One of the advantages of a united Europe is the freedom of movement, which also extends to your driving licence. If you are an EU or EEA citizen, you are free to have your driving licence converted into a German driving licence. You can, but you do not have to.
In contrast, driving licences from so-called third countries are somewhat more complicated and require a little effort. These are all countries that do not belong to the EU, the EEA and EFTA. For example, the USA, Canada or Japan belong to this group; the complete list of countries can be found here.
- Eye test, first aid and proof of health suitability
If you do not come from an EU/EEA country, you will need to have your eyesight examined and a certificate of attendance at a first aid course. Depending on the category of the licence, proof of medical fitness may be required.
You need a current, biometric passport photo for the re-registration.
- Theoretical and practical examination
It may also be necessary to take a theoretical and/or practical test, at the discretion of the driving licence authority. In this way you prove that you know the rules of German road traffic and that they are not an obstacle for you. To do this, you must register at a driving school, but you do not need to complete the entire compulsory training. However, you should make sure that you are sufficiently prepared. This works best with the Fahren Lernen Max app.
- Application for a re-register of driving licence
If you are an EU or EEA citizen, you can also fill in the application online and then send it off by post. All others have to go to the respective driving licence office and apply there for a transfer of their driving licence.
- Required documents
You will need your original national driving licence and a declaration that your foreign driving licence is still valid. A translation may also be required. As you also have to identify yourself, you need an identity card or passport. To be on the safe side, also take your current registration certificate with you.
There are costs for the application and the necessary documents. Depending on whether you come from an EU country, the European currency area or a third country, the costs vary between 35 euros and 42.60 euros for the transcription.
In bureaucratic matters, it has proven to be best to apply for everything as early as possible and to have all the necessary documents at hand. If you have to hand in additional documents, the process will be delayed and you will have to wait longer before you can legally get behind the wheel in Germany.