Driving in Germany (Führerschein)


What’s almost as famous as beer and bretzeln? The Autobahn! And although Germany has incredibly good public transport you may want to purchase a car and or make use of car-sharing services. In order t do this, you will have to ensure that you have the correct drivers license for driving in Germany.

If you are considering staying longer than 6 months and will ever want to drive, it is important to deal with the drivers license issue as soon as possible, especially since for some license holders time can be of the essence, because when certain deadlines run out you may be required to re-do your license altogether and this is an expensive and lengthy process in Germany.

Non-EU citizens who will be living in Germany longer than a year will need to obtain a ‚Führerschein' – German license. It is often as simple as exchanging the existing license for a German one. In some cases, it will be required for people to take an exam, a driving test, or perhaps both.

Licences from the following countries can be exchanged Canada or the U.S. states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Licences from Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee or Washington D.C. – licence holders will need to take the written test, but not the driving test.

For people planning to reside in Germany for longer than six months but less than one year, you can obtain a six-month extension to use your existing license. Licenses which were issued by a country which is not in the EU or the EEA, are usable for six months from your date of arrival.

Happy Driving!

(Source: https://www.adac.de/verkehr/rund-um-den-fuehrerschein/auslaendische-fuehrerscheine/ & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_licence_in_Germany)



Juli Buchanan

Hi there! I'm Juli, I have german roots but I grew up in New Zealand and have been living in Germany since 2004. I love sharing my passion for Berlin and all it has to offer with new 'Berliners' and through my work as a freelance Relocation Consultant with IRC I have the opportunity to do so.

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