Driving in Germany

International driving licences in Germany

Driving licences from EU or EEA countries
A valid driving licence issued by a member state of the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) may be used in Germany until its expiry date. It is possible to convert the licence to a German licence, but it is not necessary. If the foreign licence is subject to restrictions or conditions, those will also apply in Germany. Drivers who have been driving for less than 2 years are subject to the regulations of the German probationary period.

Driving licences from non-EU or EEA states
A valid driving licence from a country outside the EU or EEA can only be used in Germany for up to 6 months after residency has been established (registration at the Einwohnermeldemat). It is possible to obtain an extension, however, only if there is supporting documentation proving that the total residence period in Germany will not last longer than 12 months. Otherwise, the driving licence will no longer be valid after 6 months and must be converted to a German driving licence.

Licence conversion
As a general rule, the theoretical and practical driving tests must be passed to convert the licence. The written and driving tests are taken at the TÜV. To register and arrange a test date, please contact any driving school who will be able to make the appropriate arrangements for you.

If the EU minimum standards for the driving licence examination are fulfilled by the issuing state or country, the licence holder from the non-EU country may be exempt from the exams (either entirely or in part). A list of the countries which meet these standards are available from ADAC.

The German Road Traffic Licensing Office (Straßenverkehrsamt) is responsible for the transfer of the driving licence. The applicant's place of residence determines the applicable office: Road Traffic Licensing Office of the City of Göttingen