Germany: due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for exchanging driving licenses extended by six months

Drivers in Germany are to have more time to replace their old licenses. The first deadline – for those born between 1953 and 1958 – would actually already expire next Wednesday. However, violations of the exchange obligation will not be punished for the time being due to the current pandemic situation. This is what the Conference of German Interior Ministers, chaired by Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU), decided. The decision was announced on Monday by the Bavarian Interior Ministry.

Exchange deadline extended until July

The exchange deadline is to be extended by six months (the new deadline is July 19, 2022). It applies to all drivers born between 1953 and 1958 with old paper documents issued through December 31, 1998.

No fines will be imposed

Bavaria will immediately submit a proposal to the Bundesrat to amend the driver’s license regulation, Herrmann announced. Until the amended regulations come into force, the police are not to impose the ten euro fine stipulated for this offence. “In the meantime, however, all those affected should take care of replacing their document as soon as possible,” Herrmann said. One should expect a waiting period of several weeks before a new driver’s license is issued.

The EU driver’s license is considered forgery-proof

By 2033, some 43 million driver’s licenses will need to be replaced in Germany. This is due to EU regulations. In the future, driving licenses are to be forgery-proof and uniform throughout the European Union. In addition, all driver’s licenses are to be registered in a database to avoid fraud.

Because of the pandemic, it is harder to get an appointment at the traffic department

The German automobile club ADAC explained that the interior ministers of the federal states responded in this way to the longer waiting times at the offices caused by the increasing number of cases of coronavirus infection. Thanks to this decision, holders of old driving licenses, who are required to replace them this year, can drive on the roads for the next few months without fear of a fine for not replacing their old document on time.

But regardless, they should take advantage of the extension as soon as possible and schedule an appointment with the traffic department (Führerscheinstelle).

Dates for subsequent years

To ensure that the exchange procedure goes smoothly and that not everyone goes to the traffic department at the same time, the time for exchanging paper documents varies according to date of birth. Drivers born between 1959 and 1964 will have until January 19, 2023 to make the exchange, while the last deadline is January 19, 2033. It applies to drivers born before 1953 – and to licenses issued between 2012 and January 18, 2013. Drivers’ licenses issued after this date already comply with the new EU requirements.

According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the old driver’s license becomes invalid after the specified replacement periods. In addition, a fine of ten euros is imposed. According to the ADAC, replacement costs 25 euros.


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