The main inspection (HU) is the most important statutory inspection for vehicles as far as the safety and environmental-friendliness of your vehicle on public roads are concerned. Its purpose is to determine whether the vehicle complies with regulations.
Please note: Since 1st January 2010, the emissions inspection (AU) has been integrated into the main inspection as an independent module. If the inspections are carried out separately, there must only be an interval of maximum one month between the two of them. The "old" AU stickers are no longer needed and will be removed at the next main inspection.
It is possible to determine from the entry in the vehicle registration certificate (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil I) (previously called "Fahrzeugschein") and from the round inspection sticker on the rear licence plate, when the next HU inspection is due. You must keep hold of the report from the previous inspection until the next HU inspection. It must be handed over upon request.
Certain commercially used cars, buses, lorries and trailers with a maximum permissible weight exceeding 3.5 metric tonnes must undergo a main inspection every year.
Note: The HU inspection sticker expires at the end of the month shown on the sticker. The inspections therefore have to be carried out at the latest on the specified date. It is no longer possible to extend the deadline for the HU inspection by postponing the appointment for the inspection.
The owner of the vehicle is required to eliminate any defects arising from the HU inspection without delay. If you are requested to bring in your vehicle again for a subsequent inspection, you have to do so within one month at the latest.
New vehicles normally have to have an HU inspection for the first time after three years. Subsequently the inspections have to be carried out every two years by a motor vehicle inspection organisation or an officially recognised technical monitoring organisation. You can find information on this subject in section "Additional Information and Links".
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Verkehrsministerium released it on 16.08.2021. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.