Germany - Exchange Foreign Driver License
As long as you have not taken up normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, you may drive or ride motor vehicles with your valid foreign driving licence for an unlimited period.
After taking up normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, you are entitled to drive or ride motor vehicles for another six months. After this period, your driving licence will no longer be recognized.
If your foreign driving licence is about to expire or is no longer valid, you will receive a German licence of the same category upon request.
If you take up normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, you will need a German driving licence no later than after six months, unless the driver licensing authority has extended the deadline on an exceptional basis.
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Applicants for driving licences must have their normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany. In other words - put simply - they must live here for at least 185 days each year.
- Name of the applicant
- Date of birth
- Current drivers’ licence category
- Apply to the Federal Motor Transport Authority for drivers’ licence exchange.
- Take a practical test
- Take a medical examination
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- An official identity document of the applicant (identity card or passport).
- The 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 to be issued categories C1, C, C1E, CE (HGV), D1, D, D1E, DE (Bus/coach), the certificates and/or opinions regarding the medical examinations, regarding.
- The visual acuity test and regarding the special examination for bus/coach drivers;
- The original of the foreign national driving licence (the International Driving Permit is not sufficient) together with a translation into the German language, unless the driver licensing authority waives the requirement of a translation on an exceptional basis;
- A statement declaring that the foreign driving licence is still valid.
- Certificate of good conduct.
Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.
Validity is generally unlimited.
Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links
Please explain processing time taken in obtaining the document/certificate.
Federal Ministry of Transport and digital infrastructure
Unit L 23
Civil Service and Visitor Services
Citizens Telephone: +49 30 18300 - 3060
(Mon-Fri 9:00 - 12.00 clock)
Inquiries by e-mail to
or via the contact form
Phone: +49 461 316-0
Fax: +49 461 316-1650/1495
Phone: +49 351 47385-0
Fax: +49 351 4738536
Postfach 12 01 53
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What is it like Living in Germany
Living in Germany
You will be issued the German driving licence for the corresponding category of motor vehicles, once you have passed the theory and practical tests for that category.
When taking the practical test, you have to be accompanied by a driving instructor.
Training in a driving school, which is required when obtaining a driving licence for the first time, is not necessary.
It can be used for identification(proof of identity).
Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development in 2005.
Please note that you are not permitted to drive or ride a motor vehicle if you do not or no longer have the entitlement to drive and that doing so will be treated as driving without a driving licence and penalized accordingly.