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Driving in Germany with a Foreign License: What You Must Know

Here’s all you need to know about getting around with a foreign driver’s license in Germany

Driving in Germany with foreign license. Traffic laws(2024) Driving in Germany might not be as necessary given the country’s transport system is efficient, but for some it might be. Here are a few pointers on driving in Germany with a foreign driver’s license which are also important for Africans in Germany:

Driving in Germany with a foreign license:

Some of the rules for driving in Germany might be very different for foreigners hence its wise to take note of what you need to know:

  • The legal driving age in Germany is 18. You are not permitted to drive if you are below this age, even if the legal driving age in your home country is lower.
  • You are obligated to carry your driver’s licence with you at all times when driving in Germany. If you are caught without it you risk being fined.
  • The legal limit for drinking and driving in Germany is 50mg per 100ml of blood. This is lower than in many countries. we wrote about it here: Drunk driving in Germany, high fines and penalties: here is what you risk in 2024
  • The law stipulates that all cars in Germany must carry reflective jackets, a warning triangle, headlamp beam deflectors and a first aid kit.
  • Drivers and passengers on motorcycles and mopeds must wear safety helmets.
  • Even during daylight hours, drivers must use passing lights on mopeds and motorcycles.
  • You may need an emissions sticker to enter certain German cities such as Berlin, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart.

Learning how to drive in Germany:

Nationals of some countries will need to take a practical or theoretical driving test in Germany in order to exchange their driving licenses while others might need to learn for the first time.
Read more: New traffic fines in Germany: find out what drivers in Germany risk in 2024

How do I register my car in Germany as a foreigner?

To drive in Germany, you must register your car with the local vehicle registration office. This process involved submitting some paper work in order to receive German licence plates for your car.

If you bring a foreign car into Germany, you can continue driving with your foreign licence plates for up to 12 months. After that, you will need to register your car to get German licence plates. You may need to have your car modified to pass the vehicle safety inspection.

If you are over 18 year old you can drive in Germany using your foreign driving license for the first 6 months of residence. After this period of time non-EU/EEA citizens will have to exchange their licenses for a German one.