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Driving licence and car registration
You will need a valid driver's licence if you want to drive a car yourself during your stay in Germany. Driving licences from EU or EEA countries are valid in Germany without restrictions. An international driving licence is also recognized in Germany. Driving licences from non-European countries (with a German translation) lose their validity after 6 months. You then have to go to the Driving Licence Office at the Ordnungsamt – to apply for a German driving licence.
Servicezentrum Rund ums Auto - Führerscheinstelle
Am Römerhof 19
60486 Frankfurt am Main
Telephone: +49 (0)69 212 42334
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 43230
Depending on your country of origin, you may be required to repeat your driving test (theory and/or practice). You should apply for the conversion of your driving licence in good time, i.e. at least three months before it will expire/lose validity. Whether you are allowed to drive in Germany with a foreign driving licence and under what conditions a conversion is possible depends on your country of origin and has to be checked on a case-by-case basis.
- members of "privileged States" can convert their driver's licences for a fee but without renewed testing. You can find further information and a list of the relevant countries here.
- members of "third States" must undertake a theoretical and/or practical test at a German driving school in order to convert their driver's licences. You can find more information here.
You can import your car to Germany tax-free if you have lived abroad for at least one year, the car has been used by you abroad for at least six months and you are importing the car for your own personal use and will later export it again. For stays lasting less than one year, an international or foreign vehicle registration document will suffice (with a German translation).
Even if your stay is only temporary you must re-register your car once you have officially registered with the city of Frankfurt. To register the car, please contact the Motor Vehicle Registration Office.
To transfer register your car you will need the following documents:
- Vehicle certificate of title or equivalent document (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil II or the Betriebserlaubnis)
- Vehicle registration certificate or equivalent document (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil I)
- Licence plate if your car is still registered
- A valid emissions inspection report (Abgasuntersuchungsbericht)
- A valid general inspection report (Hauptuntersuchungsbericht)
- Confirmation of insurance (car liability)
- Passport or ID card
- Direct debit authorisation for a German bank account for the car tax
- Foreign residents (also EU citizens): a valid residence permit
- Fees: appr. 30 Euro for the re-registration + 20-30 Euro for a new licence plate + 15 Euro if you would like to have a specific number