Clear customs when selling cars in Germany

Robert Szostek
U.S. European Command Customs Public Affairs

U.S. personnel can stumble into big legal problems if they do not obtain a “Permit to Transfer” when transferring a USAREUR-plated vehicle to a non-ID cardholder in Germany.

“It is essential to get a permit to transfer before you sell, donate or transfer a car to someone who is not an ID card holder such as a German car dealership or junkyard,” explained David Kuik, acting chief of services at the USAREUR Customs Executive Agency in Mannheim, Germany.

This even applies if the vehicle was wrecked in an accident and you did not receive any money for it, he added.

The “Permit to Transfer” (AE Form 550-175B) is available at the military customs office serving your garrison.

If you do not obtain this permit, you will eventually fail to clear USAREUR Vehicle Registration when it is time to PCS. German Customs agents may also require you to prove what happened to the vehicle or pay any tax due.

“This is obviously very difficult if the car was crushed and recycled long ago, you are in the middle of clearing out of Europe and you have no record of the car’s disposition,” Mr. Kuik continued.

More information on selling personal property in Germany is available online at or by contacting your local military customs office.