Getting a German driver's license

183 posts in this topic

I've been living in Germany nearly 8 years, and now (because i didn't bother converting my California license before 3 years was up), I need to do the full test to get a German driver's license - there's no way about it.

 

Can anyone tell me what all needs to be done?

 

Also does anyone know of a good driving school? I read somewhere that some schools will let people who have extensive driving experience do fewer hours of actual driving classes.

 

What else do you need to do? Eye exam? First aid class?

 

And how much will the whole procedure cost from start to finish?

 

Another thing - are there any tests administered in English? I understand German fluently - it just takes longer and its more of a pain to study in German than in English.

 

Am ever so grateful for all your help.

 

Pinky

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I am not sure about schools and number of lessons etc but I do know that you can do the theory test in English as a friend of mine did it. I am not sure maybe she also did the practical in English as well I could check.

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hi pinky,

 

my husband is taking driving classes, so from that i can tell u a few things...but ur situation is a bit different since u r an experienced driver...

 

- it will cost approximately 1500 bucks...maybe less also

- u may take lessons in english too...or take lessons in german but have the exam and study material in english

- practical lessons depends on u...the teacher will see how many and i think u can decide how many u want to have.

- u ll have to take a first aid class which is held at ostbahnhof in english every 1st and 3rd saturdays monthly, it is a 6.5hrs course...begins at 16:00hrs and will cost u 20 bucks. (Orleansplatz 11, store passage next to bus station)

- There only u can get ur eye test done and recieve a certificate...i think that is an additional 6 EUR...

(take ur passport along with u when u go for the class)

- then u ll have to go for registration at the TÜV office

- give ur exams

- hopefully u ll pass and u ll be given ur drivers license!!

 

hope this helps!!

 

cheers

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I did mine about 2 years ago in Frankfurt. The whole thing cost about €2,000. This included mock exams, eye test, theory test, driving test, lessons, mock exams and so on. Their is a minumum number of theory hours you have to attend and a minimum number of hours you must spend in the car.

 

Theory is around 14 hours. You can attend an English school but I kept it simple and attended the one that was beside me. It was all German but you can figure most of it out from the videos they show. You can also purchase a copy of the exam questions in English. Every question that can come up will be in this set so if you know everything in the set then the theory test is very easy. You can sit the test in English, just make sure that you state this.

 

You also have to do an eye test and first aid test. The school's in the area where I was had a day for this every few Saturdays and you put your name in to attend, usually limited numbers. It started around 9 and was finished at 3 or 4, very basic stuff. Do the eye test first thing in the morning and the rest was about what to do when comimg upon an accident.

 

Driving was very straightforward, I think it was 3 hours city driving, 3 hours country driving, 1.5 hours night time and 1.5 hours autobahn.

 

Once that is complete you sit the test, also very straightforward. Mine was less than 30 mins, drove from one town to another via the countryside and returned via the autobahn. That was it. I would imagine/hope it's a bit longer for the 17/18 year olds!

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An Australian friend of mine got his German license 6 years ago and only paid around € 500, even though he was past the 3 years time frame and had to do the whole thing. So I guess it's worth looking around for something cheaper than € 2000. I may have to do it as well and what worries me most is the horrendous amount of time it will take.

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I see that this post is rather old, but could someone confirm that it is still allowed to do the theoretical lessons in German but the test in English? Thanks for your help.

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Also cheaper to fly to the states, get your license renewed there (you can obviously pass the test again easy) and then bring it back and have it translated for €35. Just be sure you are getting it in one of the states that allows you to transfer it without taking any tests here.

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That doesn't work Grapejuz, if you have been living in Germany over the time limit. One has to do this fairly quickly, like within 6 months after moving here.

 

http://germany.usembassy.gov/acs/drivers_license/

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I see that this post is rather old, but could someone confirm that it is still allowed to do the theoretical lessons in German but the test in English? Thanks for your help.

 

You can take the theoretical test in many languages included English but the practical test is in German. However, it is not that difficult, your instructor can prepare you to understand the usual lingo.

 

 

Also cheaper to fly to the states, get your license renewed there (you can obviously pass the test again easy) and then bring it back and have it translated for €35. Just be sure you are getting it in one of the states that allows you to transfer it without taking any tests here.

 

Not so easy, the foreign driving license won't be accepted for a swap if its issue date is previous your registration date in Germany. The rule is there to stop what they call "Driving license tourism" (you fly to other countries to get a license because it is easier/cheaper there).

 

 

That doesn't work Grapejuz, if you have been living in Germany over the time limit. One has to do this fairly quickly, like within 6 months after moving here.

 

http://germany.usembassy.gov/acs/drivers_license/

 

The 3 years limit does not exist anymore. You can swap your license any time after your first 6 months of residence.

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The 3 years limit does not exist anymore. You can swap your license any time after your first 6 months of residence.

True. As long as your license is still valid you can do a simple swap....IF you are from a US State that is approved for a simple swap. My home state is one of those states and it REALLY pissed off the ladies at the local town hall. LOVE IT...:)

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I am glad this thread started up again. Ok, I swapped my license in the US last week for a state that is accepted here. Now I am back in Germany.

 

Can anyone tell me what if anything else that I need?

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Hey Americanguyinulm,

 

I just swapped out my US drivers license (WA state) for my german fuhrerschein here in Ulm. The information that I found indicated that a person needed to make the swap within the FIRST 6 months you are here (since registration I believe). After that, you will need to start from scratch.

 

Steps I took:

1. Went to the city's Führerscheinstelle (if you are in Ulm as I think you are): Fuhrerscheinstelle in Ulm

The ladies in the Ulm office are very friendly :) (when you are too)

2. The clerks there were able to give me a concise list of what I needed to do to complete the swap. I believe it was:

- while I was in the Führerscheinstelle, they took a copy of my US license.

- I paid for a translation of my license (the translation work was sent to Stuttgart)

- a few weeks later I recieved the translation in the mail

- return to Führerscheinstelle with translation, ID and cash ($35)

- a few weeks later, return to pick up your new German license. You WILL have to give up your US license to the clerk before you can get your German license.

 

This all assumes that you are from a state that allows for a direct swap ;)

 

Hope this helps!

Kris

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That is exactly what I needed to know. Can you tell me where to get the translation done? Is there no place in Ulm?

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I found this from ADAC:

 

Applying for a driving licence translation by mail:

You can send your driving licence (original document) as registered letter to ADAC Geschäftsstelle Frankfurt-West. The handling times will be longer therefore.

Please send:

the full name of licence owner,

address in Germany (street, ZIP-code, place),

ADAC membership number (if existent).

If you have some questions, please contact the ADAC Geschäftsstelle in Frankfurt-West

Processing fees:

ADAC Hessen-Thüringen ADAC members Non ADAC members

Classification

ADAC members 25,00 Euro

Non ADAC members 35,00 Euro

Translation/classification EC countries

ADAC members 30,00 Euro

Non ADAC members 40,00 Euro

Translation/classification other countries

ADAC members 45,00 Euro

Non ADAC members 55,00 Euro

Translation/classification other countries (non Roman scripts)

ADAC members 55,00 or rather 59,00 Euro

Non ADAC members 65,00 Euro

When you pick up the translation and classification, you have to pay the fee. If you send the licence by mail, we will send you first a bill (including postal charges of 5,90 Euro). When our bank confirms your payment, we will send you back the driving licence and translation/ classification immediately as insured package.

 

So, mine from the US as a non ADAC member should cost 55 Euros plus shipping... does anyone know of a cheaper place?

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Iam trying to wrap my head around this due to seeing that Florida is now halfway exempt to swap. It says I only need to take the written test, does that mean I do not have to pay 2k and learn to drive with 16 yr olds? Do I still have to take lessons or do I simply take a written test?

 

Also is the 3 year limit law to do this non existant anymore?

Thanks!

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Hey Americaninulm - I went directly to the drivers license office in Ulm. On my first visit they took care of arranging my translation simply by making a photo copy of my license and sending that to Stuttgart to be translated. I paid the fee directly in the drivers license office. On this first visit, the clerk also gave me a complete list of what I needed to bring back on my next visit (completed translation, cost, id, etc..)

 

The translation was mailed to me directly, at which point I went back into the drivers license office to take care of the rest.

 

FWIW, the translation needs to be 'official' i.e. done by an approved translation place.

 

Sorry that wasnt more clear in my first post!

K

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Could any one please give me up to date info on obtaining german DL in Munich? I am from Asia and i found out that i need to get a german DL. My national driving license is not acceptable here. Do i first need to register at driving school? Or can i take a driving theory and practical test at Tüv/authorized office? I can take a test in German.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

Hey there,

 

I am hoping to learn to drive so that I can eventually drive a van/camper-van or a car with a caravan attached around Europe. Firstly, I was wondering what it's like to learn to drive in Germany? I travel back to Scotland a lot so my parents can give me lessons there, and I have the option of doing my test there. Is it better to do the test in Germany or is the UK system better? Is there good German language learner driver materials like in the UK (online/books/computer programmes etc) so that if I do it in Germany I can get learning the vocab and learning ASAP? What kind of test do they do in Germany? The UK I think is hazard perception, theory and the practical test. Is it the same in Germany or do they have different tests?

 

Also, is it true that learning to drive in Germany also involves being taken onto the autobahn with an instructor and being made to drive really fast? If I learned to drive in the UK and carried a UK drivers licence, would it be possible to book an instructor specifically to help me build up my confidence on the autobahn, or do they not do individual lessons here (I heard they teach it in actual driving schools rather than just lessons like in the UK)?

 

Finally, with a UK or. German licence, do I need to be driving for a certain amount of years to be able to drive a van/camper-van or car with caravan, or do I need to take a different test for this? Can I do that test without having done the normal test?

 

Sorry for all the questions haha, I tried looking this up on google but I don't know car words in German yet (happy to learn to drive in German though) and the UK site was quite confusing with regards to driving a van etc, the different types of vehicles each had letters allocated and I couldn't find what the letters meant.

 

Ps if one country is more thorough and perhaps takes longer to learn, that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'd rather be a confident, knowledgable driver than a nervous one who learnt to drive too fast.

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