Acquiring and renewing a driving licence
Information about Rights & Duties
Acquiring and renewing a driving licence
Driver training and driving test
In order to acquire a driving licence you must conclude a contract with an officially recognised driving school. The scope of the training varies greatly from one vehicle class to another. For example, theory training comprises at least 14 hours for class B (car) and 16 hours for the A classes (motorcycle). For practical training, a minimum number of hours is required only for the C classes (lorry) and the D classes (bus). In Germany there are also minimum requirements for special practical training programmes. The driving instructor must be confident that you are able to pass the test. You must also pass a theory test and a practical driving test conducted by an authorised expert.
Minimum age to acquire a driving licence:
- 16 years for class A1 (up to 125 cm3)
- 18 years for class A2 (up to 35 kW)
- 24 years up to class A (over 35 kW)
- 18 years for class B (passenger cars)
Driving licences issued up to and including 31 December 1998:
- If you were born before 1953, you must exchange your driving licence by 19 January 2033
- If you were born between 1965 and 1970, you must exchange your driving licence by 19 January 2024
- If you were born up to 1971 or later, you must exchange your driving licence by 19 January 2025
Driving licences issued from 1 January 1999 onwards*:
- Driving licences issued between 1999 and 2001 must be exchanged by 19 January 2026
- Driving licences issued between 2002 and 2004 must be exchanged by 19 January 2027
- Driving licences issued between 2005 and 2007 must be exchanged by 19 January 2028
- Driving licences issued in 2008 must be exchanged by 19 January 2029
- Driving licences issued in 2009 must be exchanged by 19 January 2030
- Driving licences issued in 2010 must be exchanged by 19 January 2031
- Driving licences issued in 2011 must be exchanged by 19 January 2032
*Driving licence holders born before 1953 must replace their driving licences by 19 January 2033 irrespective of the year in which the driving licence was issued.
If your driving licence issued by another EU Member State has lifelong validity (i.e. has no expiry date), you must have it transferred by no later than 19 January 2033 if your usual place of residence has changed.
Note: The legal situation may change further.
Non-EU driving licences - replacement and approval
You must replace your non-EU driving licence within 6 months of moving.
Where and how?
With your competent
Present the following documents there:
- official identity document of the applicant (ID card or passport)
- registration certificate from the residents registration office
- current photograph, which meets the requirements of the Passverordnung (Passports ordinance)
- if applying for a driving licence in classes A, A2, A1, B or BE: certificate from an eye test carried out by an officially recognised body
if applying for a driving licence in classes C1, C1E, C, CE (lorry), D1, D1E, D or DE (bus): medical certificate confirming sufficient visual acuity
- if applying for a driving licence in classes C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D or DE: medical certificate; applicants for a driving licence in classes D, D1, DE or D1E who are 50 years old or above: additional medical certificate from a company doctor or medical-psychological certificate confirming that their ability to deal with stress and their orientation skills, concentration, attention and reaction speed are suitable;
- if applying for a driving licence: evidence of completing a first-aid course
- your original driving licence issued in another country (an international driving licence is not sufficient) with a translation into German - unless the driving licence agency makes an exception and waives the requirement for a translation
- a declaration that your foreign driving licence is still valid.
If you have previously replaced your non-EU driving licence with an EU driving licence in another EU Member State, you can use this in Germany unless,
- your EU or EEA driving licence was issued on the basis of a driving licence from a country outside the EU or outside the EEA (not listed in Annex 11 to the Fahrerlaubnisverordnung [Driving licence ordinance])
- and was issued without you taking a driving test or
your EU or EEA passport was issued on the basis of a counterfeit non-EU or non-EEA driving licence.
Driving licence extension
If you are a national of an EU Member State living in Germany and wish to extend your driving licence issued in another EU Member State, you can do this with the local driving licence authority. The costs will depend on the individual case. The fees to be paid are between EUR 35 and EUR 40. For bus and lorry drivers, additional fees may also be incurred for medical examinations. If you live in Germany, you must undergo additional examinations to have driving licence in classes C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D or DE extended. These examinations do not depend on age but on the driving licence class.
The addresses of the German driving licence offices can be found there in alphabetical order according to the location and name of the driving licence office (name of district).
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Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport
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