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Things that are happening in October you should know about as an Expat in Germany!

October • 2nd, 2019
by Sarah

New laws in October 2019 are primarily aimed at future drivers and vehicle owners, but there’s also some general changes that are good to know about for one or other German small talk

 

 

1. Online registration of your new car or motorcycle

 

Everybody who ever had to register something in Germany knows what he has to expect: long, very long queues and waiting periods - and therefore a lot of patience. So we have good news for the more quick-tempered ones of you: from October 1st, vehicle owners should be able to register, rewrite or re-register cars and motorcycles online. Because then the third stage of the project "i-Kfz", the Internet-based vehicle registration, enters in force. What you need for the process is an ID card with online function and the associated PIN code - also a reader or a smartphone with NFC Chio and AusweisApp2 are required. Little extra tip: it’s also time to change the tires - because the rule of thumb is: From O to O. From October to Ostern (Easter), motorists should drive with winter tires. Whether the tires are still fit for the upcoming winter is revealed by a glance at the tire tread. The law requires a tread depth of at least 1.6 millimeters.

 

2. The times they are a changin’: Hibernation & shorter daytimes

 

From Saturday, October 26th to Sunday, October 27th, clocks will be turned back by one hour at 3am - which is great for everyone that has been needing an extra hour of sleep for a while now. But this also means that the days are getting shorter - it’s officially winter time! Actually, the time change was planned to already be abolished by this year - but now the members of the European Parliament finally agreed on a new regulation by 2021. Then all EU states should then be able to decide for themselves whether they want to have permanent summer or winter time.

 

3. Be well prepared: driving license questions are changing

 

Every April and October the questions for the theory exam are adjusted - also this year, on October 1st, 2019, the questionnaire for the driver's license exam will be changed. In the theoretical exam, you will have to prepare for 34 new revised questions on cars and motorcycles. So make sure to update your prepping software (Lernsoftware) - In case you didn’t already know there are a lot of very helpful apps and programs you can download for free!

 

4. Celebration of the ‚Day of German Unity‘

 

Thirty years ago Germany celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall, one year later Germany was reunited after 41 years of division. Since then, this historic event has been celebrated with a public holiday on October 3rd in all federal states. This year the  public holiday will be a Thursday - if you live in Munich or Bavaria it’s also a great day to pay a visit to Oktoberfest and enjoy the festive atmosphere & awesome german food!

 

5. Brexit showdown

 

On October 31st, Great Britain is leaving the European Union - at least this is the plan. At the special EU summit on April10th 2019, the heads of state and government of the EU-27 and Prime Minister Theresa May agreed on a postponement of the Brexit date, ie the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. The originally planned for April 12th withdrawal is off the table. Therefore the United Kingdom will leave the EU by October 31st at the latest.

 

 

6. Buyer-protection is increasing at Ebay, Amazon & Co. 

 

Online retailers such as Ebay, Amazon, Etsy and Co. are tightening the rules for commercial traders and therefore are increasing the buyer-protection. Which means all professional sellers have to provide a sales tax certificate - if they don’t, the sellers will be barred immediately without exception. Background of this procedure? After a change in the law now the platforms are responsible that sellers fulfill their sales tax liability in Germany. If they can’t, then the marketplaces themselves have to pay th

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