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Driving licence recognition and validity – Germany

Driving licence validity in Germany

Driving licences are valid for 15 years. Licences issued before 2013, lose their validity at the latest on 19 January 2033.

If you hold a driving licence for life (i.e. one that remains administratively valid for an unlimited period) that was issued by another EU country, you will have to exchange the licence by 19 January 2033 after changing your usual place of residence.

Please note: The legal situation may be subject to further changes.

 

Non-EU driving licences - exchange & recognition

You must exchange your non-EU driving licence within 6 months of moving.

To exchange your non-EU driving licence:

  1. go to to the local driving licence authority - Anschriften der Fahrerlaubnisbehörden.

  2. hand in the following documents:

  • an official identity document of the applicant (identity card or passport);
  • a certificate of registration from the Residents' Registration Office;
  • a recent photograph that meets the requirements of the Regulations Implementing the Passport Act (Passverordnung);
  • when applying for a Category A, A2, A1, B or BE driving licence, eye test certificate from an officially recognized body; when applying for a Category C1, C1E, C, CE (HGV), D1, D1E, D or DE (bus/coach) driving licence, a medical certificate proving adequate visual acuity;
  • when applying for a Category C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D or DE driving licence, you must submit a medical certificate ; applicants for a Category D, D1, DE or D1E driving licence who are aged 50 or over also have to submit a medical certificate issued by an occupational health officer or a medico-psychological certificate confirming that their ability to cope with stress and their faculties of orientation, concentration, attention and reaction are adequate;
  • proof that you have attended a training session on emergency life-saving measures for Categories A and B (including trailer and sub categories) or proof that you have completed a first aid training course for Categories C and D (including trailer and sub categories);
  • the original driving licence issued by the other country (an International Driving Permit is not sufficient) together with a translation into the German language, unless the driving licencing authority makes an exception and waives the requirement for a translation;
  • a statement declaring that your foreign driving licence is still valid.

 

If you have previously exchanged a non-EU driving licence for an EU licence in another EU country, you can use it in Germany unless:

  • your EU or EEA driving licence was issued on the basis of a driving licence issued by a non-EU or non-EEA country (not listed in Annex 11 of the Driver Licencing Regulations)
  • and without taking a driving test, or
  • on the basis of a forged non-EU or non-EEA driving licence.

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