Holders of a British driving licence can drive in Germany if they are visiting temporarily (e.g. on holiday).
If you are resident in Germany and intend to continue driving here, then you need to exchange your UK driving licence for a German one.
UK driving licence holders living in Germany can drive on their valid UK licence for 6 months after moving to Germany. After this time, your UK licence is not valid for driving in Germany.
You can exchange your UK licence for a German one at any time after moving to Germany. The Fahrerlaubnisbehörde” (driver licencing authority) in your local Stadt or Kreis are responsible for exchanging licences.
You do not need to take a theory or practical driving test to exchange your licence. You may need to undergo an eye test or present a medical certificate, depending on your driving licence category.
You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.
What do you need to do to exchange your licence?
- To apply, contact the “Fahrerlaubnisbehörde” (driver licencing authority) in your local Stadt or Kreis.
- You will be charged a fee.
- You may need to provide a notarised translation of your UK licence.
What if you return to live in the UK later?
The UK government Living in Germany information confirms that if you return to the UK in future, you can exchange your German driving licence for a UK licence without taking another test: Driving in Germany
In 2022, the UK was added to the fact sheet for holders of foreign driving licences from states outside the European Union and the European Economic Area: Driving-licence-provisions-fact-sheet
Information from the UK government about living in Germany and driving licences is here: Driving in Germany
A good and authoritative general source regarding driving licences in Germany is the English-language web page of the German transport ministry: Validity of foreign driving licences in Germany
If you hold a licence from another EU country, then this should continue to be valid without needing to be exchanged for a German licence. Further information on driving licences in the EU is here: EU-driving-licence-recognition-validity
There is also a German fact sheet for holders of licences from EU and EEA states: Fact-sheet-EU-EEA-driving-licences