Exchanging an English driving licence for a German one

45 posts in this topic

 

On ‎9‎/‎16‎/‎2018‎ ‎9‎:‎31‎:‎27‎, kaffeemitmilch said:

Nah, with US licenses it's dependent on which state they're from. Some have full reciprocity, some partial, and some none. Most states with the shittiest standards (like Wisconsin, Alabama, Kentucky) seem to have full reciprocity for some reason.

Explain what you mean by "shittiest standards".

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On ‎12‎.‎02‎.‎2018‎ ‎12‎:‎21‎:‎03, LostManAbroad said:

Does anyone know where I would have to go to exchange my English driving license for a German one? I live right by Konstablerwache so if there are multiple places then where is my nearest one? Also, what do I need to do the exchange? I am assuming something with my address on it.

 

Driving licences in Germany are issued by individual local authorities and not centrally like it is in the UK through the DVLA. Find out and contact your LOCAL Authority - you cannot do this anywhere. Your Bürgeramt is the best place to start.

 

Everything has to be done in person but swapping a UK for German licence does seem to be very straight forward (currently...). 

 

The requirements of each authority are slightly different and you should check those specific requirements before arriving. Usually there is a section on the authority website which lists the requirements.

 

When I swapped my UK licence I took along the following:

 

Meldebescheinigung

Passport

UK Driving Licence

1 x Biometric Photo

€35 Fee

 

I did not have to make an appointment. On arrival I had to complete a simple form (all in German) and they took copies of my documents. I was told to return in 'around 3 weeks' to collect my licence. I did as they said and it was there waiting for me. I had to hand over my UK licence to receive my new german licence at this point. I assume they will send that back to the DVLA directly.   

 

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On 9/16/2018, 9:31:27, kaffeemitmilch said:

Nah, with US licenses it's dependent on which state they're from. Some have full reciprocity, some partial, and some none. Most states with the shittiest standards (like Wisconsin, Alabama, Kentucky) seem to have full reciprocity for some reason.

 

It's solely based on whether or not the state has entered into a reciprocity agreement with Germany. Nothing else.

 

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Just as an update (following a reminder from @Sir Percy B), after applying to change my UK licence (with almost all variants A-D) to a German one over six months ago, I have been told that there is currently a "Stillstand" on English licence applications due to Brexit. I will be getting another update in two weeks. A few months back I was told that the hold up was due to attempts to harmonise licences in the odd categories across the EU.

 

For younger folk, I was told this doesn't apply to applications to swap normal category B licences, but as I like to drive all manner of odd vehicles (as allowed on licences obtained in the 1980s/early 90s) it is in my interests to see how this pans out. I offered to take a first aid course (something I understand is now required for driving 7.5 t lorries with trailers) and was told that this might make a difference and she will check and give me an update in September.  

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Hi,  

I need to exchange my license (UK) car and motorcycle, before brexit,  do we know what papers we need?  first aid certificates? Eye test certificates? 

 

Thanks, 

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I just went to apply to have it exchanged 2 or 3 weeks ago. I only needed the UK license, a picture, and my passport. Of course, you also have to pay so bring your "EC-Karte".

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OK, great to know, was this is Berlin?  How long is the process currently taking? 

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No, Offenbach am Main. They told me it takes four weeks. It should take the same everywhere as they print them centrally. I still haven't picked up mine.

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1 hour ago, Smaug said:

s No, Offenbach am Main. They told me it takes four weeks.It should take the same everywhere as they print them centrally. I still haven't picked up mine.

 

Smaug don't compare everywhere to Berlin, you cannot get an appointment in 4 weeks let alone an exchanged license. :)

Something else worth noting, the process of exchanging a licence varies from Bundesland to Bundesland, some you have to give up your licence straight away and some you don't for example.

 

1 hour ago, Edjasion said:

How long is the process currently taking? 

 

Wow, you left this a bit late.

 

I just checked the Berlin Service Portal and there's no appointments available until November so your chances don't look good.

 

The actual process is not quick, according to the Fahrerlaubnisbehörde they are currently processing applications for the 05 August but there is no indication as to when the license will be available for collection.

You can expect to wait 3-4 months or even longer but you can continue to drive on your existing licence until your new one is available.

 

I think this only leaves you 2 options, either phone every Bezirksamt tomorrow morning until you can find one who can give you an appointment or go to the Fahrerlaubnisbehörde, 16-18  Puttkammerstr. Berlin 10958 not far from Checkpoint Charlie, goto the 1st Floor and wait in line there to ask the question re exchanging your UK licence. Opening times Friday 07.30-12.00

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31 minutes ago, Sir Percy B said:

Wow, you left this a bit late.

Oh c'mon, the referendum was held only in June 2016 👻.

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Another update, and this time it's not so positive. After making my application back in February, and being told it will take 2/3 weeks, I've had nothing but procrastination from the authorities. Today I have finally been given chapter and verse...there is an "Intern Dienst" only communication (I asked for a copy, and was refused) which was read out to me: the Bezirksregierung in Cologne has informed the local Kreis towns to "treat applications to change UK licences to German licences as if they had been made from a non-EU country, until further notice". I was told that I could have a "vorlaeufig" document to confirm that I am entitled to drive in Germany, but that I would have to hand over my UK licence to get it (indeed, due to the length of time I have lived here, I should have done that previously). However, that document would only cover me for driving in Germany - not any other country. I was told that they would be prepared to give me back my UK licence temporarily should I need it for overseas trips (but having to drive to my local Kreisstadt and wait for an appointment with the authorities each time I intend to cross a border would be a real pain for me, as I travel back and forth a lot, and at short notice).

I am now trying to get hold of the Bezirksregierung folk to get them to review the situation.

To my mind, given that the UK is still part of the EU, they are failing directly to give equivalence to EU qualifications, and indirectly discriminating on grounds of nationality: two fundamental breaches of the EU Treaty.

 

 

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...just for info, re what I believe to be breaches (in case anyone needs a source):

failure to grant an equivalent licence is a breach of Directive 2006/126/EC (article 6 in particular), and discrimination on grounds of nationality is Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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I have to say that firstly I'm really sorry for you but secondly it comes as no surprise given the information you mentioned re the categories when you first made the application.

From the outset it sounds as though the person dealing with your application had no idea what they were talking about and were having their strings pulled by somebody else in higher authority.

This however doesn't help the fact your initial application from February has been declined which I would agree is discriminatory.

 

There's nothing I can say or advise but best of luck and do keep us up to date.

 

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10 minutes ago, kiplette said:

Is an International licence any help in such a situation?

 

I'm not sure if the person knows what one of those is. They don't know that an English driving licence doesn't exist. 😀

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19 minutes ago, kiplette said:

Is an International licence any help in such a situation?

 

 

An IDP is not a licence of entitlement it is only a translation so no would not help in this situation.

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29 minutes ago, kiplette said:

Is an International licence any help in such a situation?

 

This has to be used with the current driving licence, not on it's own.

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Thanks for the info re the international licence. I was wondering about that myself.

I am trying to get the Bezirksregierung to change their mind on the basis of the legal flaws in their current position.

If that doesn't work then it looks like my options are either to 1) accept the offer of a temporary licence and hand over my UK one, 2) hope that some sort of "deal"/"agreement" is reached at some point (before or after brexit) or c) take the bl00dy test again here in Germany! 

I'm guessing that with the exception of getting the authorities to change their mind quickly, any of those options will probably mean I lose the automatic entitlement to the "heritage" vehicle permits (lorries, vans and trailers etc).

 

 

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16 minutes ago, dstanners said:

I'm guessing that with the exception of getting the authorities to change their mind quickly, any of those options will probably mean I lose the automatic entitlement to the "heritage" vehicle permits (lorries, vans and trailers etc).

 

I still don't know where you get this information, there is no automatic entitlement, your licence on exchange will only have categories AM, B, BE and L any other categories that you might want to keep, subject to age will require a medical and/or further tests.

 

Regarding exchanging for a temporary licence I would hold back until such times the German authorities have made it perfectly clear what is required and if there will be a transitional period. 

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47 minutes ago, Sir Percy B said:

subject to age will require a medical and/or further tests

The automatic entitlement is in Article 4 of the Directive I mentioned earlier (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/DE/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32006L0126). I appreciate some of the "heritage" entitlements do require some additional criteria, but age/health fortunately aren't an issue for me, and the cost of the necessary first aid test is about €50 and done in a day, so I'll deal with those if necessary. I had previously offered to take those tests if that was the only hold-up (something I was told about a few months ago), but clearly there is a more general "stop" on UK licence transfers...at least in NRW.

 

I'll write another update if my letter draws a response from the Bezirksregierung.

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