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IDP is essential when driving abroad
International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.
Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.
How to get your IDP
Fill in the forms
Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy
Verify your ID
Upload pictures of your driver's license
Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!
Do I need an International Drivers License in Germany?
International Driving Permit is not required in Germany, but if you are a non-German speaking tourist, it is highly recommended to avoid miscommunication between law officials.
Moreover, if you want to rent a car, many car rental companies will ask you for the valid IDP. So for the careless German trip, it is better to apply for international driving permit before traveling to this country.
Although English is a universal language, not many law officers are knowledgeable about it. So, to avoid issues related to the language barrier, it would be smarter to have an IDP with you.
How to get an International Drivers Licence for Germany?
Getting an IDL for Germany is easy. All you need to do is to start your application on our website: fill application form, upload your native driving licence and 2 passport sized photos. You don't need to take any written or driving test. Within 2 ours your application will be approved and you will be notified via email.
It is better and easier to get it online since , the ADAC does not issue Internationaler Führerschein (international drivers licence) any more.
Can I Use Native Driver’s License in Germany?
Driving with a local driver’s license is valid in Germany for six months as long as it is not expired. If it is issued by a country outside the European Union or EA/ European Economic Area ( EEA) and you wish to stay in Germany for more than six months, you have to obtain a German drivers license. You also have to bring your International Driver’s License to drive in Germany together with your local driver’s license and other driving in Germany requirements for you to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities.
Is Driving With a US License in Germany allowed?
Tourists from any of US states or Canada are allowed to drive in Germany for no more than six months. If they wish to continue driving with a U.S. driver’s license, they need to obtain a German driving licence. However, they may legally drive in Germany for up to 364 days in Germany on their U.S. driver's licenses. They just have to go to their local driver’s registration office and notify them about their decision to continue to drive on their U.S. license until their departure (up to 364 days, as stated above). For further information you can check AAA official website.
Can I Obtain a German License?
You need to go to the nearest driving school course to ask for the detailed process and cost estimates. Some countries have the option of converting their original license to a German one or using the same (if their home country is part of the EU).
If you’re a non-EU person, you’ll have to pass the German driving test, the written and practical test both in German and in English. The specific costs will be decided by the individual driving school. You also must have your residency to get permission to pass a driving test.
Most Important Driving Rules
If you are an expat in Germany or planning to go on a tour in Germany with a rental car, you have to know essential road rules. Keep in mind the driving rules to avoid any road complications and, most importantly, to have safe driving.
Don’t forget to carry required documents
Bringing your International Driving License, native driver’s license, passport, and other documents related to the car you are using is a must .
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving can trigger severe road accidents. It is one of the primary reasons for accidents that occur on the roads. For the first offense, a blood alcohol level of 0.5-1.09 per mm and a positive result on a drug test can get you a fine of €500 and a 1-month suspension of your license.
Like any other country, driving in Germany over the speed limit indicated is prohibited. Germany has this federal-controlled highway system called Autobahn. It is widely known for having no federally mandated speed limit for some classes of vehicles. Unless stated in the road signs, the speed limit is 130 km/h for motorways, 100 km/h for main roads, and 50 km/h for urban areas.
Seatbelt and Securing Child’s Safety
You always have to wear a seatbelt for your own safety. Failure to do so will result in a fine of €30. Children aged under three cannot travel without a child seat. If they are aged three or over, they must travel in the rear seats. All child seats and safety equipment must conform to European standards.
Germans are well-disciplined drivers. Obtaining and passing the driver’s license questions in Germany is not that easy for them. So they really respect their roads.
On your part, always be alert. Strictly follow road signs to avoid accidents. The three-colour light system is in use. Road signs are very important to guide you while driving.
Using Mobile Phones
Do not use your phone while driving. Answering calls and texting while driving is strictly prohibited. It’s one of the causes of road accidents as it divides the driver’s attention on the road. If you really need to answer a call, use the hands-free system.
Follow Priority on The Road
You have the right-of-way when driving in Germany at all intersections on this road until canceled by a "Yield,” "Stop,” or "End of Priority Road" sign. Any emergency vehicle that has flashing lights has priority, even if there is no siren. Traffic coming from the right takes priority at all crossroads and junctions.
Germany has a unique priority road sign (sign 306), indicating that road is a priority road. Traffic on this road has the right-of-way over traffic entering this road at unmarked intersections. Outside of cities and communities, parking on a priority road is prohibited unless there are marked signs for Parking.
Top Destinations in Germany
Germany has a lot to offer for tourists like you. From their rich culture and history to their top-class architecture and mind-blowing landscapes.
The Romantic Road
A perfect way to start your tour is to enjoy the mystique’s route view of the 400km long Romantic Road. In medieval times, it was a trade route that connected the center of Germany with the south. Romantic Road offers the visitors an opportunity to witness picturesque towns with city walls, towers, half-timbered houses, hidden monasteries, medieval castles, and romantic hotels and also to discover the country’s art, culture, and natural beauty.
The average span of traveling this road is 3 days. But it depends on how long you spend at every stop you will take. Its traditional starting point is from Würzburg and ends at Füssen. The best time to visit this is in fall, summer, or winter.
Also called as the ultimate fairytale castle, it is one of Europe's most famous royal castles. It is situated on a rugged hill near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. It was specially made for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was sometimes called the Swan King. The best view of the castle is from Mary’s Bridge. It is the perfect place to take a picture and enjoy the mesmerizing view of the castle.
Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate
No trip to Berlin would be completed without seeing the Brandenburg Gate, located at the heart of Germany’s capital, Berlin. It is modeled from the Acropolis in Athens and was built for King Frederick William II in 1971. It was symbolic of the division of Berlin into East and West. As historic as it is, who wouldn’t want to take a picture with it, right?
As a must-visit for most of expats, it gets crowded in the middle of the day and evening. So if you really want the place all to yourself, it is usually not crowded at 12-1 AM. In 2002, it was even possible to drive under the gate via a car or a bus.
Known to be one of the most ambitious building projects of the Middle Ages, a UNESCO site, Cologne Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe. It features a twin tower that stands at 515 feet tall. It was considered the world’s tallest building until 1890. Visitors can walk around, feel the gigantic cathedral’s ambiance, and somehow be amazed by its architectural structure. It’s a must to take a picture of it since it is free for all.
Who does not love beer, right? Oktoberfest in Munich is the largest Volksfest in the world, with over 6 million visitors annually. A Bavarian culture that is celebrated not just in Munich but also all around the world. This festival has been held since 1810. Despite its name, it is usually held at the end of September until the first week of October. If you love beer, you can enjoy a variety of German beer. Going to Munich is less hassle as it is accessible by rail from all major points in Europe.
It also has its own major, international airports. You can take your car or rent a car to go there. It is not advisable since Munich could be crowded at that festival and you would be stuck in a traffic jam.
Want to experience high altitude places? Then visit Germany’s highest point, Zugspitze. It is the highest mountain in Germany. When you are at the peak, you can experience being at the top of the entire country. Peaking at 9,700 feet tall, you can experience the breathtaking feeling of being on top and seeing the mesmerizing view. It also marks the border with Austria.
Driving your own car or renting one is possible in going to Zugspitze. However, you have to leave your car at a place and then hike or ride a cable car to go to the peak of the mountain. Make sure not to go on a snowy day. If you do, with the rain, clouds, and snow, you will surely miss the views of the Alps. So it is better to go in the summer season, but if you want to go skiing, you can go in the winter season.
Reichstag in Berlin
Another scenic attraction that you can find in Berlin is the Reichstag. Though it got a major renovation in the 1990s after being severely damaged during WW2, it is now one of the iconic places that any traveler would want to visit. It offers a glass dome that has views over the city and looks immensely majestic at night. You can dine on the rooftop, have a great view of the whole city, and have the chance to walk around the Parliament.
You should visit Reichs during the daytime because the glass’s reflection inside it is not so great during night time. Entrance is free and you can stay for as long as you want. It is located just a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate.
Located at the heart of Port of Hamburg is the world’s largest model railway up to this date, the Miniatur Wunderland, which was inaugurated in 2001. It is an experience where Frederick Braun, one of the founders, came across a model shop and reminded him of his dream to build a model railway station that made Miniatur Wunderland rise into existence. What makes it more historic is its attention to detail in its construction.
It is open all year round, but the best time to visit it is early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid large crowds. It is also advised to purchase tickets beforehand to avoid long queues at the counter.
Be amazed by the architectural structure found in Sanssouci Park located in the city of Potsdam. It is known to have many buildings built in the 18th century, but the main attraction is the Sanssouci Palace, built by Frederick the Great. You don’t have to worry about the entrance fee because it's free to enter the palace grounds and enjoy a stroll in the gardens. But if you want to visit each of the palaces in the said park, prices may vary from 3€ for the smaller pavilions to 12.00€ for Sanssouci palace itself.
Visiting Sanssouci Park is mostly about gardens, so it is best to see this place during summer, spring, or early-fall (May-September). June is the ideal month to visit the park and witness the gardens in their glory. Avoid visiting on Mondays because everything is pretty much closed during that day.
This is one of Germany’s themed drives. Also known as the Black Forest High Road, it is a 60 km stretch connecting Baden-Baden and Freudenstadt. It takes you over the ridges of the low mountains in southwestern Baden-Württemberg.
A few stops worth visiting along the Black Forest High Road is the beautiful little spa town, Baden-Baden. Just above Baden-Baden are the ruins of the Hohenbaden castle. You can climb into one of the ruined towers and look out over the valley below
In one of the deep valleys off the Black Forest High Road are the All Saints Waterfalls. These are the tallest waterfalls in the Black Forest, and while very pretty in a forest kind of way, don’t go in expecting Niagara Falls.
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