Getting a German driver's license

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You can look up drivers licenses on Wikipedia and it will give you all the catagories.

 

The short version is a UK licence would be cheaper and most likely faster to achieve.

 

But if you are a German resident, that would involve lies to the DVLA regards your residential address.

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Something like a Ford Transit or Mercedes Sprinter can be driven on a category B licence (car). Trailers & caravans are more complicated because when drawing any trailer over 750kg design weight (all caravans basically!) it becomes a calculation based on the combination of the drawing vehicle and the drawn trailer. At a certain point if the trailer gets too heavy you need to do another test to get B+E (E is a trailer). There's an intermediate step (B96 I think it's called) that actually suits most caravaners and it's easier than a "full" B+E test. Google is your friend in all this I'm sure.

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Hey there, thanks for the replies! I have residential addresses in both countries as I live between the two at the moment so shouldn't have any problem with the DVLA. And thanks, that give me a bit more of an idea of what I need to look up, and great that the Ford Transit can be counted as a normal car one. Perhaps I can start using one of those and sort of upgrade to getting the caravan one when I'm a bit better at driving haha. So there is no certain age you have to be to drive with a caravan, or time limit between getting a licence and driving one?

 

Sorry, I have tried googling this and I can't make heads nor tails of it. If there was a "...for dummies" about this I'd be all over it!

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Hey there, thanks for the replies! I have residential addresses in both countries as I live between the two at the moment so shouldn't have any problem with the DVLA.

You cannot learn to drive in another EU country on a Provisional licence issued in the UK and vice versa, the member states do not recognise it.

 

You will need to be officially registered in Germany to obtain a licence, provisional or other.

 

If you are registered in Germany then you will not be able to get a UK provisional unless of course you lie on your application which could incur serious penalties.

 

If you want to know more about driver licence entitlements, categories etc for the UK then take a look here at the following links;

 

driver licence categories

Towing: licence and age requirements

Adding higher categories to your driving licence

 

I am not sure if the driver categories vary between Germany and the UK as the EU streamlined the licencing system from 2013. I do know that for certain categories in Germany you are required at certain ages to undergo a medical.

 

Perhaps you might want to go along to a local Fahrschule and ask there regarding towing and entitlements for new drivers.

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Read this HERE.

 

If you are living in DE, and registered in DE, you are most likely a German resident.

 

That means you will need a DE licence.

 

The same goes for running a UK plated car - after a certain time it is classed as tax evation if you are resident.

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Hey there, thanks for the replies! Going for a German licence from a Fahrschule, I am registered here now anyway. I just need to work on my car/driving related German first. I know there are some Fahrschule that are in English but to be honest i'll need to know all this stuff in German anyway. Thanks so much for the info!

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Hi,

 

I tried to search all over the internetz, and this forum, found "almost" what I need and also guides, but nothing helps with this question:

 

I went to a driving school, and on registration they said that I have to do X hours of theoretical lessons, and while the test can be in English, and there is an English book with the English question - The lessons have to be in German, by law, he cannot teach me in English.

 

Is this possible/true? We have an English test, but the (theoretical) lessons have to be in German?

 

Thanks in advance,

Lior.

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

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Ok, this is a bit embarrassing but I'll just go ahead and put it out there: I'm a grown man without a driver's license. I would go into an explanation about how I've always lived in cities in which I never needed a car to get around, but you don't want to hear it. What's important is that I'm soon moving to a city in the USA in which I WILL need a car to get around, and I'd like to be as prepared as possible before I get there so I can get driving asap. Ideally, I'd like to have a license when I arrive, but I'm not sure if that will be feasible – I was hoping you might be able to help me figure that out. Here's the relevant background: I'm a NZ citizen with a learner's license (probably expired; I've only ever used it as ID to get into bars) currently based in Germany, but I'll be relocating to the USA in six weeks. Ok, now that I say that it sounds totally implausible that I'd be able to get a German license in the time I have available, in the (possibly vain) hope that I could then transfer it to the USA. But – bearing in mind that I want to be as prepared as possible when I arrive in the USA so I can get driving asap – does anyone who know the relevant laws and procedures in both countries have advice about what I should do? Take as many driving lessons in Germany before I leave, or just wait until I'm in the States to get my license? Thanks!

(PS, the issue isn't so much about learning *how* to drive – I'm a competent driver – It's more about getting the formal qualification to drive asap.)

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Why pay 2000 euros in driving school fees in Germany (and possibly even still fail the road test) when you can pay $34.50 (in Rhode Island for example) for your first license with no driver education lessons required if you are over 18. You basically download the driving manual, study it the night before and go in to take the test. Then you will have your learner's permit and take the road test. And if you see how people drive in the US, you'll understand right away why it is so easy.

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Check the web site of the Department of Motor Vehicles (or similar) in the state you are moving to.
Years ago when we moved to the USA my German wife and I both had to take the written & road driving tests. We could not just transfer our German / British licenses - people with foreign licenses had to pass the tests.

 

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Each state negotiates its own contract with a foreign government for exchange of licenses.  However, in the OP's case, he doesn't have a license in any country (I'm pretty sure his NZ learner's permit is not considered a license).  So his best option is to pay the small fee and take the driving test in the state where he will reside.  It's much cheaper and easier than the other way around.

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Yeah apart from Connecticut (where I paid around 130 to swap my license, I think, and where a renewal is almost 80!), I'm sure it won't be too bad wherever you end up. Don't even bother with doing things here. The only problem is that you'll need to find other ways to get around until you get your license. Might take a month.

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1. Check if the state you are moving to has agreement with Germany. Traffic rules differ from state to state: http://www.verkehrsportal.de/fev/anl_11_usa.php

2. On average, getting a German license is much more difficult than in any US state. Also, they drive automatic cars in the US, that's much easier to learn for beginner.

Regardless of any agreement, you can drive with foreign DL for some time in the US (AFAIK, 1 year). So, of course it's better to have some license before arrival than not. But getting a German DL in short time may be tough and unrealistic...

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2. On average, getting a German license is much more difficult than in any US state. Also, most people they drive automatic cars in the US, that's much easier to learn for beginner.

 

​Corrected that for you. I learned to drive a manual and used my brother's 1978 Honda CVCC to take the test. Sure, it's true many people drive automatics and you don't need to know how to drive a manual to get your license, manual transmissions can still be had and are still used.

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...Regardless of any agreement, you can drive with foreign DL for some time in the US (AFAIK, 1 year). ..

​The rules may be very different if you are moving there rather than driving as a tourist.


For example in California:
"If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid."
but
"If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days."


 

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​The rules may be very different if you are moving there rather than driving as a tourist.


For example in California:
"If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid."
but
"If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days."


 

​This is basically never enforced unless you're applying for a federal or state benefit much later (to prove you've been resident). However, one year would be pushing it. I think it might be 90-180 days.

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I got my drivers license around 10 years ago here and it took 6 weeks in total from when I started in the classroom to when I passed the test. The first few weeks were in the class room and then the driving part started. If you started today in the classroom, you might just get it done if you pass all tests first time. I can't remember how long I had to wait before I could start after I registered, but with only 6 weeks to go before you leave it is probably too late. Pop in to a driving school and see what they could do for you.

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Get a copy of the rule book now from the state you are moving to and study it. once you pass the written test you can make an appointment for a road test.

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I'm beginning to think about getting a driver's license (since being in your 30s and not being able to drive is only cute in NY where I'm from!), but slightly confused about the process here.

Does a learner's permit type of document exist? And do you need that to go to fahrschule and get behind the wheel? What exactly are the steps from completely non-licensed to flying down the road as an official German driver?

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