Germany's a pretty organised place.
More rules and regulations than you can shake a stick at. (At which you can shake a stick...? Kate?)
And many of which you can ignore with minimal risk of getting on the wrong side of the law.
But the car registration process is pretty cool.
To register your car, you need your ID card (which has your address) and confirmation from a car insurer that you've got coverage.
(For us foreigners, it's passport PLUS a certificate from the city council that you've been behaving)
Then they take your road tax for a year and give you your license plates with stickers showing that it's registered (the bottom one) and the month that the tech inspection is due (August 2007 for me)
And if you don't pay your road tax later on, they'll come round and scrape off your tax disc.
And if you cancel your insurance, they'll ask you for proof of a new insurance or they'll - yep, come round and scrape off your tax disc.
Because they know where you live.
The first 1, 2 or 3 digits show where your car's registered - MZ is Mainz, F is Frankfurt, WI is Wiesbaden ans so on.
As from there, it's a random combination of 1 or 2 alpha and 1 to 4 numerics.
Unless you want vanity plates, which are sort-of available.
Car dealers will do the registration for you and they just love getting their mates at the registration office to arrange meaningful combinations.
Which I think is sooo naff and you have to instruct them not to.
And they look all disappointed.
Mrs B's niece is mega-naff in this respect, though
She wanted IG-0277.
Her Mum filled out the documents and wrote the "I" so that it looked like a "J" (the way school kids learned in the 1950s)
And that's what she got - JG-0277.
I did suggest a name change via deed poll, but got black looks.
It was worth it, though. (Heh, heh!)