Converting a driver's license to a German one

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I did this recently and thought I'd mention it here because I was suprised by how easy it was, considering we're in Germany:

 

I'd put off exchanging it for the last 3 years because I thought I'd probably have to fill in loads of forms, and it probably wouldn't be worth the effort anyway since the address on the british one was still valid.

 

That all changed recently when the address became invalid, so I braced myself for the bureaucracy and headed off down to the Führerscheinstelle at the KVR in Implerstrasse. After waiting around 15 minutes in the waiting room my number came up and I went into the office... only to be told I was in the wrong place - they only exchanged German licenses and I should have gone to the office in Eichstätterstr on the other side of town!

 

The woman was quite nice about it though - she gave me a little note saying I didn't have to wait again and I was allowed to go straight in to the other office ahead of the 20-odd people who were already waiting there.

 

In the end, all I had to do was give them a photo, my passport and my old license, pay the fee (35 euros) and sign in the box. I didn't have to fill in any forms - they got all the info from their computer with my passport number - so I was in the office for no longer than about 10 minutes.

 

I got the new license about 4 weeks later. They took my old one off me, but I kept a photocopy of it just in case. I'm wondering if it's worth contacting the UK authority and telling them I've lost it...

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Sounds interesting... I still have some points and an old ban left on my British licence, I wonder if they carry them over? And what would then happen if you were to return to Blighty and exchange your German licence for a British one?

 

I feel a good scam coming along...

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this don't work for us americans though. i almost couldn't transfer my u.s. license into a german once 'cause i waited too long. after 3 years of being registered in germany (didn't deregister after my language course), then it's too late. your old license is invalid & you have to the german driving test. there they make their €1000 and not knowing is not an excuse.

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Attention all Canadians:

 

All provinces and territories have an exchange arrangement with Germany for automobile drivers' licences.

You may exchange your Canadian licence for a German one at your local German Strassenverkehrsamt without undergoing testing. However it is not written if you have to give away your Canadian one in exchange. I will let you know how I manage since I need to get a German driver's license soon.

 

This info was taken from the Canadian Embassy website:

 

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canada-europa...abroad04-en.asp

 

Did you know that Germans have to undergo testing when they apply for a Canadian drivers license? That should give them their own dose of red tape!

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Unfortunately that doesn't help those of us who've been here longer than 3 years. When I first moved here, they didn't have that rule, you had to take the test. Then they changed it, that you could just exchange the licence, as long as you hadn't been here longer than 2 or 3 years (can't remember now). Guess who had been here just a little too long? :cry:

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Showen, I thought you were Irish? At least you sounded it when I met you briefly at the cinema last week.

 

Anway, if you are, and you have an Irish drivers license, you don't have to worry about being here too long to exchange it. Holders of European drivers licenses don't have to change them.

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AM is correct, I am Canadian, with no Irish ties. As we said about 5 words to each other at the movie Spud (brief being a very accurate description) I'm not surprised that wasn't enough to pick up the subtleness of the Canadian accent...

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Spud,

 

Didn't you need a letter from your mother (country) saying that you hadn't been disqualified from driving?

 

I did a pre-emptive paperwork query once, just to see how dificult it would be to change from another EU country. They said I needed this letter, but not the new licence. You can drive as long as you want on any other EU licence.

 

I believe this has the added advantage of not acumulating those pesky demerit points when you've done something untoytownish.

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No, all I needed was my passport, a photo, and the old license. I didn't have to fill in anything - all the info was pre-printed on the forms from the database and I just signed in the box.

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Spud,

 

You mention a 35 Euro fee to change your British license. I've been told that this is for the translation fee, and that the actual license document may have a separate cost.

 

I hold a Canadian passport, and my residence changed 7 months ago. I've been driving a car ever since my arrival in Munich, but I read that I had 6 months to exchange my driver's license without have to take a test. Does anyone know what happens after you pass the 6 month barrier? Do I have to take 2000 Euros worth of retarded courses even though I have 8 years of driving experience ... or is it a 200 Euro test?

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No, the fee was only for exchanging the license. There was no translation because my previous license was from the EU.

 

I had one of the old style british drivers licenses (A4 sheet of paper, no photo), which was legally still valid to drive in Germany with, even though it had the wrong address on it.

 

The only reason I ended up changing it here was because I wanted a credit-card sized one and the UK license agency wouldn't let me have a UK one with a German address on it. The only other way to do it would be to get a UK one with a "care of" address in the UK, but I didn't want to do that.

 

Technically, what I did was pretty much the same as if a German went in to replace his old paper license with the credit-card one. The difference was I had to go to a specific office.

 

I have no idea what you'll have to do to change your Canadian license, but it will undoubtedly be more complicated, particularly if you've exceeded the 6-month limit.

 

BTW, If you have gone over the 6-month limit, I wouldn't recommend driving any more till you get a new license...

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if people know they can only drive for 6 months, then why wait 7 to try to get a german license? sorry, but isn't the threatened €1500 new driver's license fee worth checking into this? i hope you can get around the rules. i really do 'cause the german's don't take "i didn't know" for an answer. i would call the consulate. i know on the u.s. page they have info for this there.

 

i came at a time when you could drive for 1 year, then had up to 3 years to get the new license. bone head that i was, i failed to deregister when i first left germany so i was technically registered for 3 years 2 months although i was only present in germany for 2!

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What's this about 6 months? I thought it was 2 years? Or is it 2 years for EU citizens?

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I had been told that I could wait at most 1 year to exchange my license, but then yesterday I read on the Canadian Consulate webpage that "If you will be in Germany for longer than 6 months, you must obtain a German driver's license prior to the end of your first six months in Germany". I wasn't sure if that meant you would have to undergo testing beyond 6 months or if the right to drive with a foreign license expired. The matter was clarified to me this morning - the latter was the case.

 

After paying 36 Euros for a translation at the ADAC Munich headquarters, I headed to the KFZ (2nd floor). They did not check anything whatsoever relating to how long I had been in Germany. They only checked the expiration date on my license. All Canadian provinces and some US States (ex: California is not included) have agreements to exchange licenses. I paid an additional 35 Euros to get my German license (no testing, no courses required). I suggest to any North Americans to get this done before reaching 1 year of residency in Germany. Again, the only date that mattered to them was the expiration date of my license but I would go to be on the safe side.

 

A colleague at the office is from India, and has an Indian license. Not so lucky for him - he has to take an exam. He's also taking courses, but I think thats only cause he's not comfortable driving in Germany since he has not driven in 3 years.

 

One last detail. You don't get your german license on the spot. In 5-7 weeks I am getting a notice in the mail to pick up my german license. At that time I absolutely have to relenquish my Canadian license, which I am keepign in the meantime. I suggested to my girlfriend, who has been in Germany for 2 months, to renew her license in Canada before coming to Germany. This way she has two licenses from Canada with valid expiration dates. (They don't take it away like they do in Germany). So in 5-6 weeks, she's going to give away the old one and keep the new one .. this way no headache when she returns to Canada ... I, on the other hand, am going to play the "I lost my license" trick in Canada and get a new one in July :)

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why did you have to pay for a translation? i didn't. they had a list at the dept. of motor vehicles and looked up what i could do with my oregon d.l. i had to take the theoretical test, luckily, 'cause driving practice was already recognized, thus saving me nearly DM 1200! all in all i paid around DM 250 for my license (new photos: needed a heller background).

 

it was there after applying for my license, did i almost get stuck with having to do the whole thing 'cause on my registration form (they do call the einwohnhermeldeamt) it said i had been in DE for 3 yrs. 2 months. i got the rejection letter after the application was filled out. luckily my case worker believe i had only been inthe coutny for 2 years (stamps in passport).

 

so isaak, i would only say it's over, when you hav the thing in your hand!

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I went to get the translation first because I did not want to waste another day running around from one department to another accross town - since I was not sure if it was a requirement.

 

I wasted a total of 3 days running around Munich to get my car "Tuv-ed" and registered ... so I didn't want to waste more time through the german bureaucratic obstacle course.

 

At the KFZ (German version of the Department for Motor Vehicles - where you get drivers licenses, plates ...), not only do they have a full time job with benefits for a license plate sticker presser, they also have a full time job with 41k for a license sticker remover -LOL- Do you think that that position required 6 years of professional training like a german chimney cleaner? Sorry to offend some, but thats just too hilarious.

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Holy Moses!

I've been driving around for 5years on my UK licence. Have I been breaking a rule? If so, will I be jailed?

Now I'm scared to go to this DVLC place or whatever it's called in Germany to swap it for one of theirs. :shock:

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I'm in the process of getting a German licence. I have to take the tests (both practical and theory). The whole thing pisses me off, though because I've driven in Australia for 9 years and was allowed to drive in Germany for the first 6 months. As soon as I got used to the road conditions here and driving on the wrong side of the road, I wasn't allowed to drive anymore. I want to be able to drive here, so I really don't have a choice, but to follow these stupid laws.

 

Pointless.

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I've been driving around for 5years on my UK licence. Have I been breaking a rule? If so, will I be jailed?

No, you can drive with the UK licence for as long as you want. They used to have a 2-year limit on it, but they dropped it.

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