2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Before going abroad, it can be useful to exchange an old German driver's license. Anyone who has applied for an EU driving license can have the international driving license issued immediately.
Anyone who wants to drive a car outside the European Union (EU) and still has the old German driver's license should exchange it for the European driver's license. Because only if the EU document has at least been applied for can an international driver's license be issued - which is necessary in the USA, for example. Markus Schäpe from ADAC in Munich points this out. The driving rights entered on the old driver's license will be transferred to the EU document in credit card format when exchanged, without the driver having to inform the competent authority.
The international document is valid for three years
According to the ADAC experts, holidaymakers in the USA, Canada or Australia can be lucky and get their rental car keys on presentation of their old driver's license. But if the landlord takes the existing regulations seriously, problems could arise. That applies even more to a police check. "Then in an emergency you have to continue on foot." In countries like Russia and Ukraine, the international driver's license is even mandatory.
The EU and the international driving license are best applied for in one go. While car drivers have to wait up to six weeks for the EUR 24 EU card, according to Schäpe, they get the international driving license immediately. "The number of the EU driving license is entered on it, which will be determined after the application." The document is valid for three years and costs 15 euros.
Additional permit for heavy teams
According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt) in Flensburg, the driving rights that the German driver's license grants to the driver are in principle "vested rights" when exchanged. Anyone who has had a class 3 license can continue to drive a 7.5-ton truck, for example. The only exception, according to Schäpe: Previously, an 11-ton trailer could be coupled to the 7.5-ton truck. "According to the new law, class C1E is limited to combinations up to a maximum of 12 tons." Only those who absolutely want to continue using the old authorization up to 18.5 tons must apply for the CE 79 addition.
Parting with the old driver's license can also make sense because it has become illegible. "If you are then checked, you can no longer adequately prove your driving authorization," says Markus Schäpe. In Germany this is an administrative offense for which there can be a fine - and in other countries, a tattered “rag” may cause even greater trouble. But even a well-preserved GDR driver's license could put the driver in "need of explanation" with a foreign official.