There are quite a few steps to obtaining a driver’s license in Düsseldorf and depending on where you’re coming from, different rules may apply. There are some basic steps that we all have to follow which should get you off on the right foot to begin.
Step 1: Sign Up for a Driving School
Whether you’re just learning or you’ve been driving for a century and counting, it’s a good idea to sign up for a driving school to get some practice on the German roads. It’s also important to learn the road signs and rules. Coming from Canada I know they’re quite different. Fahrschule-Krupp and City Fahreschule are a good start, these come highly recommended by other expats in the community and there are English speaking teachers.
Note: this may be a mandatory requirement for you to obtain your license.
Step 2: Complete the Theoretical Training Questionnaire
This can be completed online at the drivers training center (correct me if I’m wrong). You can practice these theory questions online at any of the following: Fragebogen Fahrschule Süd Deutsche, Aral, Fahrschule.
Step 3: Visit the Strassenverkehrsamt/Road Traffic Office
It’s time to head to the road traffic office (or as you will have to Google search: Strassenverkehrsamt). They’re very particular about what you bring with you, so make sure that you’ve done the research ahead of time and aren’t missing any pieces. Here are some of the things you’ll likely have to bring:
- Passport/Identification Documents
- 2 Passport Photos
- Driver’s License
- Translation of Driver’s License (can be purchased at ADAC)
- Eye test
- First aid test
- Documents from your driving school
- All applicable fees (there are up front fees and fees provided in a letter for the theoretical and practical parts of the exam that you can pay the day of your exam)
Step 4: Receive Approval & Take Theoretical Exam
If you’re required to take a driving school, the school will be the ones to approve you for your theoretical exam. Once approved, you are able to take the exam at the road traffic office.
You will then take the exam and receive a report of your passing. Next up, practical exam.
Step 5: Receive Approval & Take Practical Exam
You’ll likely be required to head back to the driving school to take part in practical driving lessons before receiving approval to take the practical exam.
You will then take the exam and receive a report of your passing.
There are other ways to obtain your driver’s license in Düsseldorf. For certain countries, you are able to simply swap your original license for a German one (I believe if you’ve been residing for less than 3 years, otherwise you’ll have to start from step one). For EU citizens, you are able to head to your local Bürgerbüro to swap your license. You can also go to the Bürgerbüro for registration and extension of current German licenses, or to obtain a certificate of vehicle change.
For others, you’ll require a few tests and a visit to the Strassenverkehrsamt, but you won’t have to start from step one. For some, you’re just out of luck my friends.
Good news… you can often drive with your current (out of country) license (if still valid) for up to 6 months.
Do you have any more tips to add to this post? We know obtaining a driver’s license in Düsseldorf is a tough topic to write about it as the times change, but hopefully, this can serve as a guideline.
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