Three German cities - Berlin, Hannover and Cologne - instituted a ban on cars that don't have catalizers or DPF (Diesel Particulate Filters). A windshield sticker proving a vehicle's environmental status is now needed to drive into the cities, known as environmental zones. But, like Mos Def wondering why he needs ID to get ID, how can you get a sticker if you're outside and want to come in? The website Green Zones will provide, for either 30 or 40 Euros. The website is available in 13 languages and the window badges will be valid in any of the German environmental zones.
Even if you're not planning on hitting those three cities any time soon, you might want to keep Green Zones in your bookmarks. More German cities will require the stickers come March, and Green Zones' stickers will work there as well. See the press release pasted after the jump for more details.

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[Source: Climate Company]



Environmental Zones in Germany: Foreign Visitors can now Obtain Environmental Badges for Their Cars and Trucks Online at www.green-zones.eu. Without a Badge you will be Liable for a Fine!

BERLIN, January 7/PRNewswire/ -- The first of January 2008 marked the introduction of the first three environmental zones in Germany in Berlin, Cologne and Hanover. These green zones are designated by special road signs. Starting in March 2008 other German cities will also follow suit. Every vehicle entering an environmental zone - no matter whether registered in Germany or another country - now needs to display an environmental badge. These badges have unrestricted validity for the individual vehicle and all German environmental zones.

To be eligible for an environmental badge, your vehicle must be registered in your country and fulfil certain conditions as per validation of the key number in the vehicle registration.

The Internet portal at http://www.green-zones.eu offers extensive information on the German environmental zones in 13 languages including French, Polish, Swedish, Dutch, and Turkish as well as an easy way to order environmental badges for all vehicles with a non-German European registration.

Visitors intending to travel in Germany can order their badge conveniently per credit card in their own country before embarking on their journey. The service charge is Euro 29.90 for vehicles with EU registration or Euro 39.90 for vehicles with registration in other European non-EU countries, many of which are also eligible for the badges.

As the management of the Climate Company notes, validation of vehicle registration documents is a complicated process conducted on a case by case basis and involving considerable costs, including for the information portal itself. Of course tourists and visitors are free to apply for the badge at an authorised garage/auto mechanic in their home country before embarking on their journey. Yet as of now the Climate Company is unaware of the existence of any such locally based service for foreign vehicles which in any case would involve delays and be hardly possible at weekends.




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