International Drivers License - Germany

I want to trade in my USAREUR for it


Josh-808
I passed the U.S. Forces Certificate about a month ago and still haven't gotten the actual card. I was told that after I get this card, I can go somewhere and trade it in for an actual International License. I live near Kaiserslautern. Does anyone know where to go and what I need to do to get it? I don't speak much German. Also, does anyone know how long it takes to get the actual U.S. Forces Cert.

Thanks
JG52
My first USAREUR driver's license took about 50 days to arrive and the temporary license was good for 90 days. The renewals took over 30 days, but not as long as the first license.

Why do you want to trade in your USAREUR license...if that is what you are talking about? If you give up your USAREUR license, you can't legally drive a USAREUR registered vehicle.
smokeyalien
You can not do a straight trade for your USAREUR license for a EU license. You need to first register in the town you live in, then get the Germans to verbally confirm they will let you do the trade (this is important), then request a letter from the USAREUR POV folks, and then go and present the USAREUR license and letter to the Germans to get a EU license. They will want to keep the USAREUR license, but they are not allowed as it is US government property.

Problem #1 - The Germans see no reason to give you a EU license when you have a USAREUR one since they consider it gaming the system. You will have to schmooze someone at the local Landratsamt so don't hold your breath unless you are sleeping with someone there.

Problem #2 - They (the Germans and USAREUR) are going to want to know why you are getting an EU license. "Cause I want one" is rarely good enough. The process is in place for those that may be separating from the military and moving onto the economy without working under SOFA and it is still rarely successful without knowing the right people and having history in a place and locals to help you out.

Problem #3 - You need to speak German to schmooze. Getting your girlfriend to 'sprechen sie' for you isn't good enough. You need to do this on your own and realize you are facing German bureaucracy.

Everyone: You will have better success getting a EU license with a US drivers license from a state with reciprocity. Depending on what state your license is from you can get a straight swap for an EU license or you may just have to take the written test with the Germans.
poohsan
international license requires a piece of paper from the office where you got your USAREUR license, a passport-type photo (the machine in the powerzone is adequate) which will be used in the license, and 17euro. Where you get it depends on where you live - the usareur office should be able to tell you; folks in HD can go to ADAC, I had to go to Wiesloch even though the HD ADAC is half the distance from me. Oh, don't forget to bring your passport too. You keep your usareur license.

most of the EU countries don't require an international license, but some allegedly do.
YorkshireLad6
An "International Driving License" is NOT a permit to drive in its' own right, and neither is it a substitute or replacement for a national permit. It's quite simply a multi-lingual interpetration of, and an adjunct to an existing national license.
smokeyalien
I'm pretty sure he is actually asking about getting a EU license and not just the "international license" that you can get to act as a officially recognized document verifying your foreign (American/USAREUR) driver's license is valid in multiple countries. I may be wrong but Josh is going to have to verify exactly what he is asking for.
YorkshireLad6
There is no such thing as an "EU license" either. Each EU member issues their own national permit which accords with an EU model.
VMan
I have had a USAREUR licence since 1996. My current one expires in 2014. The normal process after initially getting your USAREUR permit is to obtain an International Permit in the town where you live. It is good for 3 years and gives you the authority to drive in some EU countries like France or Poland where they do not recognize the USAREUR or do not accept it as the lone driving permit. As far as the EU permit or German permit you have to trade it in and that is normally for people separating from military or Dept of Defense (SOFA) status and residing in Germany under the current alien law.
poohsan
I have had a USAREUR licence since 1996.
VMan should really be VeeOldMan...
Stewart
Since some are talking about two different things (Int Drivers License v. German drivers license), lets be very specific here.

To get an International Drivers License, you do not trade in your USAREUR license. Instead, you simply need a form from the USAREUR drivers license office and one or two passport photos (form will say how many). The form will also tell you where to take or send it. If not, as another said, ask the drivers license office.

You cannot use your USAREUR drivers license to obtain a German (EU) drivers license. However, you can trade in a stateside drivers license for a German (EU) drivers license (no test, no school) if that license is from any one of the many states with a reciprocity agreement with Germany. Moreover, when you return to the USA, your state will also accept that German drivers license in place of the practical and written tests when getting another license there.

You can find out more about that at the American Chamber of Commerce Germany website here: http://www.amcham.de/services/drivers-license/us-citizens-in-germany.html

We (wife & myself) have both now traded in our stateside drivers licenses twice for German drivers licenses (pre-EU and EU). In both instances, the process was quick and easy (under 15 minutes). You'll need a residency registration certificate, a certified translation of the stateside driver's license (ADAC or USAREUR drivers license office), and a passport photo. The AmCham website will explain.

The German drivers license office will take your USA license, send it back to the issuing state, and give you a temp drivers license for Germany. The actual license will arrive in the mail in about three weeks. Most German drivers license offices have translators to deal with the many foreigners obtaining licenses, so language is seldom a problem.

When we returned to the states previously, Washington state accepted the German drivers license just like a license from any another state. We simply filled out a form, gave them the German license, took the eye test, and walked out with a Washington state drivers license.

By the way, that German (EU) drivers license is valid throughout the EU. However, you cannot trade that German drivers license for a UK drivers license. The UK will not accept an EU license issued on the strength of a non-EU drivers license. Thus, while any other EU country will accept it for trade, the UK will not. If you want a UK license, prepare for the entire test process just like a new learner. They even have a big sticker with a large red "L," for "learner," to place on your vehicle while doing so.

Hope someone finds this info useful.

Stewart
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