Converting your driver’s license in Germany

convert to German drivers license
convert to German drivers license

Looking to obtain a German driver’s license by converting your foreign one? It might seem intimidating but don’t fret; our ultimate guide will help simplify things for you! With our step-by-step guide outlined here along with helpful tips based on expert insights- making the switch will become easy peasy!

We’ll also discuss the requirements checklist so that nothing gets overlooked and frequently asked questions so that any doubts or concerns are addressed thoroughly.

Converting a foreign driver’s license into a German one requires adherence to several essential stages.  
Here are the steps that you should know when going through this process: 

1. Research the requirements

Firstly research the specific legalities set out by German regulators before beginning the conversion process. Your country of origin and type of driver’s license can influence these requirements considerably. To stay updated on current guidelines, you should regularly check Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMDV) website.

2. Gather the necessary documents

Next, gather all the necessary paperwork needed to initiate this procedure. Required documents include

A valid passport or identification card 

– An active (=still valid) foreign driver’s license 

– Proof of German residence (=Anmeldung or Meldebescheinigung) 

– Biometric passport photo(s) 35×45 mm 

– Officially translated Driving license (if asked for) 

– Certificate of vision test (not older than 2 years) 

– Completion of First aid course 

Ensure each document meets prescribed requirements and are all valid. Exercising caution by producing replicas of critical documents for ease of access whilst ensuring the safekeeping of the original records is recommended.  

3. Make an appointment

In order to acquire a German driving license booking appointments with local driver’s license authorities (Führerscheinstelle) is required. Do keep in mind, that depending on where you are living, the procedures and the timelines may vary, so it would be wise to make your appointments accordingly. You will also need a First aid course and a vision test at this phase.  

4. Attend the theory exam (Fahrschule)

Most applicants transferring their driving licenses into German will need to pass a theory exam organized by recognized driving schools (Fahrschule). This evaluation gauges an individual’s cognizance concerning German traffic laws, policies and road signals. Preparing oneself for this test through participation in preparatory classes or utilizing digital resources (Apps) for studying relevant materials can go a long way. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the theory exam, you could do so through this website or app. 

5. Submit your Application

As you attend your Führerscheinstelle appointment ensure that all required documentation (including any foreign driver’s licenses) is in hand before submitting an application for conversion into a German driving license. Your submission shall then undergo intense review by government officials who may choose to inquire about further materials or elucidation regarding specific details. 

6. Familiarize yourself with German traffic regulations

Understanding traffic regulations particular to Germany and its road infrastructure is another crucial element when seeking eligibility for a German driving license. Prospective drivers are urged to thoroughly research all aspects surrounding traffic laws road signs’ meanings and how to approach various driving scenarios on German roads. This will not only increase your confidence as a driver but also contribute to the overall safety on the roads for everyone.

7. Complete the practical exam (Fahrprüfung)

Some individuals based on their country of origin or type of license held might require not only a theoretical examination but also the practical Fahrprüfung exam.  
Such testing serves the dual purpose of assessing one’s adeptness in properly adhering to native traffic regulations while also gauging one’s overall safety acumen when driving through these distinct locales. To maximize success odds in this venture it makes sense to spend some time practising locally as well as consulting trainers familiar with idiosyncrasies unique to the local area.  

8. Pay the fees

It is important not to overlook the fact that throughout this process there will be some financial expenses incurred subject to a range of factors such as the specific services required or the region where one is living (which can vary from one region to another). Thus it is essential to have funds set aside and credit cards ready for payment when required. 

9. Receive your German License after processing 

When considering acquiring a German driving license several steps must be taken before securing this vital document. Ensuring that any applicable fees at the local Führerscheinstelle are checked beforehand while also confirming enough funds’ availability for payment completion is one such significant step. The processing time can again vary from one region to the other and can be anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. At this point, you will be asked to hand in your foreign driver’s license.

10. Notify your Insurance provider

After obtaining your German driving license notifying your insurance provider is paramount to ensure seamless coverage when operating a vehicle in compliance with German traffic laws. One needs to do this, to reflect your latest license status, which in turn could affect the amount of your premium to be paid. If this is not done, then it can lead to complications or even denial or cancellation, during a claims process (after an accident for example). 


The TÜV (Technischer Überwachungsverein) is a Government approved technical supervisor association in Germany, that is responsible for the supervision of all the practical as well as theoretical driving exams in the country.


A German driving license is required by anyone seeking to reside in Germany for extended periods and this process is expectedly mandatory for foreign license holders. Each region has its set of distinct requirements and timelines that applicants must satisfy at every stage.

International driving permits are valid for a limited period of time – six months is the maximum when entered into Germany – but after that duration, foreign license holders must obtain a German driver’s license.

In most cases current driving skills will suffice when applying – there should be no need to retake lessons once you switch from a foreign driver’s permit. Depending on your country of origin and the type of license you hold you may need to complete a practical driving exam to assess your skills before converting to a German driving license.

The duration of the conversion process can vary, depending on the workload of the Führerscheinstelle and the region. On average it takes several weeks up to a few months to complete and obtain a German driving license, depending upon your region.

While waiting for the conversion process you are allowed to continue driving in Germany with your foreign driving license as long as you bring all required documents, including your valid foreign license and conversion application receipt from Führerscheinstelle.

Depending upon the country of origin, your license may not be eligible for direct conversion into a German one. But despair not, that does not mean that you cannot obtain a German license at all. By passing certain written and practical exams and demonstrating your driving skills as well as the knowledge of German driving laws, this is possible.

Getting a driving license is quite an expensive affair, especially if you are applying for a new one and have to register yourself with a Fahrschule. Typically one can expect to pay anywhere from 1700- 2500 Euros for a brand-new license. But in case of a conversion, this will be lesser as probably not as many theoretical or practical classes will be required. And remember these costs again vary from city to city.

What is the breakdown of the costs involved?
-Führerschein registeration – 43 Euro

-First aid + Vision test – 50 Euro

-Register at a driving school – 170-250 Euro

-TÜV ( Theory + Practical) 22.49 +116.93

– Driving school fees ( Theory + Practical) – 50 + 125 Euro

– Driving practical lessons – 60-80 Euro

– App for theory: 60-80 Euro from Fahrschule and 10 Euro from Playstore

Please note that all these prices are only suggestive, as were collected from a group member, who went through the process in 2022. Also, keep in mind that the prices will vary not only from region to region but also from school to school.


By following these crucial steps mentioned above regarding converting your foreign driving license into a German one; achieving mobility with a valid German driver’s license should soon become a reality that adequately empowers you to embrace new possibilities while living or visiting this beautiful country. As a driver in Germany, you can relish the liberty and ease of navigating the roads while also following the national traffic regulations and statutes


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