Environmental Zones in Germany (Umweltzone)
The environmental windshield badge / sticker is mandatory in Germany. These windshield badges are in three colors, i.e. green (shows environmentally acceptable vehicle), yellow (less acceptable than green) and red (still acceptable). A fourth color in blue is under consideration also. From 2018 there are some areas where diesel vehicles are not allowed to enter. Catalytic converters are mandatory to enter these zones. Vehicles found in an environmental zone without an appropriate badge are subject to a €10 fine. A total absence of badge / sticker can cost €100 fine.
These badges / stickers have vehicle number written on them.
The main goal of environmental zones is to protect the inhabitants of the cities and municipalities against the presence of fines particles in the air.
Enviromental zone starts with sign 270-1, which may have additional signs.
Start of a traffic prohibition zone to the reduction of harmful pollutants in a zone.
Additional signs for Environmental zone sign are as follows:
Only Vehicles with green badge / sticker are allowed to enter.
Only Vehicles with green and yellow badges / stickers are allowed to enter.
Vehicles with green and yellow and red badges / stickers are allowed to enter.
There can be a sign where some particular vehicles are allowed, for example:
Just E-bikes and mopeds are allowed from this point onwards.
Foreign plated vehicles as well as vehicles belonging to NATO forces in Germany also require to have these badges / stickers. They can be obtained online, at authorized garages and at vehicle inspection stations like TÜV. At TÜV office they cost €5, while online and at garages they can be a bit costly.
More in-depth information about environmental windshield badges / stickers and environmental zones is available at this website.
Sign 270-2 marks the end of an environmental zone.