• 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..

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