You are only eligible to drive a car in Germany if you own a fully valid driving license. Learner´s licenses or provisional licenses will not be accepted.
Foreign driving licenses used in Germany should normally be accompanied by an official German translation in order to be used during your stay. A German translation of a driving license can be provided by any German diplomatic mission or by an automobile club in Germany or your home country.
Driving licenses issued in the European Union (EU) or from countries like Andorra, Cyprus, Hongkong, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, and Switzerland can also be used in Germany without a German translation.
Foreign licenses may be used in Germany for a duration of up to six months. This period can be extended up to 12 months in case the intended duration of the stay will not exceed a total of 12 months (to apply for an extension please contact our office). In any other case, you will have to apply for a German driving license. We strongly recommend to apply for the German license three months in advance before the six month period ends. Otherwise you will violate German regulations. Depending on agreements existing between Germany and your home country, the conditions of obtaining a German driving license vary. For some countries a German license will be issued without having to pass a driving test and / or a theoretical exam. To see the requirements for the driving license of your home country please see this link.
In order to apply for the German driving license please contact the `Führerscheinstelle´ (licensing department) in your town or municipality.
If you live within the city district of Karlsruhe please visit the licensing department of the city of Karlsruhe located at
Monday and Wednesday 08h – 15h
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 08h – 12h
Thursday 14h – 17h45
For more information see this link.
If you live within communities belonging to the administrative district of the `Landkreis´ please see the licensing department located at
Beiertheimer Allee 2
To get more information please visit this link.
Be sure to bring the following documents when handing in your application:
- Valid Passport or Identity Card
- Original foreign national driving license including a German translation if necessary
- A recent passport-size photograph
- A declaration by the applicant that the foreign driving license is still valid
- It may also be required to bring a police certificate of good conduct and an official eye test.
- Please consult the authorities mentioned above to check whether these items are needed.