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Paderborn University in spring. Show image information

Paderborn University in spring.

Photo: Paderborn University, Kamil Glabica.

Driving Licence

If you want to drive a car during your stay in Germany, you need a valid driving licence.

Different regulations apply depending on the country in which you obtained your driving licence and how long you are staying in Germany.

Driving licences obtained in EU or EEA countries

Driving licences issued in EU or EEA countries remain valid until their expiry date.

If you do not have an international driving licence, you may have to carry a German translation of your driving licence.

 Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

Driving licences obtained in non-EU countries

If you obtained your driving licence in a country that is not a member of the EU or the EEA, it loses its validity after six months. You can therefore only use your driving licence for a short-term stay in Germany.

To be allowed to drive a motor vehicle in Germany after six months, you need a German driving licence. The requirements for obtaining a German driving licence depend on the country in which your foreign driving licence was issued. For example, additional driving lessons or taking an examination may be necessary to convert the foreign driving licence into a German driving licence. Sometimes, additional documents have to be presented, such as a sight test certificate or proof of first aid skills.  

You should apply for the transfer of your driving licence as soon as possible, at least three months before the deadline.

In exceptional cases, the driving licence authority may extend the deadline by up to six months on application, if you can credibly demonstrate that you will not have your normal place of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany for more than 12 months.

Further information can be found on the website of Paderborn‘s Department of Transportation (Straßenverkehrsamt) (in German only) and on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

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