Abstract The reorientation effect in Coulomb excitation has been used to determine the static quadrupole moments of the first 2 + states of the nuclei 74Ge and 76Ge. Thin foils of enriched 74Ge and 76Ge were bombarded by 25 MeV 16O ions. The relative excitation probabilities of the first 2 + states were measured as a function of projectile scattering angle. Particle-γ coincidences were used to identify the inelastic events. The data were analyzed with the aid of the coupled-channel computer program of Winther and De Boer and excitation of the first 2 + state via the second 2 + state was included in the analysis. If the interference term due to excitation via the second 2 + level is positive, such that the excitation probability is increased, then the extracted values of the static quadrupole moment are Q 2 + = −0.25 ± 0.10 b for 74 Ge and Q 2 + = −0.15 ± 0.10 b for 76 Ge . If the interference term is negative then Q 2 + = −0.17 ± 0.10 b for 24Ge and Q 2 + = −0.05 ± 0.10 b for 76 Ge .