If you already have a driving licence from your home country, different rules apply depending on the country.
Citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland:
Your driving licence is valid in Germany just as it is in your home country. You do not have to change anything or have it converted.
Citizens of other countries:
You can drive with your driving licence in Germany for a duration of six months. This period applies from the day you registered your residence in Germany. After that, you must have a German driving licence. Whether you have to take another driving test in Germany depends on the country in which you obtained your driving licence.
Registering your car and having it inspected
You must register your car at a vehicle registration office. To do this, you will need your vehicle registration document and your motor vehicle insurance policy. If you are bringing your car from abroad, inform yourself if you need any other documents at the registration office.
In addition to registration, every car in Germany must pass the general inspection every two years. The TÜV (Technical Inspection Association) checks the technical safety and emission levels of the car. This inspection is liable to costs.
Motor vehicle insurance
- Motor vehicle liability insurance: Motor vehicle insurance is a compulsory insurance. If you own a car or motorcycle, you are required to take out this insurance. The insurance pays for damages if you cause an accident with the car or injure someone. It does not pay for repairs to your own car.
- Comprehensive insurance: You can voluntarily take out additional comprehensive insurance for your own vehicle. It covers theft or damage to your vehicle due to accidents, for example.
- Car breakdown insurance: With a car breakdown insurance policy, the provider covers the costs if you happen to have a breakdown or an accident and therefore need a towing service or a rental car. You can purchase car breakdown insurance from motor vehicle insurance companies and automobile clubs.