Getting a German driver's license

220 posts in this topic

On 13/01/2016, 20:02:57, Fritsen said:

 

This is a popular theory test simulation (all 900 questions), it costs 30 euros or something. Many driving schools sell it:

The number of questions has actually increased to a thousand and fifty six or there about.  A couple of new questions were recently added.

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On 10/9/2015, 10:54:07, yourkeau said:

Paperwork? I was absolutely legal. They could only charge me for not having the International Driving Permit if they really wanted to be arseholes. But they were only interested in either foreigners or Americans from other US states who were residents, not tourists.

 

It is my understanding that you only need an international driving permit in Germany if your license is not written in the roman alphabet. In all the years I've driven in Germany no one has ever asked me for one, not even when I rented a car.

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Hi guys, I'm a Canadian whose license expired before I could trade it in for a German one. Canada won't renew it for me anymore because I'm not a resident in Canada any more. (Boo!!) Does anyone know, if I want to get a German driver's license, if I have to totally redo driving school as if I don't know how to drive (ie: 2,000 euros) or if I can just do the test, first aid course, etc without doing classes (since I already know how to drive).

Also, does anyone know if you drive your own car for the road test, or a car provided by the driving school people?

Thank you!

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if I have to totally redo driving school as if I don't know how to drive

Yes.

Quote

if I can just do the test, first aid course, etc without doing classes

What Canadian province is your license from? What driving class? Not all provinces are exchangeable.

 

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since I already know how to drive

How do you know that? I've had a license for 10 years* and after that I had to take German classes for 6 months to pass the test. Driving in your own country and driving in Germany is different. Do you drive shift stick in Canada or automatic like in the US? Because if the latter then you (in case of exchange) would only be allowed to drive automatics in Germany which strongly limits your choice in both renting a car and buying it. It is recommended to learn shift stick to drive in Germany.

 

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Also, does anyone know if you drive your own car for the road test, or a car provided by the driving school people?

Driving school car with second set of pedals for your instructor. Don't know if this is the case in all cars but in mine the instructor has a special "exam" mode when his pedals beep loudly every time the instructor presses them. This means that if during exams the instructor will have to brake for you there will be a loud beep which means "exam failed".

 

*I didn't own a car and only drove occasionally.

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You have to take the driving test, but there are absolutely cheaper driving courses available to those who already know how to drive, as evidenced by posts in this very thread, as well as driving school websites advertising such. 

 

If you already know how to drive, I'd contact driving schools directly and see what you're particular situation is and what the price will be.

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Thanks, guys, for your help! I am encouraged to hear that there may be some cheaper options available for me since I already have driven for so many years!

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On this page, it states some Burgeramt will accept walk-ins for the purpose of applying for a driver's license. Does anyone have any recent experience with this and can recommend a Burgeramt that will process applications without an appointment?

 

Every Burgeramt I choose is completely blacked out in terms of available dates. It's so frustrating! 

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I don't think any Burgeramts in Berlin do walk-ins anymore, at least not for most services. A quick look at website suggests that driving licences are an appointment-only thing.

 

Probably the only thing you can do is visit the booking system first thing every morning and keep refreshing. Cancellations for Anmeldung go up first thing, so I guess the other services do too.

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On 6/7/2016, 1:14:04, yourkeau said:

Do you drive shift stick in Canada or automatic like in the US? Because if the latter then you (in case of exchange) would only be allowed to drive automatics in Germany which strongly limits your choice in both renting a car and buying it. It is recommended to learn shift stick to drive in Germany.

 

I'm curious about this issue.  I have a valid Canadian driver's licence and I've initiated the process of transferring it (which requires stuff from the Ausländerbehorde, translations, and my driving history transcript from Canada). I have been told I can accomplish this without either a theory test or a driving test.

 

Nothing on my Canadian licence indicates I can't drive stick (i.e. standard transmission). Admittedly however, except for a little practice on back-country roads with my aunt 20 years ago, I've only ever driven automatic.  Will my future German licence specify whether or not I can drive stick?  If so, how could they check without an in-car test?

Regardless of what my future German licence says, I will be getting some practice in advance of driving...

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22 minutes ago, HH_Sailor said:

A German license will state if you are only allowed to drive automatics. 

 

Only if an individual - on its own will - decides to do the German test on a non-stick-shift-car, voluntarily and on purpose...

 

In Germany, one can insist to do the practical exam on a car with automatic gearbox, but then - and only then - it gets noted in your DL. 

 

Standard is to do the practical Exam on a stick shift vehicle.

 

If @dundas manages to get the Canadian DL transferred to a German one without practical exam, it won't be mentioned. And nobody gives a sh*t if he/she knows how to switch gear with that stick.

 

Calm down.

 

 

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On 6/7/2016, 1:14:04, yourkeau said:

Do you drive shift stick in Canada or automatic like in the US?

 

Huh? I learned both stick and automatic. I drove both types of cars almost always owning one automatic and one "fun" little two-seater with a five speed. Where does this perception come from? I've really never heard this. 

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I think the perception comes from the fact that as time goes on, it's more and more true that americans can't drive stick.

 

I only know 1 younger person (35 and under) in the US who can really drive a manual transmission. A couple others will clutch-mangle their way through it, and the rest won't even try.  Pure terror.

 

The ones who can do it tend to be closer to my age and older, presumably because we learned to drive when sticks were way more common.

 

It's not even easy to buy a new car with a manual transmission anymore.  VWs are easier to come by in stock at the dealership as the joy of driving stick is better understood by VW fans (or at least that's my fantasy), Hondas and Mazdas...on the smaller coupes, sometimes.  Even sportier cars tend to come standard with a triptronic semi-auto thingamebob - hate those. Rental cars?  I don't think I've ever been able to rent a car with manual transmission in the US, even though I always request it.

 

Regardless of where it comes from, I had a really funny experience around this perception when I rented a car in Berlin a few years back.  The guy who brought the car out was apologizing profusely that he didn't have an automatic for me.  I told him it was fine - I can drive stick, and prefer it.  He continued to dither, helped me into the car, was pointing out this and that, and he just wouldn't go back to his business, preferring to stand by. As I was driving away I saw him in the rearview mirror, sort of bouncing on his toes, grinning madly and waving enthusiastically...like he was cheering me on.  It was SO cute. 

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9 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

It's not even easy to buy a new car with a manual transmission anymore.

And selling this car is way more difficult. I bet it's easier to sell automatic in Germany than manual in the US.

My knowledge is that these days only truck drivers learn shift stick. And maybe classics enthusiasts.

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28 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

And selling this car is way more difficult

 

oh goodness yes!  very hard.  I just traded mine in when I bought a new car, but only did that twice, the last in 2000.  That car now lives with my brother, another old fart who enjoys a zippy VW Turbo Golf with a STICK! 

 

Bless it's little oil filled heart, that car still runs strong with over 250k MILES on it. 

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5 hours ago, AlexTr said:

 

Huh? I learned both stick and automatic. I drove both types of cars almost always owning one automatic and one "fun" little two-seater with a five speed. Where does this perception come from? I've really never heard this. 

Most of my Canadian friends and colleagues learnt to drive automatic, and  never drive manual gear shift.

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6 hours ago, lisa13 said:

I think the perception comes from the fact that as time goes on, it's more and more true that americans can't drive stick.

 

I only know 1 younger person (35 and under) in the US who can really drive a manual transmission. A couple others will clutch-mangle their way through it, and the rest won't even try.  Pure terror.

 

The ones who can do it tend to be closer to my age and older, presumably because we learned to drive when sticks were way more common.

 

It's not even easy to buy a new car with a manual transmission anymore.  VWs are easier to come by in stock at the dealership as the joy of driving stick is better understood by VW fans (or at least that's my fantasy), Hondas and Mazdas...on the smaller coupes, sometimes.  Even sportier cars tend to come standard with a triptronic semi-auto thingamebob - hate those. Rental cars?  I don't think I've ever been able to rent a car with manual transmission in the US, even though I always request it.

 

Regardless of where it comes from, I had a really funny experience around this perception when I rented a car in Berlin a few years back.  The guy who brought the car out was apologizing profusely that he didn't have an automatic for me.  I told him it was fine - I can drive stick, and prefer it.  He continued to dither, helped me into the car, was pointing out this and that, and he just wouldn't go back to his business, preferring to stand by. As I was driving away I saw him in the rearview mirror, sort of bouncing on his toes, grinning madly and waving enthusiastically...like he was cheering me on.  It was SO cute. 

 

That must be it. It must be generational. I learned to drive three on the tree and one jap. fiver. After that, I mostly had other jap. fivers.

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9 hours ago, RedMidge said:

Most of my Canadian friends and colleagues learnt to drive automatic, and  never drive manual gear shift.

That would be pretty much me and most of my school friends (we all learned on automatics). 

 

I am allowed to drive stick here, but I probably shouldn't without first taking some lessons.:ph34r::ph34r:

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10 minutes ago, engelchen said:

That would be pretty much me and most of my school friends (we all learned on automatics). 

 

I am allowed to drive stick here, but I probably shouldn't without first taking some lessons.:ph34r::ph34r:

Whenever I gave lifts to friends in my manual gear in Toronto- many would stare in awe at gear changing!!

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