I am flying from SFO - Hannover, changing planes in Munich. I generally carry my bag on with me, but I'm considering checking it for this trip. I don't have a very long layover in Munich. I know I will go through passport control there, so my question is if will I have to retrieve my bag in Munich? Or will it just be checked through to Hannover? Thanks for any advice.
Your bag will be checked through to Hanover, and nominally go through customs check there after you pick it up.
When you check in at SFO, make sure your bag is labelled through to Hanover, not Munich.
Luggage labels used in airports within the EU have green stripes down both sides (see photo here: https://www.eccireland.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/red-suitcase.jpg ). That way customs can tell which bags came from within the EU, and are therefore outside their jurisdiction. Your bag will one of the few on the carousel without a green label.
If both flights are part of the same ticket, your bag will be transferred to your connecting flight automatically; no need to retrieve it.
Thank you both for your quick responses. I will have to gate check my bag on my Sacramento-San Francisco flight, so I'm thinking I might as well just check it from Sacramento through to Hannover. Everything is on the same ticket. That will make things easier.