Converting a US driver's license to a German one

174 posts in this topic

Summarizing my experience of exchanging my US driver's license in Munich

 

1. Only certain states in the US have an agreement with Germany to allow for an exchange of the US to DE drivers license without taking a drivers test in Germany. (MA has an agreement)

2. If the drivers license is less than 2 years old then you would be required to submit a Drivers Record (Unattested is fine) from the DMV in the US. For MA you can order the Drivers Record from their website.

3. Depending on the agreement between the state and Germany, the US drivers license might be returned to the issuing state once a German drivers license has been issued.

4. If your US drivers has been issued for less than 2 years then you are still eligible for a German drivers license but you would be subject to a 2 year probation period minus the period from when your US license was issued. If you are involved in an accident then you would need to undergo the drivers tests in Germany.

5. The US drivers license and Driver Record have to be translated in German before submitting the application for exchanging the drivers license.

6. Fill out the application from for transferring the foreign license to the German license.

7. Go to the Kreisverwaltungsreferat, Fahrerlaubnisbehörde (License Authority) at Eichstätter Str. 2. The office opens at 7am so be there at least half an early. http://www.muenchen.de/Rathaus/kvr/service/offen/38198/index.html

8. Please take your application form, license translation, biometric photograph (x1) and passport with you. The application cost is €35. http://www.muenchen.de/Rathaus/kvr/strverkehr/fuehrersch/102680/umus11.html

9. Just sign the application that the official gives you and you will receive a letter in 4-6 weeks informing you that your license is ready. They will give you a piece of paper

 

Hope this makes your life a little easier! :)

The only part I can comment on here is number 2.       They don't care how long you have had the license,   it is how long you have been insured (with NO claims)    If you had a license for 10 years,  but only on a vehicle insurance then you will have to jump through hoops with insurance, possibly a police afadavit attesting to NO record of tickets.    My local PD typed one up in 20 minutes for 50 bucks.    stamped it, and that was sufficient.    I got this even though I had documented no accidents and no insurance surcharges for 4 years.   I wanted any ammo i could bring to Munich when I moved.

 

Big time issue on #4,  If you have accidents showing on documents or points it's going to require you to attend the driving schule.   (Minus 2000E)

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7 states? No way. This is the list:

 

US State

PracticalWritten
Alabamaexemptexempt
Arizonaexemptexempt
Arkansasexemptexempt
Coloradoexemptexempt
Connecticutexempt 
Delaware exemptexempt
Floridaexempt 
Idahoexemptexempt
Illinoisexemptexempt
Indianaexempt 
Iowaexemptexempt
Kansasexemptexempt
Kentuckyexemptexempt
Louisianaexemptexempt
Marylandexemptexempt
Massachusettsexemptexempt
Michiganexemptexempt
Minnesotaexempt 
Mississippiexempt 
Missouriexempt 
Nebraskaexempt 
New Mexicoexemptexempt
North Carolinaexempt 
Ohioexemptexempt
Oklahomaexemptexempt
Oregonexempt 
Pennsylvaniaexemptexempt
Puerto Ricoexemptexempt
South Carolinaexemptexempt
South Dakotaexemptexempt
Tennesseeexempt 
Texasexemptexempt
Utahexemptexempt
Virginiaexemptexempt
Washington D.C.exempt 
Washington Stateexemptexempt
West Virginiaexemptexempt
Wisconsinexemptexempt
Wyomingexemptexempt
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  On 9/5/2014, 3:41:32, chrisv_7 said:

Summarizing my experience of exchanging my US driver's license in Munich

 

1. Only certain states in the US have an agreement with Germany to allow for an exchange of the US to DE drivers license without taking a drivers test in Germany. (MA has an agreement)

2. If the drivers license is less than 2 years old then you would be required to submit a Drivers Record (Unattested is fine) from the DMV in the US. For MA you can order the Drivers Record from their website.

3. Depending on the agreement between the state and Germany, the US drivers license might be returned to the issuing state once a German drivers license has been issued.

4. If your US drivers has been issued for less than 2 years then you are still eligible for a German drivers license but you would be subject to a 2 year probation period minus the period from when your US license was issued. If you are involved in an accident then you would need to undergo the drivers tests in Germany.

5. The US drivers license and Driver Record have to be translated in German before submitting the application for exchanging the drivers license.

6. Fill out the application from for transferring the foreign license to the German license.

7. Go to the Kreisverwaltungsreferat, Fahrerlaubnisbehörde (License Authority) at Eichstätter Str. 2. The office opens at 7am so be there at least half an early.http://www.muenchen.de/Rathaus/kvr/service/offen/38198/index.html

8. Please take your application form, license translation, biometric photograph (x1) and passport with you. The application cost is €35.http://www.muenchen.de/Rathaus/kvr/strverkehr/fuehrersch/102680/umus11.html

9. Just sign the application that the official gives you and you will receive a letter in 4-6 weeks informing you that your license is ready. They will give you a piece of paper

 

Hope this makes your life a little easier! :)

 

 

Hi guys,

 

I did this just this morning and wanted to add my experience.  I'm in Munich and wanted to exchange my MA, USA license.  I moved here (registered almost 6 months ago).

1.  Because I had vision correction surgery since my MA license was issued I went to my local Optik without an appointment and got a Sehetest (6,50 euro), make sure you bring either your Reisepass or Ausweis.

 

2.  Then I went to the ADAC (near Ostbahnhof) to get my license transferred.  I went by at 9am, paid 55 euro (died a little inside) by Mastercard (they accept EC, Mastercard and VIsa) and left.  They called me 5 hours later saying it was ready for pickup.

 

3.  Today I arrived exactly at opening time to the Führerscheinstelle at Eichstätter St 2. With me I brought my passport, sehetest, abmeldung (which wasn't necessary since I had initially registered in Munich), my original license and my translation.  You walk in, check-in at the front (right where you enter) and get a number where they send you to a specific floor and waiting area.  The whole thing took an hour.  Paid 35 euro with my EC card.  They gave me a temp license (did not return my MA) and said they would let me know in about 6 weeks when my German one is ready.

 

 

 

 

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hi, Does the translation have to be official or can i get one of my friends to do the translation ? Also the link for the form doesnt work anymore. Where can i download this form from?

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31 minutes ago, pmakaram said:

hi, Does the translation have to be official or can i get one of my friends to do the translation ? Also the link for the form doesnt work anymore. Where can i download this form from?

 

You will need an official translation, usually with the class on the driver's license to be exchanged.

 

Are you in Munich or Berlin?  The poster used links for Munich, your profile says Berlin.  If you are in Berlin, go to the city's website from Berlin and get their forms directly.  Depending on where your friend is from, they need to determine if they will need to test.  If they need to take the tests, then they should just find a driving school that will help them through the whole process.

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I also exchanged my MA drivers license in Munich.

 

They did take my MA license when I did the application, but they gave it back to me when I went to pick up my German license.

 

Granted this was in Munich, not Berlin, but they also told me that I HAD to get the license translation done at ADAC. 

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hey, thanks . I am moving from Berlin to Munich this weekend.  Guess I will definitely have to get my MA drivers license translated at ADAC just to be on the safer side. 

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I currently live in Hamburg, and am in the process of getting my Ohio license traded in for a German one. What I was told is that as long as your US license is still valid, you are able to obtain a German license without having to take any expensive classes and tests. However, after living in Germany for 6 months may not drive here legally without a German license. 

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4 minutes ago, JYellon said:

I currently live in Hamburg, and am in the process of getting my Ohio license traded in for a German one. What I was told is that as long as your US license is still valid, you are able to obtain a German license without having to take any expensive classes and tests. However, after living in Germany for 6 months may not drive here legally without a German license. 

This is true.

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6 minutes ago, JYellon said:

I currently live in Hamburg, and am in the process of getting my Ohio license traded in for a German one. What I was told is that as long as your US license is still valid, you are able to obtain a German license without having to take any expensive classes and tests. However, after living in Germany for 6 months may not drive here legally without a German license. 

 

The 6 month part is correct.  However, the first partly depends on which state you come from and is not valid for all states in the US. See here:  http://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/EN/Artikel/LA/validity-foreign-driving-licences-in-germany.html?nn=68908#doc61604bodyText6

 

Further details:  http://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/EN/Anlagen/VerkehrUndMobilitaet/Strasse/driving-licence-provisions-fact-sheet.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

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Cappy: No, it's not only 7 states, as others have now shown. And no, the insurance bit appears to be incorrect-- plenty of folks (myself included) have show no records/insurance, etc. 

 

Unless things have changed recently, you do not need an ADAC translation. But you do need an official translation by someone who has the right qualifications/notary to stamp it and make it official. I found someone on here who did it for less than ADAC, but that was a while ago (no, I don't remember who). 

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On January 29, 2016 at 12:21:53 PM, JYellon said:

I currently live in Hamburg, and am in the process of getting my Ohio license traded in for a German one. What I was told is that as long as your US license is still valid, you are able to obtain a German license without having to take any expensive classes and tests. However, after living in Germany for 6 months may not drive here legally without a German license. 

 

On January 29, 2016 at 12:29:51 PM, slycookies said:

 

The 6 month part is correct.  However, the first partly depends on which state you come from and is not valid for all states in the US. See here:  http://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/EN/Artikel/LA/validity-foreign-driving-licences-in-germany.html?nn=68908#doc61604bodyText6

 

Further details:  http://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/EN/Anlagen/VerkehrUndMobilitaet/Strasse/driving-licence-provisions-fact-sheet.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

 

Actually for Hamburg and a few other German states, the rules are different and much simpler. From http://www.amcham.de/services/overview/information/drivers-license/

 

Quote

The four German states of Hamburg, Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein have departed from the principle of reciprocity and have introduced new regulations, permitting an unbureaucratic conversion of US driver’s licenses. American citizens, regardless of which US state they are from, can now apply for the automatic conversion of their US driver’s license into a German driver’s license if they meet certain conditions. Applicants are exempt from having to take any theoretical test and practical exam.

 

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56d1e6edd6a89_driverslicense.png.eac4d3a

 

<Canadian Drivers License -> Munich>

 

Although I didn't start with a US license, rather a Canadian license, I wanted to share my experience here in Munich.

 

My provincial license from Canada is GM Class

Class G

Allowed to drive any car, van or small truck or combination of vehicle and towed vehicle up to 11,000 kilograms provided the vehicle towed is not over 4,600 kilograms. A pickup truck towing a house trailer exceeds 4,600 kilograms, but the total combined weight of the truck and trailer does not exceed 11,000 kilograms is deemed a Class G vehicle. A Class G vehicle has a maximum capacity of 11 passengers.

Class M

Allowed to drive any motorcycles, including motor tricycles, limited-speed motorcycles (motor scooters) and motor-assisted bicycles (mopeds). Holders may also drive a Class G vehicle under the conditions that apply to a Class G1 license holder.

 

The process involved filling out the form, picture, and dropping that off with my actual license to the Kreisverwaltungsreferat (KVR) in Munich.  They gave me a A4 temporary license that i had to carry around.  About a 1-1/2 week later, letter came in the mail that i can go pickup my license.

 

Upon arrival I took a number, about a hundred people in front of me, but since it was just to pickup it was only 5-10 minute wait.  Got a pretty grumpy old man, to deal with...never the less signed for and picked up my newly minted drivers license.  However, i was not allowed to keep my original canadian license.

 

I was a bit ticked with my license classification...AM / B / L.

B - Motor Vehicle not exceeding 3500kg (while i could drive up to 11,000kg in North America...not an issue since most full size SUVs(escalade/tahoe) weigh in at about 2500kg anyways)

AM - 50cc max 2/3 wheel vehicle, a moped in other wards - (non cc limitation in North America)

L - tractor class...

 

it was an interesting process, it seems i would have been better off to keep my Canadian license and just order International license annually.  The 50cc classification irritated me, since it meant taking exam to ride anything larger than a scooter / moped!

 

 

 

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Quote

it seems i would have been better off to keep my Canadian license and just order International license annually.

I don't think you would have been better off to keep your Canadian license and be charged with driving without a license! After 6 months your foreign license is not valid (unless this is a EU license).

 

Class B actually includes AM and L, this separate notation is for police in other countries where it can be a separate class.

 

According to Anlage 11 FeV you must be from Ontario. There only class G is accepted for exchange into European class B, your class M was not accepted for exchange. Take a look at the list, maybe some province allows motorcycle license to be exchanged in Germany into class A (=all two wheelers).

For example:

British Columbia: 5, 6, 7 (Novice Driver´s Licence)

Saskatchewan: 1 und 5

Manitoba: 5, 4 Stage F, 3 Stage F, 2 Stage F, 1 Stage F

 

These numbers are Greek to me.

 

Edit: It seems, that no Canadian license can be exchanged into class A, all numbers above will result in class B license in Germany:

Quote

Soweit in der Spalte „Klasse(n)“ nicht „alle“, sondern nur eine bestimmte Klasse oder bestimmte Klassen genannt sind, erfolgt aufgrund dieser Klasse(n) nur die Erteilung der Klasse B.

 

Edit2: I've found another small print I've missed:

Quote

Die Umschreibung der Klasse 6 erfolgt in eine deutsche Fahrerlaubnis der Klasse A2, sofern der Inhaber das 24. Lebensjahr noch nicht vollendet hat. Im Übrigen wird die Klasse A erteilt.

 

Translation: If you have class 6 license from British Columbia it will be exchanged into class A license. If you're younger than 24 years, then it will be exchanged to A2 license (lazy to check what it is, perhaps some cc limitation).

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thanks yourkeau

 

yes, now i remember why I had exchanged for the German License - it was that pesky 6 month rule!

 

11 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Take a look at the list, maybe some province allows motorcycle license to be exchanged in Germany into class A (=all two wheelers).

 

Hmmm that list is interesting.  Germans are so detailed -Not surprised that its broken down by country level, but also by state & province level ! 

Looks like for Ontario, this is what I'm stuck with, that's too bad.

 

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30 minutes ago, lamfactor said:

thanks yourkeau

 

yes, now i remember why I had exchanged for the German License - it was that pesky 6 month rule!

 

 

Hmmm that list is interesting.  Germans are so detailed -Not surprised that its broken down by country level, but also by state & province level ! 

Looks like for Ontario, this is what I'm stuck with, that's too bad.

 

 

Is your issue the motorcycle class?  Because I *might* be wrong, but i think its relatively easy to upgrade it via the exam rather then the entire motorcycle procedure.  Please don't down vote me on that, because it comes with the disclaimer that I really don't know, but only assume because my own (german) husband shrugged off that exact conversion when he brought his ontario motorcycle license back to germany and converted it.  In his mind, it's all good, since zipping along the Lake Huron coast is a lot different from the skills needed to manoeuvre the roads in the black forest, which seems to give every motorcyclist their jollies here :D

 

I did ended up keeping my ontario license, it makes it easier for rental cars back home. This was an accidental thing, as when i was living in Canada, i lost my license and got a new one.  When i got to Germany, i found the old license and accidentally turned it in to the German authorities to get the German one.  So i had both.   We did call the german offices to see if we should fix it because i don't like being shady, but they just waived us off.  

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@Joanie, you're right: what is not on the list in my post above still can be exchanged but both theoretical and practical exams are required. This shouldn't be too difficult, but theoretical exam needs a bit of preparation. Contacting any driving school for details as well as taking 1-2 lessons is recommended.

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Currently getting my stuff together to do this very process. Anyone have some tips on a notary in Munich that could do the translation for less than €55 at the ADAC? 

 

Just curious.

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Hi All,

 

We're with California licenses (no reciprocity), been in Munich for 4 months -- time to start the conversion process before our 6 months is up.

 

Can anyone recommend driver's schools in Munich?

 

(not excited to go through the entire process and pay for it all, but i see no way around it now...)

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