Foreign, International and German Driving Licences

Do you hold a driving licence issued outside of Germany? Are you legal to drive on German roads with your licence? Find out here, and how to exchange your licence if you need to...

Anyone driving any type of motor vehicle on the roads in Germany must have a valid driving licence (Führerschein). This licence must be carried on all journeys and must be presented to an official on demand.

Licence holders may only drive the category of vehicle for which their licence is valid.

German Driver's Licences

Some foreigners in Germany must exchange their licence for a German one, some may make the exchange if they wish, while yet others may not exchange their licence and will need to take a full driving test (theory and practical) in order to get a German driving licence. Licence holders may only drive the category of vehicle for which their licence is valid.

  • For comprehensive information on the different categories of driving licence: Click here
Validity and Use of International Driving Licences

For holders of EU or EEA licences, an international driving licence does not offer any added value for driving within the EEA, as it always has to be shown together with the Community model national driving licence.

Those from outside the EU may apply for an International Driving Licence in their country of origin. They may drive in Germany with an international licence for one year, but must also carry their national driving licence. However, once officially resident in Germany all non-EU drivers should obtain a German driving licence.

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