Bureaucracy

Driving in the Fast Lane – Your Shortcut to getting your driver’s license in Nuremberg, Germany

Driving
Photo: Samuele Errico Piccarini/Unsplash

Your Shortcut to getting your driver’s license in Nuremberg, Germany

Chances are, you’ve heard about the infamous Autobahn and its zones with unlimited speed limits long before arriving in Germany. Now that you’re here, you want to experience the thrill for yourself, or perhaps you would just like to have the independence that comes along with car travel.

If you’ve already acquired your driver’s license in your home country, it’s possible that, depending on which country you’re from, you can avoid the bureaucratic process of having to take the theoretical and practical driving exams.

Disclaimer: See the links provided for exact details regarding the process and documents necessary for your specific license conversion!

Am I eligible?

If you’re from:

  1. Another country in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway:
    You may continue to use your license until its expiry, and afterwards, exchange it for a German license.Licenses for motorcycles, or large goods vehicles classes can be used for the first six months upon entry in Germany and must then be converted into the respective German license. For detailed rules regarding those classes, see details here. 

OR

If you’re from:

  1. The following 13 countries
  1. Andorra
  2. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  3. Canada1
  4. French Polynesia
  5. Guernsey
  6. Isle of Man
  7. Israel
  8. Japan
  9. Jersey
  10. Monaco
  11. Namibia
  12. New Caledonia
  13. New Zealand
  14. Republic of Korea
  15. United States of America2
  16. San Marino
  17. Switzerland
  18. Serbia
  19. Singapore
  20. South Africa
  21. Taiwan

You may be entitled to a shorter process of getting a German license.

License Holders from these countries can use their license for the first six months after entering Germany, but must then get a local German license. They are generally exempt from taking practical and theoretical exams; however, some countries have conditions for specific license classes.

For example:

1License holders from Canada are generally able to convert their driver’s license without any additional examinations. However, this depends greatly on the license class which you hold, and may vary from province to province.

2License holders from some US states need to write a theoretical exam, but are exempt from the practical exam. This also varies depending on which license class you hold and require, and may vary from state to state.

3License holders from Taiwan still require a practical exam to get their license, but are exempt from having to take the theoretical exam.

Find detailed and specific conditions for each respective country here. 

What do I need?

In order to begin the process of license conversion, you need to make an appointment and bring the following documents:

  • Your Passport or ID card
  • Existing Driver’s License
  • If required: An official translation of your Driver’s License. This can be done by an official translator or by the ADAC. Costs can range from 59 to 85 Euros depending on the original language
  • A recent biometric photo
  • Your first address registration (Anmeldung) in Germany
  • Fees between 35 and 45 euros
  • If required: The name of your driving school in Nuremberg
  • If required: An eye exam which isn’t over two years old

Note: Find the exact information and costs here.  

Where do I begin?

You will need to make an initial appointment at the local driving license authority (Führerscheinstelle) in Nuremberg located at:
Innere Laufer Platz 3, 90403 Nuremberg.

To do so, you must first make an online appointment here: 

  1. Click the category “Umschreibung ausländische Fahrerlaubnis”
  2. Select the category again under “Leistung wählen“
  3. Click “Zur Terminauswahl”
  4. Select a date and time for your appointment.

**Due to high demand for appointments, it is possible that there aren’t any available at the moment. Check back regularly, as new appointments do get opened up.

Once you set your appointment, make sure to show up with your documents at the above-mentioned address! And don’t forget to bring your mask!

If you are unsure if you have everything you need, don’t worry – you can always make subsequent appointments where you can pick up where you left off in the process. If you are missing a document which can be acquired relatively quickly, you can already book the following appointment, as the next free slot may be a few weeks away.

Once the process is complete, the licensing authority will take away the license from your original country of residence. A few weeks later, you will receive your new license in the mail!

What if I’m not from one of the above-mentioned countries?

Anyone not from the above-mentioned countries must take the practical and theoretical driving exams. Details on how to navigate the bureaucracy involved with signing up at a driving school, taking courses and doing the exams will be discussed in another article coming soon!

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