Needless to say - drivers already licenced outside Germany will want to avoid these costs if possible.1.0 EU & EEA Drivers
The good news is that if you hold a valid drivers' licence from an EU or EEA country your licence is automatically valid in Germany. If you have held your licence for less that 2 years, however, or if you have a heavy vehicle licence which you wish to use in Germany, you must take you must register your licence with the Landeseinwohnermeldeamt (LEA) within 6 months of taking up residence in Germany.
2.0 Drivers from other Countries
For the first six months after taking up residence in Germany, residents of non EU/EEA countries are allowed to drive using a foreign licence or a valid international licence. If you want to continue to drive after these first six months have expired, you must acquire a German licence. How difficult this is to do depends on which country issued your original licence and how long you wait before applying. If you have been resident in Germany for more than three years you have to go through the whole driver training and testing process as if you had never held a licence.
2.1 Parts of non-EEA Europe, Canada & the US
If you hold a licence from one of the following States or Countries a German licence is issued upon application (ie: without sitting any tests).
Cost: € 68.50
2.2 Various other parts of the US:
In addition to the above application, holders of a licence from the following US States must take a theoretical test before being issued with a German licence.
Cost: € 83.50
2.3 The rest of the world:
For holders of licences from places not listed in 2.1 or 2.2 above the process for acquiring a German drivers licence is more rigorous.
Step 1 - Find a driving school
You will need to be enrolled at a driving school to undertake the process of applying for a German licence.
Step 2 - Make an application for transfer of your licence.
To do this you need to attend the local branch of the LEA with the following documentation:
6 to 8 weeks after submitting these documents yo will receive confirmation from the LEA that you are allowed to proceed to the testing phase of the process.
Step 3 - The Theoretical Examination
In order to sit the test you must enroll with a registered driving school and have them make an appointment for you. The theoretical test can be taken in German, English or 10 other languages. For further information about this test see: www.training-for-germany.de
Step 4 - The Practical Examination
Even if you are an experienced driver you should take a couple of lessons with an instructor just to get a feel for what is required in the practical exam. When you are ready to take the test, your driving school will make an appointment for you. The test itself takes 30 to 45 minutes after which you will be issued with a certificate stating whether you passed or not.
Step 5 - Collecting your new licence
If you pass the tests, you need are ready to return to the LEA to apply for your new licence. To do this you will need:
In 4-6 weeks you will receive notification that you're new licence is ready to be collected.
Cost: DM500 - 1000 depending on the number of driving lessons taken.
3.0 - Links