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Commercial road haulage - apply for a permit

Do you intend to transport goods in Germany by motor vehicle on a business basis or for remuneration?
And you use vehicles whose permissible total weight including trailers is more than 3.5 tonnes?

To do so, you need a permit from the locally competent transport authority (place of business).

Cross-border road haulage

For cross-border road haulage with EU/EEA states, you need a Community licence. This is also known colloquially as an EU or EC licence. You can also use it for transport within Germany. It also entitles you to carry out national transport in other EU/EEA states (cabotage transport).

A CEMT permit may also be required for the transportmay be required. This permit allows you to transport goods in international commercial road transport between 43 CEMT member states; the place of loading and unloading must be in two of the European states that are party to the agreement. These are the EU/EEA states and a large number of Eastern and South-Eastern European states.

Transport with third countries (non-EU/EEA countries)

For transports to third countries that do not belong to the EU/EEA economic area, you need a permit for commercial road haulage for the domestic part of the route. You can obtain "bilateral permits" for the part of the journey to third countries.

Attention: if you drive into or through Switzerland within the framework of commercial road haulage, you need a valid Community licence.

Notice Road haulage for hire or reward does not include own-account transport Own-account transport is the transport of goods for your own purposes. The transport or delivery of goods that you consume, produce yourself or process further may only be an auxiliary activity. You do not need a permit for own-account transporta permit for own-account transport, but you must register it with the Federal Office for Goods Transport.


As a company with its registered office in Germany, you will receive the permit under the following conditions:

  • You and the person appointed as transport manager are reliable. Both the company and the transport manager mustprovetheir reliabilityto thelicensing authority.
  • The financial capacity of your company must be guaranteed.
    The company needs equity capital plus reserves. The amount of capital is determined by the number of vehicles intended for usevehicles. For the first vehicle, the entrepreneur requires equity capital of 9,000 euros, for each additional vehicle 5,000 euros. This also applies to the use of rental vehicles.
  • You or the person nominated as transport manager are professionally suitable.
    You are professionally qualified if you have passed a professional examination at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK)
    All final examinations previously recognised as equivalent will continue to be deemed equivalent if they were started or completed before 4 December 2011
    Notice: You can obtain further information on this possibility from your competentiHK.

    You are also professionally qualified if you have worked in a road haulage company: The IHK responsible for you will check whether these requirements are met
    • at least ten years,
    • in the period between 4 December 1999 and 4 December 2009 without interruption,
    • in a managerial position.

Responsible department

  • for a city district: the city administration
  • for a rural district: the district administration

Standard port

Enter the location of your business premises in the location selection.


You must apply for the Community licence (EU licence) or a national road haulage permit from the competent body. The content of the application for a permit or Community licence must comply with Annex 1 of the General Administrative Regulation on the Law on the Carriage of Goods by Road (GüKVwV).

The competent body shall give the following bodies the opportunity to comment:

  • the Federal Office for Goods Transport,
  • the Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • the competent trade union and
  • the association of the transport industry

The competent body shall make the final decision on the application.

Required documents

The competent authority may request further documents. You can obtain information from the office responsible for your place of business.

Tip: Apply first and in good time for the certificates of good conduct and the extracts from the central business register and name the competent office. It usually takes some time until you receive the documents. You can submit the other certificates later. Here, too, it may take a long time until you receive them. However, they must be available for a final decision.


  • Community licence: EUR 120.00 - 700.00
  • Licence for commercial road haulage: EUR 120.00 - 700.00

Please note: Additional costs will be incurred for information from the registers and for the preparation of other supporting documents. This also applies to the certified copies of the Community licence or copies of the permit that you must carry in the vehicles.

Processing time

within 3 months from the date on which the competent body receives all the necessary documentsThis

period may be extended by one month by the competent body in duly justified cases



Period of validity

The national permit and the Community licence may be issued for a period of validity of up to 10 years.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Verkehrsministerium released it on 04.12.2020. 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.