Heading to the ‘Ring for some tourist laps? Think your car looks much cooler without the front number plate? Well the circuit management might have something to say about that. Find out about the Nurburgring license plate rules within this article.
does my car need a license plate for tourist driving?
As stated in other articles, when the circuit is open for tourist driving sessions, the Nurburgring Nordschleife is classed as a public toll road. This means that all German road traffic regulations (StVO) apply to the circuit. You will only be allowed through the barrier on to the circuit if you and your car comply with these regulations. These regulations state that:
- Cars must have license plates, front and rear
- Motorbikes need only rear license plates.
In addition, the specific Nurburgring driving regulations also state that:
“No admittance… for cars with transit plates (red numbers)… export plates, temporary number plates (03 and 04 numbers) and vintage car transferable number plates (07 numbers).”
The officially licensed Nurburgring car rental companies are all aware of these rules, so it isn’t something you need to worry yourself with if you’ve hired a car for a few laps.
Additionally, check out the full list of Nurburgring rules for tourist driving before you head out on track for the first time. It will pay for you to familiarise yourself with these to help keep you safe.
how are the Nurburgring license plate rules enforced?
The entrance to the Nurburgring has marshals who look at every car that passes them. They are not police offers but Nurburgring employees who are charged with ensuring cars entering the Nordschleife meet the StVO regulations.
They have the beadiest eyes going, always able to spot a car that doesn’t meet the Nurburgring rules or German road traffic rules. If you are heading towards the ‘Ring entrance barriers without a front plate there’s a good chance you’ll get stopped. If so, you’ll be turned away and not allowed out on to the circuit until you have a front plate.
How strictly these rules are enforced does vary, and it isn’t uncommon to see a car on track without a front plate. In this case it will have slipped through the net at the entrance barriers – perhaps the marshals were attending to something else at the time – but they might be spotted next time round.
can I have my front plate on my dash?
When a car gets turned away for no front numberplate, it normally also gets turned away even if it has its front plate on the dashboard.
Like the LaFerrari below – no front license plate on the car, but if you look closely you can see it on the dash. It still got turned away. First world problems ‘eh – where to put a numberplate on the pointy front end of a LaFerrari?
The exception to this may be if you have a US registered car – see next section.
do American / USA registered cars need a front plate on the Nurburgring?
The Nurburgring license plate rules create a bit of grey area if you have a US car registered in a state that does not require front plates, and somehow you have found yourself at the ‘Ring. The outcome usually depends on how friendly and polite you are and how accommodating the marshals are feeling.
Jamie Orr has had exactly this experience a couple of times with two different US registered cars shipped over the Germany. Both cars were coming from an American state that doesn’t require front license plates.
In both instances he was stopped by the marshals. After a discussion and an explanation about how his cars are US registered and don’t require a front plate, they made him hand-write his license plate. Once he had to stick his hand-written plate to the front bumper, and the other time he had to put it on the dash. After that he was allowed out on track.
Other than for this reason, hand-written numberplates will not be acceptable on cars trying to get on the Ring.
are stick-on license plates allowed on the Nurburgring?
As long as the size and spacing of the font on your front stick on plate is pretty faithful to the original, official plate then you shouldn’t have any problems. But to be safe, why not chuck your original plate in your boot just incase you fall foul of the numberplate police.
where to get license plates made near the Nurburgring
If you have been turned away from entering the ‘Ring as you’ve violated the Nurburgring license plates rules, then all is not lost.
Maybe one of your plates fell off on your high-speed autobahn run. Maybe your crazy small sticky plate caught the attention of the wrong marshal. Either way, if you want to do some more laps before your ‘Ring trip is over, you need a plate made up.
In this case, try BlackFish Graphics. They’re a graphics and car wrapping company but have helped out many ‘Ring goers in the past who’ve fallen foul of the license plate rules. They can make you up a sticky plate, they do all nationalities with the correct size and font, and normally in double-quick time. If you’re extra nice they might even help you fit it. Located about a 15 minute drive away from the Nurburgring entrance.
Google says they are not open on weekends, however if you give them a call or drop them a message on their Instagram someone may well be around to help you out.