There is a single Low Emission Zone operating in the Ruhr area, covering 820 km², covering the towns of: Bochum, Bottrop, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Gladbeck, Herne, Herten, Mühlheim, Oberhausen, and Recklinghausen.
There are also other separate LEZs in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Please see further information on an Ruhr LEZ as well as for each city separately (see each city under the left hand menu).

In the Ruhr there are recommended lorry routes.

Dates and Standards
* From January 2013
- Diesel Euro 3(PM), Petrol Euro 1 / Yellow Sticker

* From July 2014
- Diesel Euro 4(PM), Euro 5(PM), Euro 6(PM) and Petrol Euro 1 / Green Sticker

Vehicles affected
All diesel vehicles, and petrol vehicles without a closed loop catalytic converter (Euro 1 or equivalent).
All vehicles must have a sticker - see National Scheme

What is the LEZ boundary
Essen LEZ map

key: green shaded areas are LEZ (The top left is part of Gelsenkirchen)
There is an overview and map of all current 13 LEZ in the Ruhr, here
From January 2012 there is a single Rhur LEZ:
Single Rhur LEZ
Key: Green area=LEZ, grey lines = exempted motorways, blue area=air quality management area

LEZ Road sign
Germany Euro 4 low emission zone LEZ Road Sign

Need to Register? National
A sticker must be bought before driving into the zone and displayed in the windscreen - see National Scheme. This sticker is then valid for all LEZs in Germany.
Proof of emissions standard (given on German vehicle papers) is needed to purchase the sticker. Germany also accepts the stickers from Czech Republic.

Buying German LEZ stickers
Stickers for German and foreign vehicles can be purchased from the vehicle registration authorities, authorised local garages, vehicle test organisations like TÜV, DEKRA, or some websites.

LEZ city authorities and other cities usually sell LEZ stickers. In person from city offices they cost €5, online they can cost more, and if they need to be posted abroad it can sometimes add a little to the cost. Buy German LEZ stickers from Berlin city, in English or German (cost 6€), and the sticker is posted to you.

Stickers can also be bought online in Deutsch, Česky, Francis, English, Italiano, Polki, Türkçe from TÜV-SÜD. Cost is and is posted to you. €9.90 from TÜV-NORD if the vehicle is registered in Germany, €17.50 if the vehicle is not registered in Germany.

Please note:
Please allow enough time for the sticker to reach you. At times of high demand to foreign addresses it can take up to a few weeks.
Please also note, for the lowest cost stickers, please buy stickers from the official sources linked to on this website. There are both fake sites and sites that charge up to 5 times as much as the official websites.

Foreign Vehicles?
Foreign vehicles are also enforced and are required to buy a sticker. Foreign vehicles emissions are taken primarily by vehicle age, as show in in this table.

Retrofitting allowed?:
Retrofitting Summary
German vehicles need to have a particulate trap certified on behalf of the German government. Local garages can advise on which filters should be used and this page. allows you to find out what particulate filter your German registered vehicle can use - now for heavy as well as light duty vehicles. See also our retrofitting section.

Hours of operation
Permanent, 365 days a year.

Manual enforcement by police of sticker in the windscreen. Even if the vehicle meets the emissions standard, if there is no sticker in the windscreen, the vehicle is illegal in the zone.

The penalty for driving or parking your vehicle without valid sticker is 80€

National Scheme
A National Framework sets out the Emissions Classes and main rules that can be used by cities for LEZs in Germany. The cities or regions then decide whether, where and when to do a LEZ, and what emissions standards will be required.
Windscreen stickers (plakette) show the vehicle Euro standard. To enter the LEZ, the vehicle must have the sticker required by the LEZ standard (usually Green Sticker). See below for the different windscreen stickers.

Emissions class






No Sticker

Requirement for diesel vehicles

Euro 1 or worse

Euro 2 or

Euro1 with particulate filter

Euro 3 or

Euro 2 with

particulate filter

Euro 4, Euro 5, Euro 6


Euro 3 with particulate filter

Requirement for petrol vehicles

Without a catalytic converter



Euro 1 or better

pre Euro 1 with a catalytic converter fitted


View National Scheme Table (opens in popup) or in a new page

Stickers similar to those used in Germany, and mutually accepted, exist also in the Czech Republic.

Exemptions: National
Germany Exemptions
Additional local Exemptions
Nordrhein-Westfalen exemptions

Local name for an LEZ

Further Information
Germany website
Nordrhein Westfalia

Suggested Lorry Routes Municipalities in the Ruhr area

City website
Essen city website
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