My friend, who's not from the EU, has gotten an IDP (International Driving Permit) together with his driving license from his home country.

Up to six months in Germany, he can use his driving license there.

Can he still use his international driving permit after that? He's been living in Germany for over a year now. He cannot exchange his driving licence with a German one. He'd have to take the theoretical and practice tests again.

Is there a documentation somewhere that says you cannot use your international driving permit after 6 months of residence?

2 Answers 2


First, the international driving permit (IDP) has no validity independent of the national license that was used to acquire the IDP. The IDP just serves as a translation and certification of the underlying license.

Furthermore, of course German law has no power to invalidate the foreign license. But it does have power to require residents of Germany to be licensed by Germany to drive in Germany, after a certain point. Your friend therefore needs to take the tests in Germany to be able to continue driving there.


UPDATE with link to general driving licence regulations on BMVI(Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure): https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/EN/Articles/StV/validity-foreign-driving-licences-in-germany.html

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I changed the link to general drivers licence, but as you see the statement stays: all residents in Germany has to have German driving licence. My guess it is related to speed and parking tickets, and penalty points.

  • That first paragraph at 2.1 is a bit ambiguous: "Even if you transfer your normal residence to the Federal Republic of Germany, your foreign driving licence entitles you to drive or ride motor vehicles in Germany until it expires. You must have a domestic driving licence – an International Driving Permit is not sufficient." The first sentence says that you can use the international driving permit until it expires. The second sentence says the international driving license is not enough. Those two statements seem contradicitng to me.
    – Snow
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 10:26
  • Regardless of any real or imagined contradictions in that paper, you have to get a German driving license after six months. Depending on the driving license you hold, it may be just paperwork, may require you to pass a written exam, a written and a practical exam, or even compulsory driving lessons. There's no way around that.
    – Janka
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 12:38
  • 1
    @Snow The document linked in this answer does not apply to this case. The title expressed in the URL is incomplete. The full title included the phrase "...for holders of foreign driving licences from EU and EEA states...," but your question concerns someone who holds a foreign license from a non-EU/EEA state.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 28, 2019 at 14:48
  • @Snow Your restatement of the first sentence quoted from 2.1 is not correct. The accurate meaning is that one may use the foreign driving license until it expires. By the time of expiry, therefore, a new German resident must have obtained a German license in order to continue to drive there. Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 3:36
  • I removed the first link and updated with another one. Unfortunately statement stays: all residents and drivers in Germany has to have German driving licence.
    – kriscorbus
    Commented Apr 29, 2019 at 5:38

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