Exchanging an English driving licence for a German one

99 posts in this topic

5 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

It is not actually random.  In Germany some categories require a medical test at my age, but not in the UK (the C and D ones).  Being a younger person you may be given these categories automatically.  I am not sure you can just say you do not want them, in order to hang onto your UK licence.

 

 

Ha mine was somewhat earlier, and some of the codes do not match exactly.  But as I said it was for the bigger vehicles, C and Ds.

But for Germany I now have only AM, B, BE and L.  

 

It is possible the UK and EU will continue to recognise each others licences post 2020.  But if there is any chance they will not, I would exchange to German asap just to avoid having to do a driving test.  As you have already passed the test in the UK.  

 

OK thank you for this info.

It sounds like overall it might be just a case of giving it a try.

 

In my case, I simply can't exchange it if it means losing my UK license - I would be better just renting a car when required in Germany, which I would hope to be fine doing with a UK license regardless of Brexit.

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45 minutes ago, Brexitania said:

 

OK thank you for this info.

It sounds like overall it might be just a case of giving it a try.

 

In my case, I simply can't exchange it if it means losing my UK license - I would be better just renting a car when required in Germany, which I would hope to be fine doing with a UK license regardless of Brexit.

How are you insured here in Germany?

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4 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

How are you insured here in Germany?

 

I don't own a car in Germany but I frequently rely on carsharing and occasionally rental.

 

I've just spoken to Miles and Sharenow who accept many non-EU driving licences, so I  expect (hope) I would be OK to keep using after Brexit.

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43 minutes ago, Brexitania said:

 

I don't own a car in Germany but I frequently rely on carsharing and occasionally rental.

 

I've just spoken to Miles and Sharenow who accept many non-EU driving licences, so I  expect (hope) I would be OK to keep using after Brexit.

 

As  Sir Percy B said

You have to convert your licence within 6 months of registering to be here.

 

Any car hire firm does not have to check this, they just need to see a driving  licence that looks ok and a UK one does look ok 

 

But if you get into an accident, the insurance company could say they will not pay, because you are effectively driving without a valid  licence and then you become liable / do you want that ? 

 

If you get stopped by the road side police, they can check how long you have been here, and may fine you and take the car off you, if they find out that you are driving illegally 

 

Go and get a German  licence as quickly as possible, they may still do it, if the guy is being friendly. Normally you should have to take the German driving  licence test as you have left it too long to convert your  licence.

 

Each time you drive, you are driving without a valid  licence   - I urge you to go legal 

 

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4 minutes ago, yesterday said:

 

As  Sir Percy B said

You have to convert your licence within 6 months of registering to be here.

 

Any car hire firm does not have to check this, they just need to see a driving  licence that looks ok and a UK one does look ok 

 

But if you get into an accident, the insurance company could say they will not pay, because you are effectively driving without a valid  licence and then you become liable / do you want that ? 

 

If you get stopped by the road side police, they can check how long you have been here, and may fine you and take the car off you, if they find out that you are driving illegally 

 

Go and get a German  licence as quickly as possible, they may still do it, if the guy is being friendly. Normally you should have to take the German driving  licence test as you have left it too long to convert your  licence.

 

Each time you drive, you are driving without a valid  licence   - I urge you to go legal 

 

 

Thankyou for your advice - I do appreciate and take it seriously.

 

But this is where the whole thing falls apart for me - I would happily swap my license for a German one, but I own (and need) a car in the UK.

I fully understand that I've technically broken the rules about not swapping my driver's license...but I'm a full UK resident, including tax residency, and car rental companies seem perfectly fine with foreigners renting their cars in Germany..(I presume they are insured for that...?) Apologies if I'm mis-understanding this, that's just my interpretation of things.

 

Bottom line is - I can't see a way of following your advice while still keeping my UK car. 

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4 minutes ago, Brexitania said:

but I'm a full UK resident, including tax residency

You also said that you resident in Germany though. Why/how are you maintaining UK residence and even UK tax residence whilst living in Germany? Isn't this making things even more complicated?

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Just now, lunaCH said:

You also said that you resident in Germany though. Why/how are you maintaining UK residence and even UK tax residence whilst living in Germany? Isn't this making things even more complicated?

 

I'm registered to live here, ie. with an Ammeldung, but my income and tax residency is in the UK. I spend time in both countries and up until Brexit this was pretty frictionless.

I guess this takes things outside the scope of this thread and maybe my question regarding driving licenses is also too specific to me for a public forum.

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8 minutes ago, Brexitania said:

 

I'm registered to live here, ie. with an Ammeldung, but my income and tax residency is in the UK. I spend time in both countries and up until Brexit this was pretty frictionless.

I guess this takes things outside the scope of this thread and maybe my question regarding driving licenses is also too specific to me for a public forum.

The German system though for many things (not taxation) does not generally consider second or further residences in other countries. So the fact you are maintaining residence and/or tax residence in the UK is irrelevant to the Germans in this instance. You needed to exchange your British licence way back - I don't see any other option - at least I haven't heard of one. :unsure: 

The British licence is invalid everywhere except within the UK, as you have been resident in Germany for more than 6 months. 

The longer you leave it the greater the chance of there being problems, especially with the cut-off date for residence under the W.A. approaching.

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7 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

The German system though for many things (not taxation) does not generally consider second or further residences in other countries. So the fact you are maintaining residence and/or tax residence in the UK is irrelevant to the Germans in this instance. You needed to exchange your British licence way back - I don't see any other option - at least I haven't heard of one. :unsure: 

The British licence is invalid everywhere except within the UK, as you have been resident in Germany for more than 6 months. 

The longer you leave it the greater the chance of there being problems, especially with the cut-off date for residence under the W.A. approaching.

 

OK thanks - so I guess I say goodbye to driving cars in Germany any more.

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Just now, Brexitania said:

OK thanks - so I guess I say goodbye to driving cars in Germany any more.

I'd just exchange the licence. Your new German one will be valid in the UK. ;)

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2 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

I'd just exchange the licence. Your new German one will be valid in the UK. ;)

 

But only for 12 months (unless a specific new arrangement was made).

In addition my insurance company will not recognise a non-EU license. Special insurance may be possible, but very complicated and expensive.

 

Additionally I could be locked out of exchanging back to a UK license without re-doing the driving test.

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4 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

Which insurance company?

Swiftcover told me they wouldn't cover me on a foreign license.

It's true that other companies will, but it will be massively more expensive - I would also lose 20 year's no claims discount.

 

And after 12 months I would have to switch back to UK license anyway.

 

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Swiftcover said they wouldn't cover you on a foreign licence. That is different from saying they don't cover you for non-EU, as Germany is EU, so from your previous comment one could assume they would cover you on a German licence. ;) 

 

Sounds like a massive hassle, which of course can arise when you maintain residences in more than one country. Dual residence can bring benefits in some cases though.

Two further options for you: 

1. Learn to drive in Germany, take your test here and obtain a German licence without any reference to the British one.

2. Drop German residence entirely and just maintain tourist/temporary status here for when you are here. That way you can drive here without any problem on a British licence. You're resident and tax resident in the UK anyway. Do you need German residence?

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16 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

Sounds like a massive hassle, which of course can arise when you maintain residence in more than one country. 

Two further options:

1. Learn to drive in Germany, take your test here and obtain a German licence without any reference to the British one.

2. Drop German residence entirely and just maintain tourist/temporary status here for when you are here. That way can drive here without any problem. Your resident and tax resident in the UK anyway.

 

Thanks for your advice - I really appreciate it.

1 - this would basically be a non-starter for me unfortunately due to all kinds of constraints that I won't bother you with.

2 - this is definitely interesting. I will look into whether it's possible to keep living here while dropping full residence (ironically getting residence was one of the biggest achievements this year, or so I thought!)

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Just now, Brexitania said:

this is definitely interesting. I will look into whether it's possible to keep living here while dropping full residence (I don't have the first clue about the ins and outs of that...)

It depends on how much time you actually spend here.

Do be aware however that if you drop German/EU residence before 31.12.20 then you will no longer qualify for the status of Alt-Briten as per the W.A, making it more of a task if you wish to take up German residence in the future as you'll be under the new rules. If you have another EU citizenship then this of course is irrelevant to you.

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6 hours ago, snowingagain said:

 

I am ancient and my UK driving licence allows me to drive categories that I am not allowed to in Germany.  So I got to keep my licence to use for these vehicles in the UK. 

I hear you. You can drive a Crusader tank (WWII), can't you 👻?

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I was going to write that as a EU Bürger there is no reqirement to Exchange a foregn licence. Then I remembered...

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It took a few attempts but I got through to someone on the phone to get an appointment here in Suttgart - and it's 3rd February - i.e. well after all the current arrangements end. She knew from the records I was English and told me what I needed to bring which didn't include any mention of taking a driving test or any such nonsense. So we'll see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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