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German driving license

Posted in Germany forum

Does anyone know how long you can use your foreign driving license in Germany? And can you tranfer it into a German driving license, or do you have to take a new driving test?
Thanks for your help!

  • Go to rahul vaidya's profile

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    Hi Gabriela,

    I am in Germany(friedrichschafen) from past 1year. I hold an Indian driving License which is valid till 2028.
    Is there any possibility of exchanging my Indian license to a German one.? I just want it for 1 year and I really dont want to spend 2000Euros for it.

    thanks in advance,
    John

  • Go to Md. Ali's profile

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    Like to take training Truck driving in Germany Driving school. At present I am in Dubai. I like to come Germany as a visitor to complet Driving course. so is it possible or not? I hope comoing october I am coming to Germany.

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  • posted by  in Germany forum 

    Some countries restrict imports of vehicles that have their controls arranged differently from the norm for the country, but foreign tourists are usually allowed to drive their odd vehicles while they visit. Why do some countries drive on the right and others on the left ?

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  • Go to ionela Postre's profile

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    I wonder why some countries have a few different traffic rules than the international ones. I just finished a truck driving school Tucson and in my first international route I got a ticket for something that is legal in my country.

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    posted by  in Germany forum 

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  • Go to Matt H's profile

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    "If it was issued by a European Union country, you will never need to exchange it for a German one."

    This is not the case for new many EU photocard liscences (since approx 2000). If the EU licence card expires you have to renew / apply for a new licence the country where you are 'ordinarily resident' (e.g. Germany).

    It may be true if your driving licence never expires such as with many old paper licences. But there are more changes in european law regarding the validity of licences that will be effctivee by 2013. I haven't check to see how this might effect the Old licences since I had a newer one that expired. I had to get a German licence.

  • Gabriela Zafira

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    I found some additional information on German drivers licenses for foreigners, check it out:

    Your own driver's license is valid in Germany, at least at the outset. If it was issued by a European Union country, you will never need to exchange it for a German one. If it was issued by a country outside the EU, you can only use it for six months from your date of arrival. If you will be residing in Germany for longer than six months but less than one year, you can obtain a six-month extension to use your existing license.

    A national of a non-EU country who will be living in Germany longer than a year will need a German driver's license (Führerschein). In many cases this is a simple matter of exchanging the license for a German one. In other cases it will be necessary to take a written exam, a driving test, or both.

    You can simply exchange your license if you come from Canada or the U.S. states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, , New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. (The US Embassy in Germany has information about this at www.usembassy.de/germany/services/drivers_license.html)

    If you come from Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee or Washington D.C. you will need to take the written test, but not the driving test.

    Some Americans who work and live in the German states of Hamburg, Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Saarland may now have it easier. In some cases it may be possible to convert licenses without any written or driving exam no matter what US state they come from. The rules differ somewhat in each of those four German states. In some cases your work must be with an American firm, and in some cases spouses are not allowed to make the simple conversion. Go to www.amcham.de/location-germany/drivers-license.html or check with the local authorities for more information.

    If your license is from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand or any of the U.S. states not listed, you will be required to take both the written and driving examination.

    The written test covers such things as rules of the road and traffic signs. The driving test is administered by a driving school (Fahrschule), but those taking it won't necessarily be treated as beginning drivers. Many schools have set up simplified courses for experienced drivers, which will cost you about €200 as opposed to the over €1,000 that a beginner would have to pay. If a school tells you it doesn't offer such a course, find one that does.

    The driver's license is issued by an agency of the local police. A person must present an application, a passport, a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis), two passport-sized photos, an old driver's license, if any, proof of attendance at a Fahrschule if required, proof of completion of a first aid course and certification of a vision test which either an optometrist or the Technische Überwachungsverein (TüV) may administer..

  • Frank Wagner

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    Learning to drive in Germany is a rather costly process. For the normal license you have to do a mandatory 14 theoretical lessons, 12 practical lessons (4 motorway, 3 night time, 5 country roads), and then however number of actual lessons are required for the actual driving process. Then come extra costs for the test itself and getting the license. In total the costs for learning and getting a license are €1,400 to €2,000.

    If you already have a driving license from a country other than Germany, and you need information on getting it converted to a German license, then read this article: Converting to a German driving license

    Note that the lessons as described above really are mandatory. And you must pay an authorised instructor to teach you. Unlike in other countries, such as the UK, it is not legal to take free lessons from a friend or family member.

    Here is a breakdown of the average costs:

    * Registration & Theory classes: €130-199
    * 12 Special lessons (mandatory): €420-495
    * Theory Test: €49-66
    * Practical Test: €130-160
    * KVR application: €45
    * TUV exam: €87.81

    Those are the items that you must pay. The 12 special lessons involve the normal roads, autobahn, and night driving.

    Normal driving lessons range from about €25 to €32. Most first-time learners require 10 to 20 lessons. Although this is obviously different for everyone.

    So assuming no outside assistance, and let's say 15 of the normal lessons, the cost is approximately €1500 (but probably more) and about 3 to 4 months before you qualify and get on the road.

    You could, in theory, get some extra free practice by jumping in someone else's car in some carpark somewhere. But if the police catch you you're in deep doodoo (which, in all likelihood folks, WILL happen, as curising local car parks looking for evil is probably high on criminal activity agenda).

  • Qentin Briggs

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    Hi Anne! I was checking if I have to do a driver's license in Germany as well. I found some info for US-citizens. Maybe this helps a bit, although the requirements for Polish people might be different:

    A German driving license can be obtained by handing in a US driving license for a period of 3 years after leaving the US. This will not require taking an exam if the license is from one of the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. With licences issued from other states, a theoretical, a practical, or both a theoretical and a practical examination is required.

    A Canadian driving license from Alberta, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon can be exchanged for a German driving license without taking either a theoretical or a practical exam. Driving licenses from Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia require taking both a theoretical and a practical exam.

    You can drive for 6 months with an US or a Canadian driving licence (received during a minimum stay of 185 days). During this time, you have to carry with you a translation and a classification of the licence (offered by the ADAC main office in Saarbrücken).

    To exchange an American or a Canadian driving license from one of the eligible states or provinces, you will need a notarized translation into German, a photograph and a statement from JohanniskircheStr. 4 indicating that you are registered. The office issuing driving licenses is at Gross-Herzog-Friedrich-Str. 111.

    The 6 months you are allowed to drive with your driving license from abroad are also valid for other nationalities. However, when this time expires, most nationalities (Russia, Israel, . . . ) need to apply for a changover of their driving license at the local office, called "Führerscheinstelle" (the changover is only valid for persons staying not longer than 3 years, otherwise they have to take courses to get a German driving license. For the changeover, which costs 42,60 Euros, you need to present:
    + a foto (4,5 x 3,5 cm)
    + your passport
    + a medical test of your eyesight done by an ophtalmologist
    + a certificate of taking part in a 1st-aid-course, literally "Ersthelferausbildung". These courses are given by the local red cross, take 16 hours and cost 25 Euro (they are given in German)
    + german translation of your driving license, done by a translator authorized to work for the local authorities
    + certificate of the Auslaenderamt stating the date of your first entry to Germany

    The office will then send your driving licence to the local police station for a closer check-up (please allow a 8 weeks-period for this). In the meantime and depending on the driving licence's date of issue you get an interim driving allowance. If the police affirms your driving license, you are asked to see a local driving school to do a practical and theoretical test there. Some of the local driving schools offer examination questionaires in English or even Spanish.

  • Nadine Santos

    posted by  in Germany forum 

    Hi Blizzy, I'm not so sure about this. A driving license in the Netherlands costs almost 1000 Euros according to what I've heard - so isn't cheaper at all then in Germany...

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