Converting a US driver's license to a German one

178 posts in this topic

I think this was due to a fairly recent change in the law (2015/16?). Before, there was a time limit on exchanging licenses, so you probably wouldn't have gotten around having to pay for a german driving school/license... 

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Just had the appointment at the Rathaus late last week. The woman said it will take anywhere between 1 to 3 months and then I can go to the drivers license authority to go pick it up. How long did it take for them to reach out to you that your DL is ready to be picked up? 

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6 hours ago, endsee said:

Just had the appointment at the Rathaus late last week. The woman said it will take anywhere between 1 to 3 months and then I can go to the drivers license authority to go pick it up. How long did it take for them to reach out to you that your DL is ready to be picked up? 

Are you sure they said they would contact you to come and pick it up? I just had to get a new one last Friday because of a name change.

The guy told me it would take 8 to 10 weeks to be ready for pick up, and that they would NOT contact me, but I should just come back without an appointment in 8 to 10 weeks and go to the pick-up documents counter to get it.

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Well she spoke to me in German and I didn't really understand what she was saying except for "1 to 3 months". I went to the Rathaus in Mitte and then I have to go to the Friedrichshain License Authority. 

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This driver's lic is getting deep. My USAREUR lic. is not expired,  I have a US Army ID which has a indef. expiration. I am a service disabled vet a cutting thru the military and va red-tape plus med problems is a full time job.

 The Germans at first said to wait converting to a Ge license as I would probably get another job.

I require,,hand-gas" to drive (which I've used around ten years)

Since my USAR Id is indef, wouldn't my lic. be valid until it expires?

The military is slow sending me to the special school...

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Slightly unrelated, but I still have ~28 days on the website fuehrerscheinbestehen, if anyone is practicing for the theory test in English without going through a fahrschule I would be happy to give you my password. I passed the test on the first try and would like to at least help someone else out, now that I don't need it anymore! 

 

Also, if anyone else needs all the (>1000) potential questions I have a huge word file with screenshots

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2 hours ago, Thomas Lord said:

This driver's lic is getting deep. My USAREUR lic. is not expired,  I have a US Army ID which has a indef. expiration. I am a service disabled vet a cutting thru the military and va red-tape plus med problems is a full time job.

 The Germans at first said to wait converting to a Ge license as I would probably get another job.

I require,,hand-gas" to drive (which I've used around ten years)

Since my USAR Id is indef, wouldn't my lic. be valid until it expires?

The military is slow sending me to the special school...

 

Hi Thomas,

 

I don't think many US civilians on most of the TT sub-forums will have the least clue about the relevant conditions of the NATO SOFA which is what will (AFAIK) be the over-riding statute which predicates the options open to both the US Military (USAREUR) and the German civilian authorities.

 

Demz da rulz and you knowz how Joymanz luv da rulz!:lol:

 

Consequently I would suggest you repost your questions in a new topic thread on the TT sub-forum which exists for the specific use of our U.S. military members.

 

Since USAREUR and USAFE encouraged service members to use their own Facebook chat facilities around 3 or 4 years ago the TT U.S. Military sub-forum traffic has dropped significantly albeit there are several folks who do continue to keep an eye on it, including dependants, retirees and active TESA contractors who also have USAREUR DLs and IDs.

 

Whichever JAG office is responsible for retirees from the former HD garrison yet might be the people to talk to I'd guess. In B-W they could be in Stuttgart or in RLP at K-town, Landstuhl or maybe c/o USAFE Rammstein.

 

If you cannot get any satisfactory answers or help through your official channels of support you may eventually need to ratchet the pressure up a notch or two, either via one of the German federal health insurance or pension regulators or B-W local government administartion supervisors or even the EUs SOLVIT service which can help negotiate with any EU government on behalf of citizens. I would try to exhaust the recources of your US official channels first though.

 

Good luck, and do please post your results on the U.S. military sub-forum as well, for the benefit of the next veteran who looks here for help with a similar problem.

 

TIA

 

2B

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Hoping someone might be able to clear up some information I keep coming across, which I'm none the wiser after looking through several official websites:

  1. Regarding states with full reciprocity -  I'm unclear on whether or not an eye test and First Aid course are necessary to exchange the licence. Is it just for certain classes of drivers' licences that they are required? 
     
  2. Also, I have held on to my Ohio drivers' licence and kept it renewed, but have actually been living in the UK the last 9 years (never converted there since I wasn't driving there). I have just moved to Munich and registered with my UK passport (I have dual citizenship). Will this raise any red flags with them? Just want to know if I should be prepared or do anything extra in case.

Thanks in advance. I'm possibly making this out to be more difficult in my head than it actually is! 

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36 minutes ago, elle davis said:

Hoping someone might be able to clear up some information I keep coming across, which I'm none the wiser after looking through several official websites:

  1. Regarding states with full reciprocity -  I'm unclear on whether or not an eye test and First Aid course are necessary to exchange the licence. Is it just for certain classes of drivers' licences that they are required? 
     
  2. Also, I have held on to my Ohio drivers' licence and kept it renewed, but have actually been living in the UK the last 9 years (never converted there since I wasn't driving there). I have just moved to Munich and registered with my UK passport (I have dual citizenship). Will this raise any red flags with them? Just want to know if I should be prepared or do anything extra in case.

Thanks in advance. I'm possibly making this out to be more difficult in my head than it actually is! 

 

Pity- if you had converted to UK licence, you could have converted that to DE licence! No eye test, no other tests required!

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14 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

 

Pity- if you had converted to UK licence, you could have converted that to DE licence! No eye test, no other tests required!

 

True, but it’s still easier than converting a US licence to a UK one - a full test is required there! (And the whole other side of the road thing...) 

 

So I’ll take that as a yes, I do need to do the eye test and first aid unless someone else knows otherwise? 

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Just back on the car rental thing.  I returned recently from the US and rented several cars.  No one questioned my German license and they did not ask for a passport.  The only thing they care about is that you have a valid license and a MasterCard or Visa.

 

Also, licenses from some states require an eye test even with full reciprocity (Texas did for me) but its no big deal.  There is a list somewhere if you search for it or you can just ask.

 

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17 hours ago, Buzznut3000 said:

The only thing they care about is that you have a valid license and a MasterCard or Visa.

 

Tip - when I rent cars over there, they will not take a debit card - not even an American one. Only credit cards.

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On 10/23/2018, 8:35:01, elle davis said:

 

True, but it’s still easier than converting a US licence to a UK one - a full test is required there! (And the whole other side of the road thing...) 

 

So I’ll take that as a yes, I do need to do the eye test and first aid unless someone else knows otherwise? 

At least in Frankfurt, no eye or first aid test was required to convert a CT DL (partial reciprocity only). But, I would suggest you email them and ask for the requirements. Shouldn't be a problem that you have an OH DL and a British passport. If they ask, just show your US passport too.

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6 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

At least in Frankfurt, no eye or first aid test was required to convert a CT DL (partial reciprocity only). But, I would suggest you email them and ask for the requirements. Shouldn't be a problem that you have an OH DL and a British passport. If they ask, just show your US passport too.

 

Great, thanks! Will drop them an email and hope for the best. 

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Based on my experiences and what I'm reading here, the best advice is to contact directly your local issuing authority (Fuhrerscheinstelle). Clearly there are differences between different cities.

I just picked up my German driver's license today (both Class A and B applied for, and received).
For Aschaffenburg my process was for a state (NC) with partial reciprocity:
 

  1. Go to a driving school. They have the application form and will fill it out.
  2. Take the application form and the usual ID paperwork (passport, etc....) and go to the Fuhrerscheinstelle. The official made sure stuff was filled out properly, made a copy of my US license- returned that to me, and then said the approval would be sent to the driving school. Giving credit where it's due, she's one of the few nice fonctionnaires I've met throughout this whole relocation process.
  3. The driving school lets you know the application was approved (took 3 weeks in my case), and then they schedule the theory test at the TUV.
  4. After taking and passing the theory test, I stopped by the Fuhrerschienstelle and gave the lady the papers acknowledging passing Class A and B. The license was already fabricated and handed to me. I still have my US license.

This is notably different from what folks in Frankfurt and other places are experiencing.....so your results my vary.

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I had an Arizona driving license in the beginning, then I moved to California and got a California driving license based on Arizona driving license. Unfortunately California state doesn't have aggrement with Germany for driving license recoprocity but Arizona has. Can I still use my Arizona driving license to get German driving license as per exchange agreement?

 

Thanks

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You you need to deceive the Arizona authorities if you tried to swop back?

 

Do you still lave a genuine and legitimat abode in Arizona?

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Hi everyone,

 

Some background: When I moved to Germany in 2012, I traded in my Wisconsin driver's license for a German one. I was told, if I ever move back, I can just go back into the office and trade my German license for my American license. I know that my Wisconsin license number is on the back of the German license. My Wisconsin driver's license expires early next year, on my birthday.

 

My question: do I need to renew my Wisconsin drivers license to keep my German license valid? If I let the Wisconsin license expire without renewal, will there be any problems for me in Germany?

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