Converting a UK driver's licence into a German one

205 posts in this topic

 A good point for all these days.  Place of residence is a requirement  for most documents.   Whether UK/Canadian/German licence- you need to be resident in those countries to renew.    Much stricter than a few years ago. If you give up your UK licence for a German one, and then return to live in the UK, you can change your licence back to UK licence.

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31 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

What I don't understand is how do you prove you're no longer a UK resident if pulled over. Do the cops have access to border crossing records?

 

No, they have no access to such records, the few times I've been stopped over the years it's been in both my own vehicle and a hire vehicle, my own vehicle has german plates along with German documentation and the hire company has my German address on the agreement.

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It used to be the case that on the DVLA website it said you do not have to notify them if moving abroad...this seems to have gone. Both sides told me a few years ago that I could drive here with my UK license so long as it is valid (photocard has not expired). When I needed to get a new photocard I had to get a German license as you have to confirm you are a UK resident in order to get a new UK one (as per SP's photo).

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Dear DVLA,

I've moved to Germany and the current address on my UK licence is nonger valid what should I do.

Admittedly my licence is a paper one with my UK address printed on it and was issued in 1976 but is still valid.

 

DVLA99.jpg.2d2f75453c0dd000214af1d0ee877

 

DVLA99-2.jpg.b2df41daf5759ffbd636e19a44d

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1 hour ago, Malt-Teaser said:

Dear DVLA,

I've moved to Germany and the current address on my UK licence is nonger valid what should I do.

Admittedly my licence is a paper one with my UK address printed on it and was issued in 1976 but is still valid.

 

 

 

DVLA99-2.jpg.b2df41daf5759ffbd636e19a44d

 

But that only answers what we already know which again only applies to renewal or exchange of license, you are under no obligation, legal or otherwise to exchange a valid license whilst residing in any of the 28 EU countries.

But I note your reply mentions nothing about what you've been flappnig on about the whole time, the address is invalid so it's illegal to drive in the UK.

Perhaps you might want to write back to them asking if it's still legal to drive in the UK whilst resident in another European country and a holder of a valid UK license, I can gaurantee you the answer. 'it's perfectly legal to do so'.

 

 

 

 

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Can you get arrested and fined for doing something that isnt Illegal ?

 

If so.. please enlighten me!

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On 18. Februar 2008 17:13:34, YorkshireLad6 said:

He is talking about reality and you are talking about directives and laws.

Rubbish on both counts!

 

European Court Judgement c-230/97 from 29.10.1998 states that any driving licence issued by a Member State must be recognised by the other Member States, even if the licence is old and does not correspond to the Community model, provided it is still valid - you no longer have to exchange your original licence if you go to live in another Member State but you can apply to do so if you wish.

 

EU Directive 2411/98 from 03.11.1998 specifies the number plate extension for national registration and requires it's acceptance in EU states without need for additional stickers. It's not compulsory, but if it is there then you don't need anything else.

 

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2 hours ago, SpiderPig said:

Can you get arrested and fined for doing something that isnt Illegal ?

 

If so.. please enlighten me!

No, the question is: can you get arrested for not complying to something you legally cannot comply (put foreign address on UK license)?

I would suggest that even if the answer is "yes", this is a case to win in Luxembourg (before Brexit is complete).

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2 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

https://www.gov.uk/legal-obligations-drivers-riders

 

Go on... How can Luxemburg protect you from this?

Link to the law, please. We already discovered that simple English explanation on such websites can be confusing and not complete. UK government simply doesn't assume that its citizen can leave the holy island and move to evil EU, so no information for expats.

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The system is supposed to be that people holding a uk drivers license on the mainland exchange for a local license.  The confusion seems to be that noone can point to a law saying that this *must* be done.  It could be infered from the address requirements that this is an implicit requirement (since you cant have a foreign address on a british license, and the license must have the correct address) but as far as I know this is not actually so.

 

Some people have argued that it is better to keep the uk passport for as long as possible, since the german authorities cannot confiscate it, but frankly for most people there is no substantial difference between a uk or german diving license.  My view on these things tends to be rather pragmatic, you are "expected" to exchange your drivers license around 6 months after moving here and weather you must or not I think must of us may as well do so.  Keep the beamter happy and ensure you dont get hamstrung by some unexpected change related to brexit or whatever.

 

For what its worth I did not exchange my uk license until after the card had expired (not sure, I think it was 3 years or so in germany) and there was no problem either before or after I did so.

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5 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Link to the law, please. We already discovered that simple English explanation on such websites can be confusing and not complete. UK government simply doesn't assume that its citizen can leave the holy island and move to evil EU, so no information for expats.

 

I agree with this and what zwiebelfisch said. It's simply not clear. Malt-Teaser's reply from the DVLA does not answer the question either.

4 hours ago, zwiebelfisch said:

For what its worth I did not exchange my uk license until after the card had expired (not sure, I think it was 3 years or so in germany) and there was no problem either before or after I did so.

 

Exactly the same for me.

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Ok.. Today, I spoke with the DVLA and Cheshire police..

 

DVLA said that it is a civil crime/offence if you do not change your adress, but they do not prosecute...

 

Cheshire police siad that they do not prsectute unless the adress is falsified for criminal activity...  Then it becomes a crimonal offence!

 

 

So, There we have it!

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14 minutes ago, SpiderPig said:

Ok.. Today, I spoke with the DVLA and Cheshire police..

 

DVLA said that it is a civil crime/offence if you do not change your adress, but they do not prosecute...

 

Cheshire police siad that they do not prsectute unless the adress is falsified for criminal activity...  Then it becomes a crimonal offence!

 

 

So, There we have it!

Still not clear! Did they stress that it's offense for non residents, too, or are they clueless about this?

If it's offense for non residents then how do you put your German address in UK license?

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They said that you cannot change your adress to a foreign one, so the recomendation is to go "local"----

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This is all very confusing, or at least it was ... I was definitely told the only thing to do was change my licence, but that was in back in 1999, a year after moving here.

Yesterday I too spoke with DVLA and seem to have a slightly different reply to SP.

My question to them was a clear question: After a UK resident moves to Germany (or mainland EU) do they have to change their licence for a local one because the address is false?

The exact reply that came back:

"Dear Mr xxxxx

Thank you for your email received on 25/10/16. Your email reference number is nnnnnn.

It is accepted that drivers who move to another part of the EC/EEA could be holding a licence showing an incorrect address.

This is permissible under the terms of the EC Directive on Driving Licences."

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Aha.

 

Confusion gone. That would seem to be the exact answer. If you have moved within the EU, you are OK with a wonky address. Print it out and keep it with your licence, I suppose. If anyone with a good head for boring text could find the actual reference in EU law, that would also be helpful to print out.

 

Well done Malty.

 

SP - that doesn't change their recommendation to go visit the local licencing authority, and that still makes sense as our EU-ness fades...

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7 hours ago, Malt-Teaser said:

This is all very confusing, or at least it was ... I was definitely told the only thing to do was change my licence, but that was in back in 1999, a year after moving here.

Yesterday I too spoke with DVLA and seem to have a slightly different reply to SP.

My question to them was a clear question: After a UK resident moves to Germany (or mainland EU) do they have to change their licence for a local one because the address is false?

The exact reply that came back:

"Dear Mr xxxxx

Thank you for your email received on 25/10/16. Your email reference number is nnnnnn.

It is accepted that drivers who move to another part of the EC/EEA could be holding a licence showing an incorrect address.

This is permissible under the terms of the EC Directive on Driving Licences."

 

Thank you for clearing that up and answering what I have been saying all along, at least now you won't be speaking a load of old bollocks:D

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11 hours ago, SpiderPig said:

Ok.. Today, I spoke with the DVLA and Cheshire police..

 

 

Cheshire Police, is that because you speak the same language?

 

I would of asked a proper police force like the Met.

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