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Converting a Foreign Driving License Into German One

(Umschreibung einer ausländischen Fahrerlaubnis)

Trading your foreign driver’s license for a German one in Berlin involves several steps. Keep in mind that the process may vary slightly based on your home country and the specific requirements in Berlin. 

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Before you start, make sure you can exchange your foreign license for a German one. Criteria may involve how long you’ve lived here and where your license is from. Here is a list of states with special provisions for holders of a foreign driving license.


Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Collect the necessary documents for the exchange process. Commonly required documents include:

  • Your valid foreign driver’s license
  • Passport and residency permit
  • Proof of city registration (Anmeldung)
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Theoretical and/or practical driving exam (See here what you need, if at all)

In case your country is not in the list you will need also the following documents:

  • First aid course certificate
  • Eye test certificate
  • Theoretical and practical driving exam


Step 3: Translate and Authenticate Documents

If your driver’s license is not in German or English, you may need an official translation. Some authorities also require an authentication or apostille for your documents, depending on your home country.


Step 4: Schedule an Appointment

Visit the local driver’s license office website (Führerscheinstelle) or your local citizen office website (Bürgeramt) to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins may not be accepted, so ensure you have a confirmed appointment.


Step 5: Attend the Appointment

On the scheduled day, visit the driver’s license office or the citizen office with all the required documents. Be prepared for a brief interview and a potential vision and health test.


Step 6: Pay Fees

There may be fees associated with the exchange process. Check the local regulations and be ready to pay any applicable fees during your appointment. Payment methods may vary, so bring cash or inquire about accepted forms of payment like credit cards or no-touch payment methods. The price basic fee for the service is 36,30€.


Step 7: Hand Over Your Foreign License

You will likely need to surrender your foreign driver’s license during the exchange process. The local authorities may keep it or return it to your home country, depending on the agreement in place.


Step 8: Receive Your German Driver’s License

Once you’ve completed all necessary steps, you will be issued a German driver’s license. This process may take some time (between 2 to 4 months), and you might receive a temporary license while waiting for the official one to be processed.


Step 9: Familiarize Yourself with German Driving Rules

Take the time to familiarize yourself with German driving rules and regulations. Road signs, traffic laws, and driving habits may differ from those in your home country.


Step 10: Update Your Vehicle Registration

If you own a vehicle, update your vehicle registration information to reflect your new German driver’s license.


Important Tips:

  • Get Ready in Time: Start the Process Before Your Foreign License Expires.
  • Be patient: processing times may vary.
  • Stay informed: Consult the official website of the local driver’s license office for the most accurate and up-to-date information.