Can I still drive if I apply for the German driving license

17 posts in this topic

Hi guys, 


I will be moving to Germany after a couple of months to start a job in Walldorf. 
I am looking to buy a car and after reading a lot on the internet, I found out that I have to apply for a German driving license and do the theory exam  + practical test to get it. 

I have an international license in english issued by my country and I know I can use it for 6 months.

But (according to different forums) usually the process to acquire a German driving license takes anywhere from 4-6 months (maybe more). 

 

My question is, if anyone knows, if I apply for the German driving license, will they take my international license? ( I know I might have to get it translated to german, but I'm not sure). 
 

My concern is that during the 4-6month period, will I be able to drive? 

I am planning to apply for the license in the first month of my arrival actually. 


This is a very critical decision for me and will affect the area where I will rent an apartment. 

Any help is appreciated guys! Thanks! :)

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My advice, you will always get conflicting answers and a lot will also depend on the State you reside, contact a driving school where you will take your Theory and Practical tests.


If it's the Heidelberg region you're moving to then here's a school who I believe speak English  Fahrschule Fremgen Schriesheim

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sir Percy B said:

 

For the first month, I will be living in a hotel in Walldorf provided by the company.

 

After the first month,  I was planning to move somewhere near Heidelberg, possibly Eppelheim. Most of my future colleagues are living there. 


But again, If I will be able to drive WHILE I go through the process of getting a driving license, I will possibly find a house away from the city where there are not train stations nearby. 

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45 minutes ago, Subhan said:

But again, If I will be able to drive WHILE I go through the process of getting a driving license, I will possibly find a house away from the city where there are not train stations nearby. 

 

Yes, your licence will be valid for 6 months from the time of registration/anmeldung

 

Note, your International licence (as you call it) is actually as Permit not a licence and is not valid without the original licence from country of issue so you need to carry them both together at all times.

I'm not sure as a resident if your International Drivers permit (IDP) will need to be translated to German as you are not a visitor, again these are some rules that are unclear but I'd suggest you go along to an ADAC office here in Germany and ask them to translate it to German in any event for a small cost.

 

If you complete your Theory test and Practical within the 6 months then this will also not be a problem,  you can request a temporary drivers licence on completion of the application whilst you wait for your Licence.

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Oh man thanks so much. 

Yea I have the international license and the original one both. I'm gonna get them translated as soon as I get there. 


I was just freaking out that I would have to rent a small and relatively expensive apartment near the train station and then change it again after 6 months. 

Renting is so expensive. 2-3 cold rents  to the landlord and 1-2 cold rents to the agency. So this helps me so much.

 

I will just get a car as soon as I go there and after that apply for the german license. 


After that, I can find a relatively cheap and big apartment away from the city. I'll have my car to go to work. 


This solves a lot of issues that have been on my mind. :D

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@Subhan

 

Before you get all excited you need to check if you can actually get car insurance, I have no idea if it's possible with a licence that is only valid for 6 months.

 

There are some insurance advisers on this forum @john g. although motor insurance is not normally his area he might be able to throw some light on the situation.

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I understand. 

Hmmm. I don't see the point of letting foreigners drive cars for 6 months with their own licenses if they can't buy a car.

Is it for rental cars only? Very hard to believe. 

In the case where I can't get car because I can't get it insured because I don't have a german license, can I like register it to another person's (colleague at my company with a german license) name?

Of course, this might be a very specific detail that people might not know. 

Thanks for the heads up though! I understand. 

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6 minutes ago, Subhan said:

I don't see the point of letting foreigners drive cars for 6 months with their own licenses if they can't buy a car.

Is it for rental cars only? Very hard to believe.

 

Why you can't buy a car?  Of course you can as long as you have the money, you are registered (Anmeldung) and you have a bank account.

 

6 minutes ago, Subhan said:

In the case where I can't get car because I can't get it insured because I don't have a german license, can I like register it to another person's (colleague at my company with a german license) name?

 

You can buy a car even if you don't have a driving license at all.   

 

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The validity of the licence is something controlled by the state, whereas the availability of insurance is controlled by insurance companies based on assessed risk.

 

You might be able to get insurance, but the cost might be prohibitively expensive.  The cost of which will depend a lot also on your car and where you live and your previous no claims' history (which, if you come from outside Germany they might not accept anyway.  Best to get an official document from your current insurance company in your home company to help with this).

 

Regardless of who the owner of the vehicle is, everybody who drives it must be insured.  And if you will be the main driver of the vehicle, or somebody who will drive it significantly, then your details including your licence will be needed still to get the appropriate insurance to allow you to drive it.  And this will affect the insurance price.

So it might not help to register it to somebody else.  (It can in some cases, but I think most benefit are gained when the other person is a family member).

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2 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

Why you can't buy a car?  Of course you can as long as you have the money, you are registered (Anmeldung) and you have a bank account.

 

 

You can buy a car even if you don't have a driving license at all.   

 

 

Because I might not be able to insure my car without a German driving license. Still not sure about it though. 


I mean I can't drive the car without the mandatory insurance. 
Probably an insurance advisor might be able to help here :)

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Just now, Subhan said:

 

Because I might not be able to insure my car without a German driving license. Still not sure about it though. 

 

Having a German driving license is not a requirement to buy insurance.   

 

 

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I see. So I can at least get the insurance. It's just gonna be expensive. 

 

I don't think my current insurance history will be valid in Germany anyways. 

My license was issued 7 years ago though and I have been driving ever since. 
I will also try to find an apartment in a small quiet town, preferably near Walldorf with an indoor parking space. So that might help in the insurance cost. 

 

My primary concern was that I won't be able to temporarily drive in Germany after I applied for the German driving license since they take your current license. 
 

1 hour ago, Sir Percy B said:

you can request a temporary drivers licence on completion of the application whilst you wait for your Licence.

 

But I guess the temporary license is great and now I can find an apartment in a small town where there are no train stations. 
 

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58 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

Having a German driving license is not a requirement to buy insurance.   

 

The question is, can he get insurance with a Non EU/EAA licence which would only be valid for 6 months.

In the interim he would take the theory and practical tests and then obtain his German licence.

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@Subhan

 

I missed something in my previous post to you so I'll explain,  you cannot exchange your licence and will/should not have to surrender your existing one.

Germany has no exchange agreement with Pakistan so therefore you have to resit the Theory and Practical tests as you know.

 

As an example, normally for a provisional driver to take a practical test he/she has to do a number of hours/lessons prior, in your case as a holder of a valid licence you are only required to take theory and then the practical test with a driving instructor, upon passing the practical test you will then be able to obtain your German licence.

Having never had to do this in Germany I assume the driving school complete the necessary paperwork and you will either have to wait or make your application in person for your new licence.

 

Insurance, now I've got my technical head on you should not have any issues getting insurance, you will however have to inform the insurance company of any change of licence details. I have just done a price quote for a 2012 Vauxhall Astra Estate with 110ps using Heidelberg postcode etc, prices for the very basic insurance starts at 800 Euro's per year, this will only insure for damage to other vehicles not your own. Obviously the smaller the car the less it will be but that's an example for you.

 

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Thanks a lot  @Sir Percy B.

 

I'm glad to hear that I won't have to surrender my license and that I can use it to drive my car during the whole license process. 

I will be taking a few practical lessons as I have never driven in Germany before and with what I've heard so far, there's a lot to learn. 

 

800 euros per year sounds reasonable to me.

I will probably be looking at somewhere around a 1000 euros/year because the type of car and the place I will live is not yet certain.

 

Again thanks a lot for the help!

 

You guys probably know more about this so I'm just gonna ask this one thing before we can end this thread. 

Any recommendations for good expat car insurance companies? This question has been probably been asked somewhere in the forums. If that's the case, I'll find them myself!

 

 

 

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There are a couple of expats on this forum but I don't think they do car insurance, if you want to know more then there is a link at the very top of this page for one of the advertisers. 

He will tell you pretty much all you need to know and more regarding insurance and not only for cars, you will/might need to consider other insurance policies like Haftflichtversicherung or even Rechtsschutzversicherung.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sir Percy B said:

 

The question is, can he get insurance with a Non EU/EAA licence which would only be valid for 6 months.

In the interim he would take the theory and practical tests and then obtain his German licence.

 

Yes, of course you can buy a car and get insurance.  You can do it even with no driving license at all. 

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