Driving licence first issued

If you want to drive a motor vehicle in Germany, you need a corresponding driving license.

You apply for the first driving licence if you are not yet in possession of a driving licence. Later extensions of your driving licence build on this.

Driving licences are divided into certain classes. Driving licences of categories AM, A, A1, A2, B, BE, L and T are issued for an indefinite period. For categories C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE, the driving licence is issued for a longer five years.

Your driving licence is proven by the driving licence.

To obtain your driving licence for the first time, you must complete theoretical and practical training in a driving school. In addition, you must take a theoretical and a practical driving licence examination (exception for class L, here only theoretical training and examination).

Note: You should apply for a driving licence as early as you start your training in driving school.

You can submit the required application to the driving licence authority responsible for your place of residence at the earliest six months before reaching the minimum age applicable to the desired driving licence class. The competent authority shall then check whether there are any concerns about your suitability to drive motor vehicles. If there are no concerns, the Technical Testing Centre will be charged with testing your ability to drive motor vehicles.

The theoretical examination may be taken no earlier than three months and that of the practical examination at the earliest one month before the minimum age is reached. There must be at least one month's distance between the practical and theoretical tests.

If you do not pass these exams, you can usually repeat them after two weeks at the earliest. The number of repetitions is not limited.

Note: Young people in Germany can drive category B motor vehicles under escort from the age of 17 onwards ("Accompanied driving at 17"). To do this, you must designate an accompanying person who

  • is at least 30 years old,
  • has been in possession of a category B driving licence or a corresponding category for five consecutive years, and
  • maximum of one point in the driving suitability register in Flensburg.

Note: In Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, young people can obtain their moped driving licence at the age of 15.

For all classes:

  • valid identity card, valid passport or other identity document
  • current, biometric photo in format 45x35mm in portrait format, frontal image, with neutral background without headgear
  • Proof of first aid training
  • Name of the owner and address of your driving school

In addition, for classes AM, A1, A2, A, B, BE, L or T:

  • Proof of a visual test (optician or ophthalmologist)

In addition for classes C, C1, CE, C1E, D, D1, DE, D1E:

  • Ophthalmological opinion (certificate of vision examination), not more than two years old when applying
  • Medical opinion (certificate of physical and mental fitness), not older than one year when applying

In addition for classes D, D1, DE, D1E:

  • Leadership certificate Document type "O"
  • Expert opinion on resilience, orientation, concentration, attention and reaction performance (function and performance test)

In addition for class B for "accompanied driving with 17":

  • Copy of the identity card of all accompanying persons (both sides)
  • Copy of the driver's license of all accompanying persons (both sides)

Forms: yes

Online procedure possible: Depending on the competent driving licence authority

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: Depending on the competent driving licence authority


The driving licence is issued to you for the respective class if you

  • have your normal residence in Germany,
  • suitable for driving motor vehicles,
  • have been trained to drive motor vehicles in a driving school,
  • have demonstrated the ability to drive motor vehicles in a theoretical and practical test,
  • can provide first aid and
  • have no driving licence of this class issued in a Member State of the European Union or any other State Party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.

In addition, a certain minimum age must be met for the class requested:

  • Classes AM, A1, L and T: 16 years (AM also 15 years in the countries of the model test)
  • Class B: 18 years
  • Class B, BE for "Accompanied driving from 17": 17 years
  • Classes A2, B, BE, C1, C1E: 18 years
  • Classes D1, D1E, C, CE: 21 years
  • direct access Class A, Classes D and DE: 24 years


You must take the practical examination at the place of your main residence or at the place of your school or vocational training, your studies or your job. Evidence must be provided for the location of the test site. The application for this can be submitted to the driving licence authority.

Related Links

  • Regulation on the authorisation of persons to road transport (FeV)

Related Links

  • Information on all driving licence classes on the inter-net page of the Federal Ministry of Transport
  • Information on the conditions for driving licence and validity on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport

As a rule, you must apply for your desired driving licence in person.

  • You can apply for the first-time issue of a driving licence with the required documents and information, depending on the
    • at your local driving licence authority,
    • at the citizen's office responsible for you or
    • to another competent authority/body under national law.
  • When applying, you must indicate which driving school you are trained with.
  • The driving licence authority then determines whether there are any concerns about your suitability. This takes a certain amount of time, which is why you should apply at the beginning of driving school training.
  • If only the required driving licence test has to be taken, the production of a driving licence is ordered from the Bundesdruckerei. The competent technical inspectorate shall be entrusted with carrying out its examination. From this point on, you have one year to take the exam.
  • After you have successfully completed both the theoretical and any practical examinations required, you will receive the card driver's license
    • either directly from your examiner,
    • by the driving licence authority or
    • from the Federal Printing Office. Until you receive the card driver's license, you will receive a provisional driving licence from your examiner.

Note: When a driving licence is first issued, it shall be issued on probation, with the exception of categories AM, L and T. The probationary period lasts two years from the date of issue. If you commit serious or two less serious offences (including both offences and administrative offences) during the probationary period, which must be entered in the driving suitability register, the driving licence authority shall order you to carry out a post-trial seminar. The probationary period is then extended for a further two years.

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Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

Last update or date of publication