Due to the current exceptional situation, in spring of 2020, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and the federal states reached the following agreement on extending the validity of foreign driving licences in Germany:
Holders of a foreign driving licence are generally entitled to operate motor vehicles in Germany for up to 6 months after having established their normal residence in Germany. This period has been extended to 12 months by general order, which should be applicable nationwide. After the order’s entry into force, which was announced by every federal state, holders of a foreign driving licence were allowed to operate motor vehicles for another 12 months, within the scope of their entitlement, after taking up normal residence in Germany. This rule was intended to protect the affected persons in the current exceptional situation from undeserved loss of their authorization to operate motor vehicles after expiry of the standard period of six months stipulated in § 29(1) Sentence 4 of the Regulations for the Licensing of Drivers (FeV).
The exceptional extension of the statutory period from 6 to 12 months is granted until 1 April 2021 at the latest.
After the 12-month-period, holders of a foreign driving licence lose their entitlement to operate motor vehicles in Germany. An infringement of these requirements does not constitute an administrative but a criminal offence (driving without a driving licence), in accordance with Section 21 of the Road Traffic Act.
Given the different developments of the pandemic in the federal states, there has not been a nationwide extension of the above mentioned 12-month-period beyond 1 April 2021.
Since the pandemic is still ongoing, some federal states have already extended this period by another 6 months (until 21 October 2021) or are planning to do so. In other federal states, the competent driver licensing authorities will review each individual case, for they had opened in the meantime so that it was possible to apply for a conversion on site.
Please consult your competent Ministry of Transport to receive more information on the extension of the validity of foreign driving licences in your federal state.