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.
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