Taking a German Driving Test

Find out how to go about taking the tests to get a German driver’s licence...

Enrolling at a driving school is compulsory for learner drivers in Germany. Inquire at a local driving school (Fahrschule) for specific information, exam dates, prices and driving lesson packages. Lots of schools offer lessons in English and many of the theory documents are also available in English. The written part of the exam, however, is carried out in German.

The following steps must be followed to complete a German Driving Test:

  • Completion of a first aid course: "First Aid at The Scene of An Accident - Sofortmaßnahmen am Unfallort"
    • To find a local first aid course held by the German Red Cross: Click here
    • For more information: Click here
  • Eye test (Sehtestbescheinigung) – official confirmation of an eye test carried out within the past two years by an optician (Optiker)
  • Submit an application to the local Office for Resident Registration (Einwohnermeldeamt) for a driving licence (Antrag auf Erteilung einer Fahrerlaubnis)
  • Successful completion of the theory test
  • Successful completion of the practical driving test
  • Anyone taking a driving test for buses and heavy goods vehicles must provide a medical attestation of good physical and mental health

The theory test

The theory test must be passed before the practical test can be taken. Both the theory and the practical test must take place at an official test centre. The theory test may in some cases be taken in another language.

The theory test consists of 30 questions, mostly multiple choice, on subjects such as speed limits, permissible vehicle weights and so on. Depending on the level of difficulty of the question, wrong answers score two to five minus points. In the multiple choice questions there may be several correct answers. A candidate who receives more than ten minus points for incorrect answers fails the test.

  • For more detailed information on the theory test: Click here (in German)

The practical test

The practical test lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. The driver must demonstrate an ability to drive safely, competently and calmly. The test can be re-taken three times at fortnightly intervals. There is no limit to the number of times it can be re-taken, but after the third, sixth and ninth re-takes there must be a three-month gap.

Note: the theory test is only valid for one year. If re-taking a practical driving test after 12 months, the theory test must be re-taken too.

  • For more detailed information on the practical driving test: Click here (in German)

If the candidate is successful, the driving licence will be issued by the driving examiner.

  • For more detailed information on the Driving Test: Click here (in German)

Once a German driving licence has been obtained, it is valid for life. If a person loses their German driving licence, they will need to apply for a new one at their local driving licence office (Führerscheinstelle).

  • To find a local office: Click here and select the appropriate state

Further Information

  • Fahrschule.de: for information on driving tests and schools
  • Fuehrerschein: for practical information on all aspects of taking the German Driving Test including costs (in German)
  • Verkehrsportal.de: portal for transport information
  • Notfallmedizin.de: for information on the content of the first aid courses (in German)
  • Erste Hilfe: for first-aid courses (in German)