i-Kfz: Uncertainty is high

Cologne. According to the PremiumZulasser cooperative (PZeG), the introduction of i-Kfz Level 4 on September 1st has caused significant uncertainty in the market. Many companies are questioning whether they can handle digital vehicle registration personnel and financially, says the Cologne-based cooperative. Smaller registration businesses, in particular, are concerned about their existence.

“We are registering an increased demand from concerned market participants for professional support in the implementation of i-Kfz,” reports CEO Florian Cichon. With its registration software, the cooperative offers car dealerships, leasing companies, fleet operators, insurers, registration service providers and other interested parties a secure tool for practical, efficient and inexpensive access to i-cars. “We are currently holding numerous discussions about this,” says Cichon. Against this background, the premium admissions provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Will i-Kfz be ready to launch on September 1st?

PZeG: Yes, i-Kfz will be ready to launch on September 1st. However, it will take some time for all parties involved to access the tool.

What possibilities does i-Kfz offer?

PZeG: i-Kfz allows for online registration, re-registration, and deregistration of vehicles. It also allows for temporary registrations. In addition, personalized license plates can be requested through i-Kfz at a later time. The local registration authority makes decisions based on the online applications.

Are there still original documents that need to be presented to the vehicle registration offices?

PZeG: No, with i-Kfz, only electronic identification methods such as qualified signature/seal, online ID function, or video identification are used. Customers receive the registration certificates part 1 and 2, as well as the seals, by mail. This incurs additional costs and requires time. Commercial customers can still have vehicle documents and seals delivered promptly by their registration service providers.

Who is allowed to use i-Kfz?

PZeG: i-Kfz can be used by individuals (natural persons) and businesses such as car dealerships, online marketers, leasing companies, fleet operators, registration service providers, and technical service providers like the PremiumZulasser cooperative.

Do users have to meet any specific requirements?

PZeG: Yes, the requirements mainly apply to large customers. They are listed in detail on the website of the Federal Motor Transport Authority, in the Federal Gazette, and in the Verkehrsblatt. The legislator focuses on IT security and data protection. In addition, large customers must have an Elster account from the federal government and comply with self-commitments. They must register as large customers with the Federal Motor Transport Authority to access the large customer interface.

How does the workflow look like for a registration?

PZeG: There are three basic ways. 1. Users manually enter the relevant vehicle data into the decentralized i-Kfz portals of the registration authorities. This is time-consuming and carries the risk of transmission errors. Private customers only have this option. 2. Commercial users apply for registration as a large customer at the Federal Motor Transport Authority and integrate their software with the IT infrastructure of i-Kfz to automatically transfer the data from one system to another as much as possible. This requires significant programming effort in advance,is correspondingly expensive and entails high legal hurdles. 3. Car dealerships and other businesses utilize registration service providers like the PremiumZulasser community and their software, which are already connected to i-Kfz through the large customer interface. It’s important to note that large customers must demonstrate that they process a minimum of 500 registration procedures per year in order to be connected to the large customer interface. Registration as a large customer incurs fees.

Are large customers allowed to register multiple times?

PZeG: No, multiple registrations are not allowed. However, subsidiaries of a large customer can register separately.

How much does it cost to integrate one’s own IT systems with the large customer interface?

PZeG: 250,000 euros is a realistic estimate, assuming that the necessary preliminary systems are in place. Additionally, a significant amount of time needs to be invested.

Are these investments unnecessary with the use of the PremiumZulasser software?

PZeG: Yes, because the software already has a connection to the large customer interface, benefiting all users.

What other advantages does the software offer?

PZeG: In addition to cost advantages, the software allows for fully digital processes or, depending on the technical capabilities of the registration authorities, offline processing. The system, therefore, provides a perfect hybrid solution.

Is it true that vehicle owners can use their vehicles immediately after online registration?

PZeG: Yes, after online registration, they receive a temporary registration certificate that must be prominently displayed on the front windshield of the vehicle. This certificate is valid for ten days. Additionally, the unsealed license plates must be affixed to the vehicle from the first day. In the meantime, the registration authority will send the original documents to the owners by mail.

What happens if the documents do not arrive on time?

PZeG: According to the legislator, the registration documents should be sent by the authority within six calendar days. After the ten-day period for the temporary registration certificate expires, the official stamp sticker must be affixed to the license plate. If this is not done, the vehicle may not be used or parked in public spaces. Otherwise, it would constitute a violation subject to fines.

What happens if incorrect data is entered in the portal?

PZeG: It depends. If the customer enters the data into a decentralized i-Kfz portal, the system will deactivate the process after the third error message. In this case, the applicant must personally visit the registration authority. When using the large customer interface for data entry, this error limitation does not exist.

How long do authorities take to process the online application?

PZeG: Due to full automation, the processing of the application takes only a few seconds. However, the registration authority has six days to send out the license plates and seals. In the partially automated process, the registration is valid only after three days.

Is there a limit on the number of applications?

PZeG: No, however, large customers need to coordinate with the registration authority if they intend to submit an exceptionally high number of applications through the large customer interface. An exceptionally high number is considered to be 100 applications.

How do registration authorities and large customers communicate with each other?

PZeG: Electronically through the SABRINA database. In the event of a system failure, large customers receive the registration certificate by mail.

Is the online process cheaper than the previous procedure?

PZeG: Barely, even though the official fees are significantly reduced. For example, according to the fee schedule, the registration/re-registration of a motor vehicle will cost €12.80 instead of €27.90. However, additional costs arise from the electronic signature (QES) and the optional delivery of registration certificates part 1 and 2, as well as the seals.