Tun­ing and mod­i­fi­ca­tion ap­provals


Modification approvals: which modifications to the vehicle do you have to register?

You have to register any kind of tuning modification that require registration in accordance with Section 19 (3) StVZO (German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations), such as changing the wheel-tyre combination. For parts that have a general operating permit (Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnis – ABE), a copy of this permit must be enclosed. You can see from this whether an installation approval is required and whether an entry in the vehicle documents is obligatory.

If a parts certificate exists for the component, an immediate acceptance of the installation must always take place.

However, if your component does not have a general operating permit (ABE), a parts certificate or if the conditions described therein (e.g. the scope of application) are not complied with, a so-called individual approval in accordance with Section 19 (2) StVZO in conjunction with an individual type approval according to Section 21 StVZO is required.

This is also the case if several tuning modifications have been carried out which have an impact on each other (e.g. lowering in combination with another wheel/tyre combination).

Who carries out the modification approval?

Your GTÜ inspection engineers would be happy to carry this out for you. After a successful approval, you will receive proof of this inspection, which must be added in your vehicle documents at the registration office.

If your vehicle has an unauthorised modification and you are involved in a traffic accident, you risk your insurance cover. This can be very expensive for you. Therefore, before you buy or install a part, find out from your local GTÜ test engineer whether the modification is permitted or not. This will save you time, money and stress.

The modification in accordance with Section 19 (3) StVZO (German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations) is documented in a modification approval certificate.

Special wheels, spoilers, lowering, performance upgrades

GTÜ inspection engineers assess the technical modifications for your vehicle, taking into account the appropriate test certificates. They also do the groundwork for their entry in the documents by the registration office.

Don’t forget your documents!

Please bring the following documents with you for the modification approval:

  • Your vehicle registration document or your registration certificate part 1
  • The parts certificate or the approval in accordance with EU law
  • The general operating permit (Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnis – ABE)
  • The type approval or the manufacturer’s certificate

You can’t find your modification acceptance certificate?

If you no longer have the latest parts certificate or the parts approval for the modification inspection to hand, don’t worry! The GTÜ head office in Stuttgart has access to extensive databases in which almost all type approvals, parts certificates and general operating permits are stored.

Moreover, if required, GTÜ can also get the necessary certifications for the modification approval of your vehicle from the manufacturer for a fee.

We can also help you, for example, with changing the registration of a scooter to a moped and vice versa.

Determining compliance

The police might have noticed something about your vehicle that does not comply with the regulations in line with Section 5 German Vehicle Registration Ordinance (FZV). This may include tuning modifications, worn tyres, poor lighting or excessive noise. If there is a specific suspicion in this regard, the police will draw up a nonconformity report. You are then obliged to have the listed defects repaired and this confirmed by an officially recognised inspection organisation, e.g. GTÜ, within a specified period. In the event of non-compliance with the presentation deadline, the registration office may prohibit the further operation of the vehicle.

Are you not sure whether the classification of the defect is correct?

The GTÜ inspection engineer in your area would be happy to help you.

If you notice that your vehicle has problems, e.g. with its lights, tyres or exhaust, GTÜ recommends going to a licenced workshop. Have this damage repaired as soon as possible.

Any further questions?

When tuning, what is allowed and what isn’t with regard to any subsequent modification approval? What do I have to pay attention to when refining and improving my vehicle? And how can I tell the difference between serious and dodgy offers on the market?

GTÜ’s local partners have the answers to these questions.

Go to the local GTÜ partner
(only available in German)