I am originally from Egypt. I know how to drive and I have an Egyptian driving license. But unfortunately it is not valid in Germany, where I live at the moment.

Getting a driving license in Germany is really expensive. I would have to pay almost 1000 EUR in the process, even if I bypass some steps by translating my Egyptian driving license. Also the practical test is difficult and many pass in their second or even third time.

I heard that getting a driving license from the US is fairly easy and costs only 20 USD, I am visiting the for two weeks in about 6 months. Also the city where I live in Germany is about 2 hours away from Italy. I could do the test there, which is also easier and cheaper. And both are valid in Germany.

Does anyone have any previous experience with that? would this work? I couldn't find help online..

  • 6
    Generally, to get a driver's license from a given jurisdiction, you must reside in that jurisdiction. Since you don't reside in the US or in Italy, you will probably have trouble getting licenses there. I'm more familiar with US requirements, which are determined by each state; most states require you to prove your immigration status, and will not generally issue licenses to those in temporary visitor status, even if they have the documents normally required to prove residence in the state.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 22:35

2 Answers 2


It is certainly not allowed and seems somewhat unlikely (although by no means impossible) to work in practice.

An Italian license would indeed be valid in Germany but you should not be allowed to get a license in Italy. I am not sure whether you could get away with it in practice, but EU rules are clear: Your country of residence should handle all driving license questions. Italy should not issue a license to a resident of another EU country and Germany is actively fighting against that for various reasons.

Whether you could legally obtain a US license an use it in Germany is a little more complicated as the rules are defined at the state level and recognition in Germany could also depend on specific agreements. First, it could be difficult to obtain such a license in the first place, depending on local requirements (cf. @phoog comments).

And once you have a license, it would also be difficult to use it in Germany. Unlike an Italian or other EU license (which can be used for 10-15 years before you need to renew them), a US license will need to be exchanged for a German license within 6 months. And German law, like that of other countries, specifies that a foreign license obtained while you were already a German resident cannot be exchanged (i.e. it's only possible for people who obtained a license while living in the US and then come to reside in Germany and not for people who try to use a visit to circumvent the rules).


Just to add to @Gala's post, in general you cannot get a driver licence in a different jurisdiction.

However in most places this law is not (or not really) enforced, or they don't really care about it. For example in the UK you just have to tick a box in the form stating you are a resident (even if you are not).

In the case of Germany however they explicitly have in their respective local law, that any foreign licence obtained while living in Germany is void in Germany. This is in order to combat what they call "driving licence tourism", as they know that the rules of obtaining a licence is harder and more expensive in Germany than in some other countries of the EU.

Source from the BMVI site:

A foreign driving licence does not entitle you to drive or ride a motor vehicle in the Federal Republic of Germany


  • if your normal residence was in the Federal Republic of Germany at the time you obtained the foreign licence
  • Which means if you drive with an Italian or US license obtained while resident in Germany, you are driving without license, which means one hell of trouble if you get caught, and you are driving without insurance, which means real trouble if you are involved in any accident.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 22:45

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