Driver's license

The driver’s license office (Führerscheinstelle) is responsible for all questions related to a driving permit. To be eligible to obtain a German driver’s license, your main residence must be in Germany, i.e. you must live in Germany for at least 185 days of the year.

Owners of a valid driver’s license from an EU or EEA country are normally not required to exchange their driver’s license for a German driver’s license. An EU or EEA driver’s license is usually valid until it expires. If your driver’s license was acquired in a non-EU or EEA country, it is normally valid in Germany for 6 months from the date of registration in Germany, before you are required to exchange it for a German driver’s license. For all non-EU countries, a differentiation is made between countries listed under Annex 11 (so called Anlage 11-Staaten) and third countries. Special rules apply for countries listed under Annex 11. You can enquire at the driver’s license office to see if which rules apply for the country of origin of your driver’s license.

You will require the following documents to exchange your foreign driver’s license: 

  • Come in person to the driver’s license office to apply 
  • One current biometric passport photo 
  • ID card, passport 
  • First registration confirmation (immigration to Germany) 
  • Eye test certificate 
  • Valid foreign driver’s license

For a foreign driver’s license issued by a third country you will also need: 

  • An official translation by an accredited automobile club or by a notarized translator 
  • In some cases a theoretical and practical test 
  • Proof of training in first aid

Additional provisions apply for exchanging a driver’s license of class C, CE, D, and DE. Please enquire at the driver’s license office with your foreign driver’s license in advance when you register your main residence to clear up any questions you may have concerning validity or exchanging driver’s licenses.

Further informations