Germany has one of the most efficient public transportation systems in the world. The trains and buses are majority of the time always punctual, but even during delays, they are promptly announced, so you can always know what time exactly you will arrive at your destination. In the bigger cities like Berlin, there are more transportation options, like buses, underground train (U – Bahn), Surface train (S-Bahn), Road train (tram) and also the fast train (Regionale). However in the smaller cities, where they may be fewer transportation options, you can opt to get a German driving license.

If you already have a driving license from your home country, depending on which country it is, you may be allowed to convert your license to a German license within the first 6 months upon arrival in Germany. So essentially that means you may be eligible to skip some mandatory practical classes and go straight for the theory and practical test. This could also help in reducing the expenses incurred during the training process. However, this article will address the full process from scratch on how to attain the license, and on average it may cost around 2000€ to 3000€ depending on several factors, like how many additional classes taken.

The steps to take towards attaining your German driving license include:

  1. Register in a local Driving School. Look up a driving school near your residential area, and one that could possibly provide driving instruction in the language you are comfortable in. Also depending on the city you are in, you need to consider the waiting period before being enrolled, as some schools are fully booked up until 6 months in advance. Bring your passport, house registration details and residence permit details. They will provide a one-year contract for the training, meaning if you are not able to pass the driving test within one year, you would need to start the whole process afresh.
  2. Get the study materials. You would be provided study materials with the driving school. You would also be given a code to access an online app to practice the theory test questions. There could be a total of upto 1200 questions that you need to practice on. There are also practical simulations on the apps that would also be a guide to know what to expect in the actual driving practical.
  3. Get an Eye test. This can be done at the local optical eye center and would cost around 7€. Best to get it done around morning hours as your eye vision is a bit better then as compared to in the evening when you may be a bit tired.
  4. Get a First Aid certificate. This is a training that takes a whole day on various measures to take when faced with a situation that you need to provide first aid on the road. It might cost around 30€.
  5. Make an appointment at the Driving Authority City Registration office to attain your permit for Driving Training.  In order to be allowed to sit for the theory and practical test so at to be awarded the driving license, you would need to be registered in order to get your one year permit for training.
  6. Garner the documentation you would need for your appointment. On the day of the appointment, you would need to bring along the required documents. You would need your Passport ID, passport photo, house registration details, driving school contract, the Eye test results , the First Aid certificate, as well as a small fee. If you are converting a license from your home country, get a German translation from ADAC
  • Pay for the theory and practical test. After submitting all the relevant documents in the appointment, you will receive a confirmation letter at your residential address, as well as invoice to be paid for both the theory and practical test, You can then make the payment then. Ensure you have transferred the practical test fee on time to avoid being turned away, since once you miss out on the test, you would need to pay for another one
  • Prepare for the test and show up on time for the exams. The theory test constitute of 30 questions. Once you practice enough, you can book an appointment for the theory test through your driving school, and on the day of the test, you only need to come with your passport. The test can be done in any language that you select. Then once you finish the test, you submit your answers and you would immediately get your results there. For the practical test, this can only be done once you have successfully passed the theory test. You must also have completed the mandatory practical sessions. On the day of the test, you would need to show up with your passport ID. Normally you may need to arrive an hour and a half before the actual test for the last minute practice with your driving school instructor.

Once you attain your German driving license, you will be on a two- year probation. So no drinking while driving. Getting the German driving license is definitely not easy, but worth it in the long run as it is internationally recognized. Good Luck!

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