Read the TÜV sticker correctly – pink sticker means: HU in 2023!

When does a car have to go back to the MOT? A look at the test sticker (often also called TÜV sticker) reveals it quickly: The year and month in which the period for the next general inspection (HU) expires can be read on the sticker, which is always stuck on the rear license plate.

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Color codes and special markings are also used to ensure that the badge cannot only be read from a very short distance. Anyone who knows these codes can see at a glance when the next HU is due. Of course, the codes also help policeto quickly recognize whether a TÜV sticker has already expired.

Back to the HU in 2022? Then the TÜV sticker is brown

The TÜV badge gets a new color every year. There are six different shades in total (blue, yellow, brown, pink, green and orange), which are repeated every six years in this order. Anyone who is on the road with a pink sticker in 2022 still has time and will not have to present their car for inspection again until 2023. Brown means: The car has to go to the TÜV again in 2022. If the sticker is yellow, the deadline has already expired and the vehicle owner should make an appointment for the general inspection as soon as possible.

TÜV sticker color codes



















Exceeding the TÜV appointment is a misdemeanor: If the deadline for the next general inspection has expired by more than two months and the car is in road traffic on the way, there is a risk of a fine of 15 euros. In addition, if the delay is more than two months, the testing organization is obliged to carry out an extended HU, which incurs higher fees. (You can find an overview of TÜV costs here.)

This is how you can see in which month the HU is due

In addition to the color, the number in the middle of the badge also indicates the year in which the next inspection must take place (example: “23” means TÜV date in the course of 2023). The outer ring of numbers from one to twelve also shows in which month the exam is due. The number at the top of the plaque indicates the month. The plaque is always affixed to the license plate in such a way that the corresponding month is in the 12 o’clock position. If the six is ​​at the top, the car has to go to the TÜV by the end of June.

TÜV sticker

“23” is in the middle, “11” at the top: The car has to go back to the TÜV by the end of November 2023.

The two black bars on the outer edge of the sticker, on the other hand, are an aid for quick reading. The bars are always above the twelve. Because the number of the exam month is always at the top, the quickly recognizable bars are always in the appropriate positions. If the six is ​​at the top, as in the example just mentioned, then the bars are at the bottom. Based on the position of the bars, the police can see very quickly at what time of year the TÜV is due: if the black bars are on the right side, every police officer knows: the car has to be inspected in the first half of the year. Left side means second half of the year, bottom means summer exam, top means winter exam.

Renewal of the TÜV sticker usually every two years

When the TÜV sticker has to be renewed depends on the type of vehicle. For example, motorcycles have to be presented to the testing organization every two years, and taxis and rental vehicles even every year. The first technical inspection was introduced in 1951, and only since 1960 has TÜV and its competitors DEKRA, GTÜ and KÜS taken on this task on behalf of the state.

The emissions test (AU) was added in 1985 and was then still called “Special Emissions Test” (ASU). After passing the test, the examiner sticks the sticker on the license plate. By the way: The interval difference between HU after initial registration (three years) and the follow-up examinations (every two years) only applies to passenger cars. No difference is made at this point for all other vehicles.

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