I finally got my driving licence. It was a long journey and I am proud that I finished it successfully. I would like to share it with you so you can do things easily.
I am from Turkey and my Turkish licence was only valid for 6 months in Germany (as most of the other foreign licences). After 6 months, I was obliged to convert my licence to a German one. And converting means for Turkish licence owners, passing the theoretical and practical exams. Licences of EU residents are valid in Germany. Also licences from some other countries do not have to take the exams. You can check this list to find out if you need to take these exams or not.
The process was for me long and costly. Below I will list you the steps and related costs.
The process runs as follows:
Step 1: Driving Course
Find a driving course and register. You should be registered to a driving course to take the exam. It costs around 100 Euros.
Step 2: First Aid Course
Visit a first aid course. There are first aid courses in English.The first aid courses are one day, starting at noon and finishing at night. (7-8 hours). You will get a certificate at the end of the course. It costs 35 Euro.
Step 3: Eye Examination
Get an eye examination. You can do it at the first aid course. (Costs 6.43 Euro)
Step 4: Translation of Your Foreign Licence
You can get your licence translated in the office of ADAC, Ridlerstr. 35. It costs 55 Euro if your licence is in latin letters, otherwise 65 Euro. Or you can get it translated without leaving your apartment with the online service of Lingoking. Just upload your document and you will get the translated document to your address. Book your translation now (partner link*)
Step 5: Application for Conversion (Umschreiben)
Apply for Umschreiben (converting your driving licence) at KVR, Eichstätter Straße 2. Go early, at least half an hour early before the opening time, I suggest 45 minutes. Bring with you your passport, translation of your driving licence, your driving licence, one biometric photo, registration of driving course, eye examination result, first aid course certificate. The application costs 42,60 Euro. They will keep your licence till you pass the exam and get your German licence. You are not allowed to drive till you get your German licence.
Step 6: Booking the Date for Your Theory Exam
The German authorities will check the validity of your foreign licence, which takes takes 2-3 weeks. Once the check is completed, they will let your driving school know that you can take the theory exam. Be in contact with your driving course and book your exam date. The exam costs 102,49 Euro (80 Euro driving school fee and 22,49 TUV fee).
Step 7: Buying an App/ Book and Studying for the Theory Exam
Before booking your exam date, you can already start studying for the theoretical exam. What I did was buying the passcode for an app from my driving school. It costed 40 Euro. Then I could see the full database of possible questions (around 1200) with answers and explanations. I wanted to solve all the questions twice but could do it just once and by the second time I could solve half. (I started studying the weekend before my exam) The nice thing about the app is that you can see the questions in many languages (as in the exam) which are English, French, Greek, Arabic, Italian, Croatian, Polish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Russian, Spanish and Turkish). Turkish did not work for me. A lot of things were lost in translation. So I went over the questions in English and took the exam in English. Take time to evaluate the app/ database in your own language, in English and if your German level is good in German. You can decide which language you want to take the exam at the exam. So no stress.
Step 8: Taking the Theory Exam
Just before the begin of the theory exam you will be asked in which language you will take the exam. The exam is not on paper but on tablet, which enables to have video questions. And there were quite a few in my exam. You have 30 questions and have 45 minutes. At the end of the exam, you get the result.
Step 9: Taking Driving Lessons and Preparing for the Practical Driving Exam
As a driving licence owner you don’t have to take any lessons. You can take the exam when you want. But I suggest you to take a few lessons and ask for the opinion of your teacher about when to take the exam. There are many signs and many rules you have to be aware of and implement to muscle memory. I heard from friends, who have been driving very well, that it took them 5-7 double lessons till they were ready for the exam. And I heard of many people having licences failing the exam.
The practical exam is German and taking lessons will also help you to learn the commands of the examiner in German. Although I had a licence, I never drove after getting it, so I was a complete beginner. That costed me many driving lessons and I insisted to take the exam after the 15th double lesson. (One lesson is 45 minutes and you will always take double lessons which are 1,5 hours)
There are two types of driving lessons: Regular lessons, and extra lessons (Sonderfahrt). Extra lessons are for highway and for driving outside of city at night. I took one of the both ones because I wanted to be prepared when I took the licence. The extra lessons costed 108 Euro, whereas the normal lessons costed 78 Euro (Total= 78*13+ 108*2 = 1220 Euro).
Step 10: Practical Driving Exam
You took enough lessons, your driving teacher was convinced that you could take the exam and finally it is the practical driving exam day. (The practical exam costs 241,75 Euro (150 euro for the driving school fee and 91,75 for the TUV fee). Remember to bring your passport with you. The examiner will check if it is really you taking the exam. Once the control is over, the exam will start most probably with the questions of your examiner. He may ask you questions about the motor oil, liquids, lights. signals, pressure and profile of the wheels, where you have the first aid kit and emergency triangle etc. I was asked about the headlights, hazard warning sign and the horn.
The practical driving exam takes 45 minutes, you drive the route that your examiner tells you (there is no fixed exam route) so you should be ready to react to anything new. There might be challenging situations but it can help you to convince the examiner if you manage them well. In my exam for example, I passed from a street for the first time and it was impossible that two cars pass next to each other. Than a car approached from the other direction. I was hoping that he would enter to a space and give me way as I had a huge “Fahrschueler” sign on the car. But no, he did not. So I decided to do it myself. I drove backwards till I found a garage entrance and entered there, gave way to the other cars and then continued. I guess that was the time I won the heart of my examiner.
There are 3 basic exercises you will for sure be asked during your exam:
- Gefahrbremse (emergency break): You have to drive at 30 and when your teacher tells you, you have to hit the clutch and brakes with full force and stop.
- Wenden (changing the direction): The examiner will ask you to find a place to change your driving direction. Try to find a garage entrance or a side street on your right to go backwards and then turn left.
- Parking: You will most probably be asked to park sideways to sidewalk between two cars, but it can also be perpendicular.
Exam will last 45 minutes and you will get the result at the end. The examiner will tell you if the result is positive or negative first, and then verbally will give you a feedback of your drive, what you did well and what mistakes you had. You will get a certificate stating that (fingers crossed) you passed the exam.
FINAL STEP- Step 11: Picking up Your Licence
You will go to KVR (where you went for application) with the certificate stating you passed the exam and get your licence. Go early to avoid long queues! Here are the opening hours:
Monday 7:oo -12:00
Tuesday- only with appointment
Wednesday 7:oo -12:00
Thursday 8:3o -13:30
Friday: 7:00 – 12:00
I went on a wednesday and I arrived at 6:15. There were 5 people before me. Then in 20 minutes we became like a hundred people. I picked up my driving licence at 7:05 and went happily home.
Total Cost and Time
I applied to the licence in August, I passed my theory exam in October, I started driving in mid November, I passed the practical driving exam in mid February. Overall, it took me 6 Months and costed me 1743,27 Euro.
And that was my driving licence journey.
If you also have to go through a similar journey, I hope you can follow each step easily and get your licence successfully! Let me know if I can help you with anything.
If you already got your licence here in Munich, how was your experience?. We would love to hear your experience, learnings, tips and tricks.
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