Driving licence classes
On January 1, 1999, a new driver's license in credit card format was introduced in Germany. This replaced the former national classes with the uniform European driving license classes A to E. In principle, the driving license can be used in all EU member states and in the EEA states of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein without having to exchange it. This means that the previous obligation to exchange the driver's license when changing residence from one member state to another no longer applies.
The next generation of card driver's licenses has been issued since January 19, 2013. These driver's licenses are limited in validity as a document to 15 years. Renewal continues to take place for car and motorcycle drivers without a health examination or other tests.
Due to requirements of the European Union, the different driver's licenses in the EU countries must be converted to the uniform model introduced on 19.01.2013 by 19.01.2033. All German driver's licenses issued before 19.01.2013 must therefore be exchanged at the driver's license authority (road traffic office) responsible for the current place of residence according to the following schedule:
|Date of birth before 1953||Exchange until 19.01.2033|
|Date of birth 1953 to 1958||Exchange until 19.01.2022|
|Date of birth 1959 to 1964||Exchange until 19.01.2023|
|Date of birth 1965 to 1970||Exchange until 19.01.2024|
|Date of birth 1971 and younger||Exchange until 19.01.2025|
|Exhibition years 1999 to 2001||Exchange until 19.01.2026|
|Exhibition years 2002 to 2004||Exchange until 19.01.2027|
|Exhibition years 2005 to 2007||Exchange until 19.01.2028|
|Exhibition year 2008||Exchange until 19.01.2029|
|Exhibition year 2009||Exchange until 19.01.2030|
|Exhibition year 2010||Exchange until 19.01.2031|
|Exhibition year 2011||Exchange until 19.01.2032|
|Exhibition years 2012 to 18.01.2013||Exchange until 19.01.2033|
The changes in the categories of driving licences can be seen in the following overviews.
Categories of driving licences
Since January 1, 1999, the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt has maintained the Central Register of Driving Licences (ZFER). This register stores all data relevant to driving licenses.