Ministry of Labour, Social, Family Affairs and Integration
Transport & Mobility Foreign Driving Licences
We inform you about the most important German provisions for holders of foreign driving licences from EU and EEA countries.
Hamburg Welcome Portal – Living - Transport & Mobility – Foreign Driving Licences
Driving Licences from EU and EEA States
If you hold a valid domestic car driving licence issued by a state in EU or EEA, your car driving licence entitles you to drive a car in Germany until this licence expires. If there are any conditions or restrictions on your driving licence, you must also comply with them when driving in the Federal Republic of Germany. If your foreign driving licence is about to expire or if it is no longer valid, you will receive a German licence of the same category upon request. Even without a special reason, you may exchange your valid foreign driving licence at the State Office of Transport (Landesbetrieb Verkehr – LBV) for a German driving licence at any time.
Driving Licences from Non-EU and -EEA States
If you hold a car driving licence from a state that is not a member of the EU or the EEA, this licence will be valid for six months after you have established your normal residence in the Federal Republic of Germany. After this period, your driving licence is no longer valid.
If you wish to continue driving a car on domestic roads, a car driving licence issued in the Federal Republic of Germany is necessary. The conditions governing the issuing of a German car driving licence vary depending on which country you obtained your licence in. For more information on how to obtain a German driving licence, and the conditions that have to be met, please contact the State Office of Transport (Landesbetrieb Verkehr – LBV).
Attention: Driving or riding a motor vehicle with a foreign driving licence that is not or no longer recognised here will be treated as driving without a driving licence and penalised accordingly.