Foto: Horst Rudel

Germany and in particular the Stuttgart Region is known the world over as the land of cars. But before you can drive your car on German roads, you have to comply with a couple of rules. Thanks to an excellent infrastructure, you can also explore the Stuttgart Region comfortably using buses and trains.

Driving licence and driving

Driving licence

When you drive a car in Germany, you always have to have your driving licence and vehicle registration certificate for your car with you because the police will want to see these documents in the event of traffic checkpoints.

As a citizen of the EU, Lichtenstein, Norway or Iceland, your driving licence applies to the same extent as it does in your home country. This means that you can drive in Germany without the need to reregister your driving licence.

The driving licence of citizens of other countries is valid for six months after registration. During this time you must apply for an EU driving licence in writing to the driving licence office responsible for where you live. You can find the address using the municipality search in the right-hand column. You can also find out there whether you need to take any exams or provide certain documentation.

Registering your car

Before you can drive your car on German roads, you have to register it with the registration authority. You can find the address using the municipality search in the right-hand column.

If you bring your car with you from abroad, it also has to pass a general inspection (roadworthiness test commonly referred to as 'TÜV'). An expert in a state-recognised inspection organisation will confirm that your car is technically safe and meets the official emission standards. He/she will then attach an inspection disc to your car's registration plate. This general inspection must be repeated at regular intervals. Examples of state-recognised inspection organisations include DEKRA or the three TÜV companies (TÜV-Süd, TÜV-Rheinland, TÜV-Nord).

Another disc that you need in order to drive in many cities with low emission zones is the environmental badge. It was introduced in order to reduce air pollution through particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. You need an appropriate environmental badge in order to drive into the low emission zones. You can purchase this badge from the registration authority.

Fees are payable for the general inspection, the environmental badge and for registering your vehicle.

Buses and trains

You can get around very easily with public transport in and between the towns and municipalities in the Stuttgart Region. The public transport system encompasses buses, suburban rail, underground rail and trains.

You can find information on the bus, underground rail and suburban rail lines in the Stuttgart Region on the website of the Transit and Tariff Association Stuttgart (VVS) or of Stuttgarter Straßenbahnen AG (SSB) (the latter is available in German only). You can buy tickets either from the ticket machine at the stop, from the driver directly or from the VVS sale points. If you use public transport regularly, it is worth purchasing a weekly, monthly or annual ticket.

For trips to other German towns and cities or destinations across Europe, it is advisable to take the train. Train tickets can be purchased at the counters or ticket machines in the train station or on the Deutsche Bahn website. There are also buses, which generally run between the train station of major cities in Germany and across Europe. You can find the right bus connection on the Busliniensuche website (in Germany only).


For nation-wide and international travel, you can use Stuttgart Airport in the Stuttgart Region, which flies to 100 destinations in Germany and abroad.

The Welcome Service Region Stuttgart (WSRS) is an offering by the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH). The project is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism Baden-Württemberg.