How to get a german drivers licence
If you move your residence to Germany, first check If and how long your drivers licence is valid in Germany.
If your driving licence is for example valid for the first 6 months, you will have to have it rewritten, then you will no longer be able to drive with your country's driving licence. If you continue to drive, you will face heavy fines.
To change your foreign drivers licence to a german drivers licence is an example of our confusing German bureaucracy. So that you don't waste so much time and above all not so much money, I show you in this blog post what you have to consider.
Here is a summary of the necessary steps:
Step 1: Call the driving licence authority and ask what documents you need.
Step 2: Make an appointment with the driving licence authority.
Step 3: Submit the transfer application
Step 4: Find driving school, submit the application
Step 5: Theory test
Step 6: Practical test
The "local driving licence authority" of the city or district administration is responsible for the rewriting of your driving licence. There you can call or send an email to find out which documents are required in your case. Generally, you need the following for your application to change your driver's licence:
✅ Identification documents (passport, identity card, residence permit).
✅ A first aid course (you can take it at the Rote Kreuz for example)
✅ Eye test (many Opticians do it for free)
✅ Registration confirmation of your first residence in Germany
✅ Registration confirmation of your current residence
The first aid course usually takes place on Saturdays at the "German Rote Kreuz. You can easily book an appointment online or by phone: https://www.drk.de/start/start-neu/erste-hilfe-kurse/
You can have your eyesight tested at an optician's and usually only come without an appointment. The confirmation of registration is available at the town halls or at the "Bürgerbüros" at the registry office.
If you got the necessary documents together and they are apporved y the driving licence authority (mostly called KFZ-Stelle) you can look for a driving school.
You are not obliged to take driving lessons or attend theory classes to have your licence rewritten, but you must take the theory and practical tests and pay for them. Anyway many driving schools oblige you to do some lessons. When choosing a driving school, be sure to consider the costs and ask for several offers!
The driving school will register you for the theory and practical test and provide you with learning materials. The theory test can also be taken in English or sometimes in Spanish.
The cost depends a lot on your school and If you need driving lessons or not. I heard from friends who paid 500 and other up to 3000 Euros. Ask around and compare as many schools as you can and I also recomend to read reviews e.g. on google before making a contract.
I wish you good luck!
As always information in this article is without guarantee and can change anytime.