Getting a German driver's license

220 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, LenkaG said:

Have you thought about changing your teacher? My Japanese colleague did not have to retake the exam here, but did not feel comfortable driving as the rules and signage are so different, so she took some lessons with the aim of learning what to concentrate on on German streets. She said all her first teacher said was '...und Gas und Gas und Gas und Gas! Warum fahren Sie so langsam?' and he told her nothing useful. She went to another school and was really happy; the teacher understood immediately why she was there and kept chatting to her the whole time about what she should be looking at/for and all sorts of other useful bits and bobs.  

 

Yes, today the examiner told me that my hands should be straight on the steering wheel. I don't how important this is but my instructor never said this to me. I usually grab north-east and south-west of steering wheel.

 

2 hours ago, LenkaG said:

Also, have you got one of the books to help you prepare? Mine has a useful section about the exam explaining what you need to do, what are the mortal sins which would cause you to fail the exam immediately, what are mistakes that you would have a chance to iron out, etc. 

 

 

No, I have absolutely no idea which book you are talking about.

 

2 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Mmmm, didn't your driving instructor teach your how to do shoulder blick? Then change the driving instructor because no way you can pass the exam without actively using your head to look for vehicles not visible in the mirror. We use this method less often in real life, but in the exam you should show that you know that side mirror shows not everything.

 

He never pointed this to me, though I always look enough, but apparently I do this very fast and I should look for 2 seconds so examiner can see me looking.

 

2 hours ago, yourkeau said:

I've had my license for 10 years back home, but had to learn everything from scratch here. Driving is different and more responsible, methinks. Every German has a license, so it's not that difficult as it appears, really. But it seems you just have a bad teacher. Change him/her.

 

Thanks for the advice! 

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26 minutes ago, Persisky said:

Yes, today the examiner told me that my hands should be straight on the steering wheel. I don't how important this is but my instructor never said this to me. I usually grab north-east and south-west of steering wheel.

 

Your hands should be at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions ('zehn-vor-zwei-Stellung') and yes, this is on the list of what is expected of you during the exam (it is obviously not one of the mortal sins, but ignoring it doesn't earn you any brownie points, as you have found out). 

 

33 minutes ago, Persisky said:

No, I have absolutely no idea which book you are talking about.

 

I got a book when I registered (through my driving school, so it was cheaper) for an online program which I used to prepare for the theory exam. I have done that in English, but the paper book came only in German, which helped me with the lessons -- I do speak fluent German, but had to learn the subject-specific vocabulary. I don't know about other resources or whether you can find anything in the library. 

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Just like this :)

 

On 26.1.2017, 20:53:59, GoodBob said:

Those cats are afraid of you now, franklan. :o They're getting the hell outta here. :unsure:

 

588a53d15cb1c_CatDriving.jpg.377dd0f3c84

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10 hours ago, Persisky said:

 

Yes, today the examiner told me that my hands should be straight on the steering wheel. I don't how important this is but my instructor never said this to me. I usually grab north-east and south-west of steering wheel.

 

LenkaG is right, hands should be positioned 10 to 2.

 

Many moons ago, I worked for a chap who had been an advanced driving instructor for the police.  As I was a young driver, he drummed into me the most important driving safety factor....both hands ALWAYS on the steering wheel positioned 10 to 2. Why? Should a tyre blow out (or other incident) occur, the nano seconds needed to control the steering wheel can be the difference between life and death. 

 

I've nagged my husband for years about his often one handed driving.  Last week, his friend had a very bad accident on the motorway following a tyre blow out.  He had been cruising along, one hand at the bottom of the steering wheel.  Very lucky for him, the blow out happened during a speed limited road works section.  The car's a write-off as is the other car he crashed into. 

 

The police and ADAC told the friend that considering the overall damage, had he been driving at normal motorway speed, both drivers would surely have died. Luckily both just had a few minor cuts.  My husband now heeds my former nagging. :)

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10 hours ago, LenkaG said:

I got a book when I registered (through my driving school, so it was cheaper) for an online program which I used to prepare for the theory exam. I have done that in English, but the paper book came only in German, which helped me with the lessons -- I do speak fluent German, but had to learn the subject-specific vocabulary. I don't know about other resources or whether you can find anything in the library. 

 

Do you remember the name of that book?

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Concerning the position of the hands: there is more than one recommendation, meaning, is doesn't matter.

German style: 10 to 2

American style: 8 to 4

The standardised position of the hands for dummies is 8 to 4

(One hand at 8 and the other on the iPhone or between the legs is definitely wrong.)

Walter Röhrl recommends: 9 to 3 (since he was a very successful ralley driver, that must be the correct position for the hands.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

Concerning the position of the hands: there is more than one recommendation, meaning, is doesn't matter.

German style: 10 to 2

American style: 8 to 4

The standardised position of the hands for dummies is 8 to 4

(One hand at 8 and the other on the iPhone or between the legs is definitely wrong.)

Walter Röhrl recommends: 9 to 3 (since he was a very successful ralley driver, that must be the correct position for the hands.

 

 

That's interesting...I'm always happy to learn something new. This came up with a quick Google http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2119008/How-holding-steering-wheel-old-10-2-spot-tear-hands-crash.html

 

Seems that 9 to 3 is the safer position due to airbag deployment. I'm ancient and learned way before the advent of airbags and power steering.  Last week I explained what older cars were like to my daughter "what, no aircon?". :D.  She still can't quite grasp us telling here she should learn to drive with a manual gearbox as she'll have more future flexibility. 

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Comment of a reader to the Daily Mail article:

I don't think its as bad as the NTSB makes out as for most drivers only one hand might be injured as the other one is holding a cell phone or burger, or electric shaver, or lipstick or hairbrush or ciggy, or newspaper or ....

 

 

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Just now, AnswerToLife42 said:

Comment of a reader to the Daily Mail article:

I don't think its as bad as the NTSB makes out as for most drivers only one hand might be injured as the other one is holding a cell phone or burger, or electric shaver, or lipstick or hairbrush or ciggy, or newspaper or ...

 

 

The DM comments make the best reading :D

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1 hour ago, Persisky said:

Do you remember the name of that book?

 

The name of the program is the name of the book. This was what my school used for the theory lessons as well. I got a blue box in which I found the book and a sticker with my code to access the online trainer. Maybe someone you know has a book they kept from when they were learning. 

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I have some questions related to getting back my US driver's license. Recently, I have transferred my Washington state driver's license to a German driver's license. However, the KFZ did not return my WA license when I picked up the new one. I asked the staff who issued me the German license about how I can get my WA license back, but she did not know and told me to ask WA DMV. Is the KFZ currently keeping my license or has the KFZ sent my license back to Washington State? If I want to get my WA license back before returning to the US, how can I get my WA license back? Any help would be great!
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1 hour ago, okling said:
I have some questions related to getting back my US driver's license. Recently, I have transferred my Washington state driver's license to a German driver's license. However, the KFZ did not return my WA license when I picked up the new one. I asked the staff who issued me the German license about how I can get my WA license back, but she did not know and told me to ask WA DMV. Is the KFZ currently keeping my license or has the KFZ sent my license back to Washington State? If I want to get my WA license back before returning to the US, how can I get my WA license back? Any help would be great!

I think they keep your license here in Germany but I'm not sure.  I read someplace that you can get them back or at least some people said they got theirs back.  What I did 6 years ago when I had to turn mine in to the Führerscheinstelle was write to my US state DMV, told them I lost may license and they sent a new one.  Of course, I still maintain a US address (at my daughters) that they could send it to.

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Your German license is perfectly legal in the US for driving. The reason they keep it is because if one is suspended or revoked, you will not have the benefit of the other.

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For me, the Berlin folks told me they were holding it locally but for some reason didn't know of any process that I could go and retrieve it if I wanted to use it as ID in the US.  I understand the restrictions on having 2 licenses but the US one is used so much as ID that it's much nicer to have one (and a lot more convenient than carrying a passport).  From a quick look at the Washington State DMV site WA DMV it looks like you can just request one by mail if you have a way you write them a check and they'll even send it to an out of state (maybe country since there is a field for it) address.  Good luck and I hope it works out.

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Yes, carrying the US one is much more convenient when I am back in the states. I have sent an email to KFZ about my US driver's license, and they told me that it had been sent back to Washington DMV. When I checked my online account on Washington DMV, it looks like my ID is still valid and can request a replacement. I will try that to see if that works. Thanks again for all the suggestions! 

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Came to Germany in April and was driving with my Indian license for the first six months. I also enrolled in a driving school in parallel and took two practical classes to calm my nerves and to brush up the rules (my colleague had just given verbal instructions when I started driving and I learnt the remaining mainly from videos)

 

I completed both the theory and practical tests in one attempt and received my license last week. The below pointers helped me clear the test successfully and might help others (especially those who drive initially with license from other countries)

  • Driving class an hour before the test is recommended. In fact, continuing immediately with the test after practice is the best option.
  • No matter what, you can't avoid nerves (at least the first 10-15 minutes). We need to manage and concentrate on what has to be done.
  • Back home, I was used to driving on the left side of the road (UK system) and though I have adapted well, make sure you do not make mistakes especially under pressure.
  • I can't stress this enough but it is important to get a good instructor. A bad instructor is detrimental for your chance to clear the test and your confidence as well. A good instructor will guide you well without making you nervous or getting angry at you.
  • Be prepared for secondary situations. For example, you exit a roundabout and stop because pedestrians are crossing. It is also equally important to see left/right after the pedestrians have crossed the road to make sure others are not about to cross.
  • A stop sign means that. Stop. It doesn't matter if even god is asking you to continue driving.
  • Drink enough fluids and keep your cool. Remember, the inspector will get his first impression on you in the first 10-15 minutes of your test.
  • When you see a roundabout or a T ahead, be proactive and ask about exit/turn and plan accordingly.
  • When you see an obstacle on the road (like a parked car), make sure you see all three mirrors, short indicate and move to the other lane. Returning back into the lane doesn't need the indicator (but I don't see any harm in using it)
  • What the inspector is looking for is that you know the rules, respect other road users and follow speed limits actively.

Mistakes I committed:

  • I stopped for pedestrians at a roundabout, made sure others are not crossing. However, I saw a cycle at a distance but proceed ahead. According to my instructor and inspector, they felt I should have waited because cycles travel faster than pedestrians and I have to account for it.
  • My instructor also pointed out that I should have given priority while taking a right turn though the other car was a few hundred meters away. This was a grave mistake in my opinion because it would have resulted in a crash but the inspector either did not notice it or did not think it was a major issue.

All the best and confidence with the right instructor always make a difference.

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34 minutes ago, vivekm said:

My instructor also pointed out that I should have given priority while taking a right turn though the other car was a few hundred meters away. This was a grave mistake in my opinion because it would have resulted in a crash but the inspector either did not notice it or did not think it was a major issue.

Actually, my examiner complained that I waited too long to let the other cars pass. It's not forbidden, but the examiner was of opinion that I should have proceeded faster without waiting (like experienced drivers do). Maybe, your examiner was of the same opinion, so you did everything correctly.

 

Otherwise, congratulations!

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I passed mine last week as well. Although I did my best to drive as slow as possible, at the end I was warned that I was driving a bit fast :) .

 

I also would like to add that cost of this umschreibung was above my expectations. It costed me a total of 963 €. Sehr teuer :( .

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5 hours ago, TurMech said:

I passed mine last week as well. Although I did my best to drive as slow as possible, at the end I was warned that I was driving a bit fast :) .

 

I also would like to add that cost of this umschreibung was above my expectations. It costed me a total of 963 €. Sehr teuer :( .

 

Holy cow!!

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