Caught driving without a license

97 posts in this topic

Posted

Unfortunately on Thursday I had the misfortune of being rear-ended by an old man while driving my car.

The police were called and upon checking out my license and asking how long I have been here (over 6 months) they told me they weren't so sure but think I might be driving illegally.

They then called their Boss and others at the station who didn't know about it either.. So we finished up the paperwork at the accident the guy got written up with a verwarnungsstrafe for 35 Euro and was deemed at fault. The police woman took my cell phone number and said she would call me later.

Later that day I got a phone call from her saying that my license is not valid here and if I get caught driving again I will be committing a crime.

I then asked again if I will be getting a ticket or something in the mail. She said they have to talk to their lawywers or something and shes not sure.

The SAME day I called around for driving schools and have started the necessary paperwork to get my license changed RIGHT AWAY! I even have a contract.

I was not ticketed or anything on site... Could be there severe repercussions for this?

Sorry for being irresponsible but need some advice here.

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Posted

Do I have a big problem?

I don't think so, unless you get caught driving again.

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Posted

Had the accident been your fault, I believe your insurance could refuse to pay up.

Sounds like you skated by this time.

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Posted

Have you checked to see if you can just swap your US licence for a German one. Some states have an agreement with Germany that allows this. Unfortunately it does depend on which state it was issued, but it could save you a lot of money.

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Posted

It sounds like they're going to present your case to the state prosecution office, who will decide whether to press charges against you for driving without a license. If they do, I'm afraid you'll probably be looking at a fairly substantial fine - 10 to 30 Tagessätze.

Cross your fingers.

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Posted

There is little or no doubt that you were driving illegally, and you may be prosecuted (for driving without a valid driving licence). The maximum penalty for this is 6 months imprisonment or 180 days salary as fine (StVo §21) but I'm sure this is not something you should expect. If you are prosecuted you can expect a fine (which may be high) and a driving ban of 3 months. It's lucky you were not at fault with the accident (I hope there is no doubt of this) or you will find you are not insured either.

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Posted

The USA embassy in Germany has the official opinion on this issue. Limitations and reciprocity (which includes many states).

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Posted

If you have a New York licence (you said you are from NYC), you will have to do everything from scratch. So it sounds even if they don't go after you for driving with an invalid licence, you will not be driving for awhile as you will have to take both tests. I know I had to wait about a weeks' time to get an appointment for a written test and two for the practical test.

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Posted

Do you know the approximate reaction distance, based on the rule of thumb, if your vehicle is traveling at 100kph, having a reaction time of 1 second and braking normally? If not, you will need to do a bit of study for the theory exam. There are 900 possible questions and 30 will be chosen randomly. I think the pass rate must be 91%?

Good luck and hope you will not have to shell out hundreds and hundreds of Euros. You dodged a big one there, driving illegally, I mean. Let's hope the guy that clobbered you does not find out that you did not have a valid license. He might try to make a case that YOU are the reason for the accident and you should not have been there in the first place.

Answer: 30 meters

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Posted

You were driving without a license, you will get some fine, some points for your not yet existing German driving license and you might be banned from making a license for up to one year.

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Posted

Stupid though it may seem, it's not impossible he may have to take an MPU (aka "Idiot") test before he can apply for a new license too.

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Posted

I don't think so, driving with no license only gives 3 or 4 points, IIRC. And the accident was not that big to give him lots of points, worst case scenario would be 1 point more. I think he would need to be caught like 3 times with no driving license in order to get MPUed. Or combine it with driving drunk with no license.

However, If he does not do the conversion then his driving experience won't be taken over and his brand new license will have a Probezeit, with already points in his license it will be a big risk if he makes more points then. The Probezeit might be extended for two more additional years, or be sent back to take the tests again or maybe even sent to take the MPU.

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Posted

driving with no license only gives 3 or 4 points,

I don't believe so. These points are when you are caught without a valid license on you, but a valid license at home. His case is different. He doesn't have a valid license at all.

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Posted

I don't think you get any points for forgetting your wallet at home. The maximum you can get is 7 points and that's when you drive with a suspended license. A quick Google says there is a new version (2012) of the Flensburg table that reduced the points a lot.

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Posted

A typical first offender for "Fahren ohne Fahrererlaubnis" (which is different to "Fahren ohne Führerschein") can expect 10-30 Tagessätze fine (i.e. up to a months salary), 6 points in Flensburg and a driving ban of 6-12 months. Without being too optimistic, while technically the offence here is clear, it would be pretty nasty for the OP to have the book thrown at him when he actually has a licence, albeit one that is not valid in Germany. He may be able to mitigate the penalties to the lower end of the scale. I agree that even if the accident was 100% not his fault, he may have additional problems if the bloke that hit him finds out he had no valid license, so better to keep this under wraps as much as possible.

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Posted

I don't believe so. These points are when you are caught without a valid license on you, but a valid license at home. His case is different. He doesn't have a valid license at all.

A friend of mine was recently stopped and her license was at home. She paid 10€ on the spot, and had to go to the police station to show them her license. That was it.

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Posted

That's the "standard" fine for not carrying your license ("Fahren ohne Führerschein")

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Posted

please allow me to hijack this thread segue a bit - what does one actually have to present as documentation to show that one is eligible to apply for a German DL?

I ask as I'm here on SOFA (with the US Military) and my stateside license expired and my state's process for renewing overseas is pretty straight-forward, as long as one is actually in the military or employed directly by them (which as a contractor I'm not), otherwise they want a long list of items - some of which I can provide - current property tax statement; some of which I can't provide - copy of a state resident tax return - per my state's laws I file as non-resident; and some that they wouldn't accept - "Send us a current bank statement from a local bank and prove that you've had the account for X years" - did that "but the current address listed isn't a local address!!" Well, d'uh, I live overseas which is why I'm trying to renew the dang thing via the renewal process for people living overseas; WTF would I have my bank statements sent to a local address and not my current overseas address? :blink:

So now that my state license is expired I wondered if it was still possible to get a German DL (some old-timer contractors did "back in the day")? I have my Army issued DL and an IDL so I'm good for Europe but I want to have something valid if and when I ever visit the states and need a rental car.

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