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STUTTGART, Germany — New license plates bearing the “D” for Deutschland, or Germany, have started to be issued to USAREUR-licensed car and motorcycle owners in Germany.

The new plates, designed as a force-protection measure to help American-owned vehicles blend in, are being issued in Mannheim, Heidelberg and Kaiserslautern, according to a U.S. Army Europe spokesman. The new plates will become available in coming weeks and months elsewhere in Germany. They will replace license plates bearing the “USA” insignia.

Not everyone who wants the “D” plate can get one right away. Once their local vehicle registration office is issued new plates, new residents to Germany will be the first to get the German plate. Others will be issued the new plates once their “USA” plates expire.

“In some communities, we have waiting lists of people who want to get the German license plates,” Tom Lorenzini, the USAREUR vehicle registrar, said in a press release.

The new plates started being issued in Heidelberg in December, according to the USAREUR spokesman, Robert Purtiman. In about two years, all vehicles of USAREUR-licensed personnel will bear the German plates, he said.

A schedule of when other communities would receive new plates has not been established, Purtiman said. He said the new license plates will become available in other communities as supplies allow. He suggested car owners contact local vehicle registration offices for more information on when the plates will arrive at those locations.

USAREUR is trying to distribute the plates first to the military communities with the highest number of USAREUR-licensed personnel, he said. In Stuttgart, for example, the new plates aren’t expected to arrive until around May, according to Tina Frazier of Stuttgart’s vehicle registration office at Panzer Casern.

“Since they heard about the license plates, people have been calling to see if we’ve gotten them,” Frazier said.

Frazier said her office will receive instructions from USAREUR on how to distribute the new plates before it begins to issue them.

As with German plates, the first letters of the license plate will reflect the city in which they were issued. For example, “S” for Stuttgart, “DA” for Darmstadt and “KL” for Kaiserslautern.

The registration fee is $15 and did not increase this year, Purtiman said.

For information on the new “D” plates, go to: rmv.hqusareur.army.mil.

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