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Update your German driving license before it’s too late!

New deadlines for German driving license replacement

Traffic fines in GermanyGerman driving license replacement. Over the years, the look of driving licenses has evolved. Before 1986, drivers got “gray plastic” licenses. After that, those who passed their driving tests received pale pink licenses. However, by 1999, the pink licenses were replaced by EU driving licenses in card format. Then, in 2013, a new directive aimed to standardize EU driving licenses further. All old licenses must now be replaced with this type. Different age groups have various deadlines for doing this. Who needs to do it in 2024?

First deadline this year has already passed

The deadline for exchanging driving licenses issued before December 31, 1998, varies depending on the license holder’s year of birth.

Year of birthReplacement period expires
until 1953January 19, 2033
1953 to 1958January 19, 2022
1959 to 1964January 19, 2023
1965 to 1970January 19, 2024
1971 or laterJanuary 19, 2025

For individuals who acquired their driver’s license after January 1, 1999, the year of issuance determines the date for the replacement of the document:

  • For those who obtained their permit between 1999 and 2001, the deadline is January 19, 2026.
  • For those who obtained their permit between 2002 and 2004, the deadline is January 19, 2027.
  • For those who obtained their permit between 2005 and 2007, the deadline is January 19, 2028.
  • For those who obtained their permit in 2008, the deadline is January 19, 2029.
  • For those who obtained their permit in 2009, the deadline is January 19, 2030.
  • For those who obtained their permit in 2010, the deadline is January 19, 2031.
  • For those who obtained their permit in 2011, the deadline is January 19, 2032.
  • For those who obtained their license between 2012 and January 18, 2013, the deadline is January 19, 2033.
Failure to replace the old license will lead to fines
Failure to replace the old license may result in a fines

How long is the new driving license valid for?

Mandatory driving license renewal: The new driving license remains valid for 15 years from the date of issuance. However, this compulsory renewal program excludes licenses issued in Germany after January 19, 2013, which necessitate replacement every 15 years for both cars and motorcycles. For driving licenses C or D, validity is limited to 5 years, requiring renewal following a mandatory medical examination.
Read also: Driving bans in EU countries now recognized in Germany: What you need to know

What documents are necessary to replace the driver’s license?

To obtain a new driving license, you will need to provide a recent photo, the old license, and a valid ID (ID card or passport). In case of a change of address, it is essential to present a copy to the office that issued the original permit.
Read also: What German drivers should know about the driving updates for 2024

Where can you change the document?

The replacement process for the permit is at the Road Bureau in the resident area. Voluntary changes to the license can be initiated at any time at the Road Traffic Offices, as per ADAC.
Read also: Catalog of fines for 2024: Changes for German drivers

Caution! Failure to replace the old license may result in a fine of 10 euros during checks. Drivers of commercial vehicles or buses may face more severe penalties if they neglect to renew their driving license promptly.