Germany extends deadline to exchange older driving licences

Germany extends deadline to exchange older driving licences

People born in the mid-1950s were due to exchange their driving licences in Germany by January 19, 2022, as the government implements EU-standard digitalised versions, but the deadline has now been extended by six months.

Drivers given extra six months to exchange old licences in Germany

Germany is currently in the process of exchanging millions of older paper driving licences, to comply with new EU regulations requiring them to be uniform across the bloc, forgery-proof, and recorded in a centralised database. With about 43 million licences needing to be swapped by 2033, the federal republic is proceeding in stages to avoid overwhelming driving licence authorities in citizens’ offices and other locations. 

The first group called up to exchange their licences - people born between 1953 and 1958 who still have a paper licence issued before December 31, 1998 (either in West or East Germany) - had been given until January 19, 2022, to make the switch, but with the coronavirus pandemic still causing administrative issues across the country, the deadline has been extended to July 19, 2022. 

Extension to be approved by Bundesrat as soon as possible

The leader of the state interior ministers’ conference, Joachim Herrmann, who is interior minister for Bavaria, said that a motion to amend the ordinance would be introduced immediately to the Bundesrat and that before this comes into force, the warning fine of 10 euros will be waived by police

“However, all those affected should immediately take care of the exchange in the meantime,” Herrman said, explaining that it could take several weeks for the new licences to be issued. 

The extension was welcomed by the German Motorists’ Club ADAC, which said the move would ease the minds of many drivers in Germany. “For the affected driving licence holders, the decision brings the certainty that they can continue to drive with the old licence for the coming months without worries and do not have to fear fines,” ADAC said. 

All paper licences to be phased out by 2033

The next group due to exchange their licences will be people born between 1959 and 1964. The deadline for this age group is currently set at January 19, 2023, but it may also be extended. The final deadline is January 19, 2033. 

The Federal Ministry of Transport has said that anyone driving in Germany on an old driving licence after their respective deadline has passed will be considered to be driving on an expired licence and will be subject to a warning fine of 10 euros. 

It costs 25 euros to make the switch, and no further driving tests or medical exams are required. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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