Fines in Germany: for speeding, traffic violations, garbage, insults and others. What do you have to unexpectedly pay for in Germany, is it possible to give expensive gifts to teachers, how much does it cost to download your favorite movie? How to avoid getting caught in violations? Find out about everything in today’s article!

When going on a trip to Germany, it is important to know not only the beginner vocabulary, the list of attractions, but also some laws, for violation of which a fine is due. The German Ordnung, being great and merciless, does not sleep and stands guard over the German law. In order not to get into a poop hole (or rather a hefty sum of euros), it is better to find out in advance what is prohibited in Germany.

Person & law

Walking along a quiet, clean street in the private sector of Germany, tourists are surprised at this “fairytale” scene: neat houses, nothing superfluous around, a low fence or its absence at all – come in, whoever wants to! However, such a fairytale scene is created by residents not entirely at their own will, but in accordance with the law.

If you don’t want to get a fine, don’t build a fence higher than one and a half meters. It will not be possible to build any outbuildings and garages without an agreement with certain authorities even on owned territory.

Want to warm up by the fireplace in the evening, but there is nothing to heat? Why not go out into the woods for firewood? Haha, good luck, such a trick will be punished with a fine.


Germany is known for its concern for the environment, which is why many laws are related to the protection of nature. Even if nature threatens the human itself.

For example, having found a nest of wasps in his house, a resident in Germany cannot get rid of it on his own. Removing it on his own, he’ll have to pay a fine, the amount of which can reach 50.000 Euros.

The reason is simple: by law, all wild creatures are protected. If wasps are found in the house, it is advised to lure them into a safe trap (a jar with sweet inside), then release them into nature. To prevent the appearance of a nest, you should regularly wash the balcony and attic, check old furniture on the balcony, and clean the bird feeders. If a nest does arise, you need to contact the Conservation Union for help to remove the nest as safely as possible for you and for the wasps. In no case should you try it yourself. In addition, ecologists reassure that of all the species of wasps, only some of them bite painfully. The rest are quite harmless.

A separate concern is garbage.

FYI, for a cigarette butt thrown on the asphalt, a fine of 20 euros is imposed.

However, if you walk along the streets of Berlin or another large city, you will wonder how many violators are there! And for some reason no one is given a fine.

However, Germans are very strict about “dog lovers” – for uncleaned poop of their pet, the owner can receive a fine of up to 125 euros.

Germany has some of the most stringent waste sorting rules in Europe. Tourists and students from abroad are initially frightened by the number of bins of different colors, each intended for a different category of garbage. Did you throw plastic waste into the glass bin, and organic waste into the plastic? Get a fine! Waste disposal is also for a price. Some residents of big cities do not want to bear additional costs… so they throw the garbage on the outskirts of the city. This has not only adverse environmental consequences, but it also threatens the spread of diseases.

Oh, and doing so in North Rhine-Westphalia can result in a fine up to 500 euros!

Poor Torrent!

It’s not fashionable to be a pirate in Germany. Germans know, that downloading movies, music, books from illegal sources is subject to a fine as a violation of copyright laws. Do you want to watch a movie, but you’re greedy to pay 10 euros to watch it in a cinema or on Netflix? Why not download it on the torrent? You can, of course, only the film will be 10x expensive.

With music, things are about the same: Decided to save money and download a song for free? – Get a fine of 600 euros.

How to get to the library?

Well, now it’s clear it isn’t best to download anything illegally – it’s better to rent! Or maybe take books from the library?

Yes, it’s a good idea, the main thing is not to forget to return these books in time, otherwise it will be rather big… well, you guessed it.

I see nothing, I hear nothing

Driving with your phone in hands – whether in a car or a bicycle – is equally dangerous. Answering an urgent SMS, scrolling through social media feeds, taking selfies – such harmless actions can lead to dire consequences. According to statistics, more than half of all road accidents in Europe are because of driver carelessness. And this tendency, unfortunately, is growing every year. This is not surprising in an environment where the presence of a virtual world is becoming more and more significant.

Given that Germany is a country of cyclists, strict rules regarding telephones and loud music apply to them as much as they do to motorists.

Headphones are also a dangerous distraction – if the music is too loud, you may not hear a warning signal from a car or another cyclist, and music playing in your ears would be the last thing that you’d hear in your life.

The fine for loud music is 15 euros, for using a smartphone while driving – 55 euros.

As for the behavior on roads, in Germany everything is very logical and, generally, follows the accepted world practice. The fine is usually monetary, but the driving license can also be taken away!

A fine for:SumBonus!
1. over speeding (up to 15 km/h)20 €
2. over speeding (up to 30 km/h)80 €
3. over speeding (over 70 km/h)600€3 months without a driving licence
4. unpaid parking (under 1 hour)15€
5. using a vehicle without appropriate tires (summer tires in winter)60€
6. passing a red traffic light90€
7. Being drunk (more than 0.5 promille)once – 500€1 month without a driving licence
8. driving without a seatbelt30€
9. Dirty (hard to read) number plate5€
10. driving without drivers license (with yourself)10€

When is a gift – a gift?

In Germany, first-graders receive a bouquet of sweets. It may seem that teachers are not respected if they don’t receive anything. However, such congratulations in Germany should be treated very carefully: a gift to a teacher can become a reason for a scandal and even dismissal.

One of the most high-profile cases happened in Berlin in 2011. In one school in the Friedrichshain district, parents of the students in gratitude by the end of the school year presented the teacher a small sculpture worth approximately 190 euros and a bouquet of flowers worth of 20 euros. Each family paid 15 euros for the gift. Such a present for the class teacher unexpectedly turned into a large fine. The teacher had to pay four thousand euros for accepting such a gift.

Funny laws

A long-awaited vacation on the beach, a salty breeze, children building sand castles… a dream! Oh, the last point can lead to a fine… 🙂 Building tall sand castles on some German beaches (for example, in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein) is strictly prohibited.

The allowed castle height is no more than 20 centimeters. Otherwise, you face a fine of up to 1000 euros.

So, when going to the beach, take a ruler with you, because you never know. This rule is due to the fact that a sand structure too high creates a potential obstacle for the rescuer if someone needs urgent help. 

Hotels, cafes and restaurants in the West German town of Bad Soden-Allendorf are required to have all sun umbrellas in beige, sand or pastel colors. The same rule applies to chair cushions. No bright colors. Violation of this prohibition is severely punished according to the law of the municipality. 

Oh, and whoever swears in Germany pays decent fines. Some gestures, facial expressions and expressions are subject to hefty fines.

An amount from 400 to 6,000 euros will have to be paid by one who shows his middle finger. Even for a swearing, you will have to pay as much as 300 euros.

It is also forbidden to import fakes into Germany. The desire to flaunt the trendy but fake Lacoste, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton can result in a penalty far greater than the cost of the originals.

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