Driver's Licence

If you want to drive a car in Germany you will need a valid driving licence. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries will generally be required to obtain an international driving permit from their home country.

You will need one of the following to be allowed to drive in Germany:

  • German driving licence
  • International driving permit with attached German translation
  • Driving licence issued in another EU member country
 

Driving licences from certain countries do not require a German translation. This includes all EU countries, the EEA countries of Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, and also Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, New Zealand, Senegal and Hong Kong.

 

Rules for stays of more than six months

If you stay in Germany for more than six months and want to keep driving while you are in the country, you will not be able to use an international driving permit. An international driving permit is only valid for six months from your date of entry, after which you will have to produce a German driving licence. The permit is valid until the final day of the six-month period.  Citizens from EU/EEA states can continue driving for more than six months using their EU driving licence.

 

Conversion to German driving licence

You can obtain a German driving licence by converting your national driving licence at the Bürgeramt in Berlin. This costs €35 to €45. The documentation you will require to convert your national driving licence into a German licence varies depending on your home country.

 

Conversion for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Israel, the USA and South Korea

Citizens of these countries are not required to take another driving test. They must simply pay the fee. However, there are special regulations for some US states - see the following state list. You must surrender your foreign driving licence to be granted a German driving licence.

You will require the following documents to convert your licence:

  • ID
  • Valid residence permit
  • Original and copy of your national (!) driving licence with attached German translation
  • Confirmation of registration from the Bürgeramt
  • Biometric passport photo (35 x 45 mm)
 

Conversion for citizens of all other countries (except EU/EEA)

You are required to take a theory and practical driving test at a ‘Technische Prüfstelle für den Kraftfahrzeugverkehr’ (motor traffic technical testing centre). You must complete this test through a driving school. However, you are not required to have any driving lessons. You must surrender your foreign driving licence to receive a German driving licence.

You will require the following documents to apply for conversion:

  • ID
  • Valid residence permit
  • Original and copy of your national (!) driving licence with attached German translation
  • Confirmation of registration from the Bürgeramt
  • Proof of registration for theory and practical driving test in Germany
  • Prove of enrolment on a first aid course
  • Proof of an eyesight test
  • Biometric passport photo (35 x 45 mm)
 

The process of completing the theory and practical driving test may in some cases take time. Only very few driving schools offer theoretical tests in English, which are generally more expensive than a German test.

 

Tips and advice
 
  • The translation of your national driving licence will be accepted if for example it has been produced by a Career Consular Officer or Honorary Consul for Germany in the issuing state, or by an internationally recognised automobile association in the issuing state.

 

 

How we help:
  • We explain the legal regulations governing driving licences in Germany.
  • We go over the steps required to convert your driving licence and help you with the application.
Do you have other questions?

If so please contact the International Scholar Services.