If you want to acquire a driving licence, you must submit an application to the driving licence authority in your area. To do this, you will need your birth certificate. Should you not be able to provide this, you may also use your temporary residence permit from the immigration office.
There are various driving licence categories according to the type of vehicle.
Driving schools offer both theory and practical lessons. In order to acquire a class B licence (vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes) for the first time, you will need to have logged at least 14 hours of theory lessons and 12 training excursions. In order to receive your licence, you must successfully complete both a theory and a practical examination.
The theory examination is taken using a computer and may be completed in a language other than German.
Penalties for traffic violations include fines, adding points to your licence and having your licence revoked. If you receive more than 8 points, your licence will be revoked.
If you do not have a normal residence in Germany and are just visiting, as a tourist for example, you may use your licence indefinitely. If your licence was not issued in German, you will need an international driving licence or a translation of its contents. The translation is valid for 6 months.
Once you have registered normal residence in Germany, you may use your licence for 6 months. After this period, you will need a German driving licence. Please apply in good time for the conversion of your licence at the driving licence authority in your area. Driving licences issued in EU and EEA countries are valid in Germany and must only be converted once their validity has expired.
You may need to take theory and practical examinations in order to qualify for a conversion.
Examinations are not necessary if your licence was issued in an EU or EEA country or if there is an existing agreement with the issuing country.