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Do I need a special license or permission to drive a car in Germany?

EU/EEA Citizens

If you have a valid driver’s license issued in an EU country or EEA countries (European Economic Area, including Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway), then it is also valid and applicable in Germany too. Violations of the foreign driving license will be punished as driving without license by German law (§ 21 StVG).

Non-EU Citizens

After registering your residence in Germany, your driver’s license will be valid for six months. An extension of the validity for another six months is possible if your stay in Germany is unlikely to exceed twelve months. Otherwise, you will need a German driver’s license. Depending on your home country, your foreign license will then either be traded for a German version or you will need to pass a driving test in Germany. It is necessary to carry an international driver’s license or a notarized translation of your foreign driver’s license to prove that you have permission to drive.