Emissions Zones

Back in 2009 Karlsruhe began its Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) policy to reduce the amount of fine particle emissions from cars in the inner city. Other cities have also implemented this policy, so be aware when travelling.  All vehicles (even those with foreign registration) need to show an emission-control sticker (Feinstaubplakette). They come in three colors — red, yellow and green. As of 01.01.2013, only vehicles with green stickers are allowed in the LEZ. The Ministry of Environment for Baden-Württemberg has a summary of what you need to know which you can download (see to the right).



Your landlord will advise you if you need a Parking Permit (Bewohnerparkausweis) for street parking. There is a yearly fee (€30 in Nov 2018) and there is no guarantee that you will be able to find a spot even with a permit. However, without the permit, there are certain hours when you are not allowed to park in this region. There are more permits than spots (3:1). To get your permit in Karlsruhe, you need to go to one of the Bürgerbüros or the Strassenverkehrsstelle — you will need to bring your passport (or other ID) and car registration papers.

Parking on the street in the inner city region is not always easy. Some regions are by Parking Permit only and will be posted as such. Others cost money in which case you need to go the Parking Ticket Machine (Parkschienautomat); estimate how long you will be gone, pay the money and you will get a paper ticket. Place this on your window dash inside the car where it is clearly visible from outside. Controllers do come around checking and parking fines can be steep, depending on where you park.

Do not park in handicap zones unless you have a permit; the fines are especially large.

You should keep a Parking Disc (Parkscheibe) handy. You can buy a parking disc at most petrol stations or your Rathaus.

Parking spaces in Karlsruhe are plentiful and well sign-posted. You will find an excellent link with details of spaces available in every Karlsruhe parking garage with updated real time space availability here.