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What is the world is an "Abmeldebescheinigung"?

Jelle's picture

Bad news! Well ... sort of. As you may recall I informed myself about the papers I needed to import a car into Belgium before I bought it. The deregistration certificate was not one of those papers. So I confidently bought a Mini Monza at The Little Car Company without this certificate. The Little Car Company is a Dutch company, but they bought this Mini in Germany. For the customs it doesn't matter where the car was purchased, but where it was last registered. But... What did I recently discover? You don't need your deregistration certificate to import your car in Belgium, unless... if it was last registered in Germany.

So I began e-mailing the "zulassungsstelle" in Düsseldorf. I chose Dusseldorf because it is relatively close to the border of Belgium. If it would be necessary to go there, I would get there (by car) in three hours.. I got a very friendly reply (all e-mails were in English, my German isn't good enough). They told me I had to make contact with the zulassungsstelle in Kiel, because here the car was originally registered. So I forwarded my mail to the zulassungsstelle in Kiel. They told me I had to send my e-mail to Plön, because that's where the car was registered when he was in Germany.

So I forwarded the e-mail once more, this time to the zulassungsstelle in Plön. Up to now, I had always received a reply the same day or within one working day, but Plön ... Nothing, naught, nil, nada. I had sent at least 4 emails, but no answer. Plön is a nearly seven-hour drive for me, and that for a single trip. This is not just something you can do in a day. Luckily someone in my girlfriend's class originally comes from Germany, and therefore speaks fluent German. She said she wanted to call them for me. They told her they had received my emails, and they even tried to reply to them, but everytime they did, they got an error message. They tried sending the Abmeldebescheinigung (German deregistration certificate) again, but this time to her e-mail address. This worked without any problems, and now I have the digital version of the deregistration certificate in my hands!

This whole process might seem rather easy when you read it. But I bought the car on September 9, 2011, and meanwhile we are December 18, 2011. My advice to people in the same situation as me is: call them! People in Germany are incredibly friendly and helpful, and they really want to help you. Now I must take my papers to the customs, then go to a conformity inspection, then to a regular inspection, and finally register the car. Unfortunately next week is very busy for me and will have to wait until Christmas break before I can go to the customs. I hope that from now on everything will go a lot smoother. I hope that my Mini will be on the road within a month or three!

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