Vehicle: Driver card (digital recording equipment)

Driving and rest times are recorded with the help of the digital recording equipment.

The use of digital recording equipment is required for certain motor vehicles placed on the market for the first time from 1 May 2006. Affected are vehicles that

  • are used for the carriage of goods and whose maximum permissible weight, including trailers or semi-trailers, exceeds 3,5 tonnes, and
  • Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers which, according to their design and equipment, are suitable and intended to carry more than nine persons, including the driver.

The digital recording equipment records driving and rest times, makes manipulations at the expense of general road safety more difficult and facilitates controls.

The driver card replaces the previous speedometer disc and stores the driving and rest times for at least 28 days. After that, the oldest data is overwritten. Each driver may only have one valid driver card. This is checked (national: Central Recording Equipment Card Register, international: TACHOnet).

The following data can be read:

  • surname, first name, date of birth, photograph and signature of the applicant,
  • Driving licence number,
  • nationality of the issuing state,
  • Period of validity (from/to),
  • driving and rest periods (including interruption and whether the driver has driven alone or in two-driver operation),
  • data relating to the vehicle (operating times, date, official registration number, mileage),
  • Events, errors and controls.

The applicant should have his/her main residence in Germany or prove an employment relationship in Germany.
The driver card can only be obtained by holders of a valid driving licence in the form of a card driving licence. If a card driver's license is not yet available, it must be applied for at the same time as the driver card is applied for. At least one of the following categories of driving licences must be proven: B, BE, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D or DE.

  • EU card driving licence (for holders of a German driving licence) or proof of a driving licence issued in another EU/EEA country or third country (possibly certified translation),
  • Identity card or passport in conjunction with a confirmation of registration,
  • Biometric photograph of a new date, against a bright background in size 35 x 45 mm, showing the applicant without headgear in half profile.


Information on the recording equipment card register and the digital EC recording equipment can be found on the website of the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).

  • KBA

§ 5 Ordinance on the Implementation of the Driving Personnel Act (Fahrpersonalverordnung - FPersV).

Related Links

  • § 5 FPersV

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