissions sticker

On the road in Germany

If you don not have sufficient time to buy the sticker online, it is also easy enough to obtain it on the road. In German the sticker is called Feinstaubplakette and it can be purchased at larger car dealerships and at vehicle inspection companies such as TÜV, A.T.U and DEKRA. Do have a look at the opening times before you start your trip however. Many vehicle inspection companies are closed on Saturday afternoons. You also need your vehicle registration certificate, which you will probably already have in your vehicle anyway.

Diesel ban in Berlijn

Because German cities are required by law to curb air pollution and because the air quality in Berlin did not improve enough after the introduction of the low-emission zone in 2008, the city decided to ban diesels from certain streets starting 1 November 2019. In total there are 8 streets in the city center where you cannot drive with vehicles that are equipped with older and polluting diesel engines. Berlin follows the example of Hamburg here, rather than the example of Stuttgart where diesels are banned within the entire low-emission zone.

map: diesel ban in Berlin

On the map above you can see which streets, or rather street sections, the diesel ban is in effect. The letters on the markers correspond with the letters before the street sections below:

  1. Alt-Moabit between Gotzkowkystraße and Beusselstraße.
  2. Brückenstraße between Köpenicker Straße and Holzmarkstraße.
  3. Friedrichstraße between Unter den Linden and Dorotheenstraße.
  4. Hermannstraße between Silbersteinstraße and Emser Straße.
  5. Leipziger Straße between Charlottenstraße and Leipziger Platz.
  6. Reinhardstraße between Charitéstraße and Kapelle-Ufer.
  7. Silbersteinstraße between Hermannstraße and Karl-Marx-Straße.
  8. Stromstraße between Bugenhagenstraße and Turmstraße.

The diesel ban is only meant for older vehicles with polluting diesel engines that do not meet emission standard EURO 6. Most passenger cars from after 1 September 2014, light commercial vehicles from after 1 September 2015 and trucks and buses from after 1 January 2013 meet these requirements. Please note that the dates mentioned are indications only. Some manufactures already equipped their vehicles with a less polluting diesel engine earlier.

Because diesels that meet emission standard EURO 5 do get the current green emissions sticker, you can receive a fine even if your vehicle has an emissions sticker. Please pay attention to this if your own vehicle is an older diesel. On the outside of most vehicles however, it cannot be determined which emission standard the engine meets. This means that the Berlin police can only give a fine after they halt your vehicle and ask for your vehicle registration certificate. In practice, this will only happen with older vans, trucks and buses. These vehicles are usually equipped with diesel engines.

Also good to know is that the ban is only meant for through traffic. If your destination is on one of the streets with a diesel ban, for example a store or a restaurant, you are still allowed to drive and park there. Altogether, the diesel ban will not impact foreign tourists much.

What is there to see and do in Berlin?

Berlin

Photo of Berlin by Steve Collis (CC BY 2.0)

Berlin is the capital of Germany and a popular tourist destination. First of all there are the numerous attractions from World War 2 and the Cold War, when Berlin was split in two. The huge Alexanderplatz, the graceful boulevard Unter den Linden, the Brandenburger Tor, the Großer Tiergarten and beautiful Sloß Charlottenburg are other sights you should not miss. For art and culture, all you need to do is visit the Museumsinsel or the Kulturforum, while for shopping the Kurfürstendamm and the famous Kaufhaus Des Westens come to mind.

Order the German emissions sticker

Order your sticker

Order the official German emissions sticker, now for only €12,50 including VAT and delivery costs.

This page was last modified on