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
- register with an officially approved driving school for at least 14 hours (class B) or 16 hours (classes A, A1, A2) of theoretical training. No minimum number of hours is mandatory for the practical training programme. In Germany there are only minimum requirements for special practical training programmes. The driving instructor must be confident that you are able to pass the test,
- pass a theory test and a practical driving test conducted by an authorised expert.
Minimum age to acquire a driving licence:
Class A1 (up to 125 cm 3 )
Class A2 (up to 35 kW)
Class A (above 35 kW)
Class B (private cars)
If you wish to renew an EU driving licence, you do not need to have a medical check.
Validity of the driving licence:
Driving licences are valid for 15 years . Driving licences issued before 2013 will become invalid on the following dates, and at the latest on 19 January 2033.
I. Driving licences issued up to and including 31 December 1998:
Birth year of the driving licence holder
Date by which the driving licence needs to be replaced
1971 or later
II. Driving licences issued from 1 January 1999 onwards*:
Year of issue
Date by which the driving licence
needs to be replaced
*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.
Please 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
local government authority (addresses of the driving licence authorities).
- 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 passport regulation;
- if applying for a driving licence in classes A, A2, A1, B or BE: certificate from an eye test carried out by an official approved department; 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 at least 50 years old: 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 reasonable;
- 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 already 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 issued by a country outside of the EU or outside of the EEA (not listed in Annex 11 of the Fahrerlaubnisverordnung [Driving licence regulation])
- and was issued without taking a driving test or
was issued on the basis of a counterfeit non-EU or non-EEA driving licence.
Driving licence extension and replacement
Driving licence extension
If you live in Germany as a national of an EU Member State 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 investigations. If you live in Germany, you must undergo additional investigations in order to extend a driving licence in classes C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D or DE. These investigations do not depend on age, but rather on the driving licence class.
Replacement driving licence
If you have lost your driving licence and need a replacement driving licence, please contact:
- the embassy or consulate of your home country if you are not resident in Germany,
- the local driving licence authority if you are resident in Germany.
You must apply for the replacement driving licence immediately.
Loss, theft and replacement of a driving licence
If you have lost your driving licence, you must contact your consulate or your embassy.
If you, as an EU national, lose your driving licence on holiday then you cannot obtain a temporary document or certificate in order to continue your journey.
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Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport
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