Exchanging an English driving licence for a German one

129 posts in this topic

Incase anyone else is in my situation...ie. owns a British license, wants to drive legally in Germany while at the same time keep a car in the UK...

 

Miles and Weshare have indicated they'll no longer accept a GB license for car sharing after June, and they don't accept international driving licenses either.

 

However, it seems now that my UK insurance company will be fine with an EU license going forwards (despite claiming they couldn't before). I checked with a different company and they also seemed fine with it.

Furthermore I won't lose my no claims discount - particularly important for me as it's more than 20 years! Apparently this is not linked to the license.

 

More importantly, as far as I can tell, UK gov doesn't require that the EU license is switched to a UK one after 12 months. Again this seems to contradict the information they were putting out last year, unless I'm confused (which is quite possible).

 

So it looks like I have until the end of June to swap the UK license for a German one. And then just hope for the best that everything still works in the UK..

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On 16/11/2020, 16:06:13, 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.

Hey Brexitania! My friend is in the exact same situation as you. This is not an unusual situation.  He had to do an Anmeldung in Germany due to his first arrival more than 3 months, but actually works in UK and is tax resident of UK, while partly physically living in Germany as well. He's now facing a terrible choice for his licence conversion: either keep the UK licence so he can keep his C and D categories, or else swap it for a German one which refuses to issue all the categories like C1, C1E and D1. Today in the driving authority office he was told that "Your UK licence will still be valid in the EU until June 30, 2021".

 

So, if your UK car insurance will only accept your UK licence, you had better keep it. Your other option is to separately pass the German driving test (if you have good enough German language). You can have 2 licences. If you don't have a German flat in your name and you only spend maximum 3-month chunks in Germany, you could think about de-registering from Germany. This way, you'll be officially classed as a non-resident so Germany would treat you as a visitor every time you are here.

 

I hope this helps!

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21 minutes ago, Leipzigrin said:

He's now facing a terrible choice for his licence conversion: either keep the UK licence so he can keep his C and D categories, or else swap it for a German one which refuses to issue all the categories like C1, C1E and D1.

I got a German one, but was allowed to keep my UK one for the C and D categories, for use in UK.  My UK licence was an EU one, did not need translating. 

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On 22/07/2020, 07:25:41, Dembo said:

Thanks. The point is after 6 months of living here you have to convert your licence. If I wasn't living here my UK licence would be valid through the transition period (and afterwards I'm sure), but that's different. 

 

It turns out the first aid course and Sehtest are only for people outside EU/EEA and some other listed countries so I should be okay. Which is good as I've found out the first aid course takes 8 hours, and although I found someone offering it in English the first available date was November.

 

How do you even get a "Ämtliche Übersetzung" (official translation) of a licence? The UK licence is of course an EU licence so it's meant to be understood in the EU. "Driver's licence" = Führerschein; Date of Birth = Geburtsdatum. There you go; done!

On 22/07/2020, 07:25:41, Dembo said:


On 22/07/2020, 07:25:41, Dembo said:

T

On 16/11/2020, 16:06:13, Brexitania said:


Hi Dembo! You can get the translation & classification from ADAC. My friend did it and it was very easy, he brought in the licence, they copied it, he paid the fee (about 60 euros) and 2 days later they mailed him the official translation which contains also the classification that is needed for the German authorities. You don't need to be a member of ADAC but members get a 5 euro discount I think.

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1 hour ago, Leipzigrin said:

Hi Dembo! You can get the translation & classification from ADAC. My friend did it and it was very easy, he brought in the licence, they copied it, he paid the fee (about 60 euros) and 2 days later they mailed him the official translation which contains also the classification that is needed for the German authorities. You don't need to be a member of ADAC but members get a 5 euro discount I think.

I assume they do that with a mask and a gun. 

 

No translation was needed for my UK licence. 

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On 18/05/2021, 12:02:49, snowingagain said:

I got a German one, but was allowed to keep my UK one for the C and D categories, for use in UK.  My UK licence was an EU one, did not need translating. 

I'm really interested in this. 

How did you convince the administrator to allow you to keep your UK license for those catagories? Did you need some kind of documentary evidence?

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22 minutes ago, Brexitania said:

I'm really interested in this. 

How did you convince the administrator to allow you to keep your UK license for those catagories? Did you need some kind of documentary evidence?

 

I exchanged my UK licence in Cologne 2 years ago and the woman there also let me keep my UK licence as it has a lot of categories that aren't on my DE licence and doesn't expire until 2023. I didn't ask to keep the UK licence, she just said I could keep it but stressed I shouldn't keep both licences in my wallet and only use the UK licence in the UK.

 

I think it's a bit of a grey area so up to each Beamte as to how they handle it. On the one hand the UK licence being exchanged hasn't expired yet and it has additional driving categories on it but on the other hand you aren't really exchanging the licence if you don't hand the UK licence over when you get the DE one.

 

If you really want to keep your UK licence you can just ask them when you go to exchange it. Asking doesn't do any harm :)

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On 18/05/2021, 11:55:47, Leipzigrin said:

Hey Brexitania! My friend is in the exact same situation as you. He's now facing a terrible choice for his licence conversion: either keep the UK licence so he can keep his C and D categories, or else swap it for a German one which refuses to issue all the categories like C1, C1E and D1.

I hope this helps!

 

I don't see what the problem is there. If he has a UK CE and DE, and they are willing to swap that to a German CE and DE, then that is all he needs, as anything you can drive with C, C1 or C1E can be driven with CE and conversely, anything you can drive with D, D1 or D1E can be driven with DE.

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