By Car

At a glance

Driver's license
Car registration
Car sharing

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Driver's License

EU/EEA licenses

If your driver’s license was issued in the European Union or the European Economic Area you are not required to carry a translation of the driver's license with you, and your national driver's license remains valid in Germany until it expires.

Non-EU/EEA licenses

If your driver’s license wasn’t issued in the European Union or the European Economic Area, your driver's license is valid for 6 months from the date of your arrival in Germany. For a driver’s license issued in a language other than German or English, carrying a translation of the driver’s license is mandatory. If you wish to continue driving after your initial 6 months in Germany, you will need to convert your license to a German driver's license.

Conversion of Non-EU/EEA licenses

How your license can be converted to a German license depends on the country from which your driver's license was issued. 

  • Driver's licenses from so-called "list states" can usually be converted without the need to take a theoretical and practical driving examination.
  • For driving permits from states not belonging to the "list states", the only way to get a German driver's license is to take a theoretical and practical test at a German state-certified driving school. Taking driving lessons beforehand isn’t mandatory, but you might find it helpful nevertheless.

The processing time for conversion of your driver's license varies and can take around 8 weeks to complete. This extends to around 12 weeks if you have to take a theoretical and/or practical test.

For more information about the conversion of your driver's license, please contact the District Office ("Landratsamt").

International Driving Permit (IDP)

The International Driving Permit is issued by the driver's license agency in your country of residence and is valid for up to 3 years, but expires as soon as your regular driver's license does.

Motorcycle license

If you have a driver's license for cars, it does not automatically allow you to drive a motorcycle in Germany. If you would like to drive a motorcycle you will need a special motorcycle-class license. Check here for an overview of the different license classes in Germany.

Bringing your own car

Car registration

If your stay in Germany will be for less than a year, you will not need to register your car here.

If you will be staying for more than one year, car registration is mandatory. In Tübingen, you can do this at the District Office.

The following documents will be required to complete your registration:

  • Your passport
  • Confirmation of your registration with the city (Anmeldebescheinigung)
  • German car insurance policy (eVB number issued by the insurance company)
  • Foreign vehicle registration certificate in original
  • Current license plates
  • Certificate of Conformity (CoC, EG-Übereinstimmungsbescheinigung)
  • For cars older than 3 years: proof of roadworthiness following technical inspection (Hauptuntersuchung)
  • Direct debit authorization form for car tax payments
  • (For cars imported from outside the EU) Document of Compliance issued by the customs office (Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung)

The registration fee is about 28 - 54 EUR. 

Car tax & insurance

If you will be staying in Germany for more than one year, you will need to pay car tax (KFZ-Steuer). The amount depends on the kind of car you drive. When registering your car, you can fill in a direct debit authorization form for collecting the tax.

You must also have valid car insurance. Different types of insurance are available: There is full comprehensive (Vollkasko; covering damage to your own car as well as other cars or a person or object). This provides good cover, but can be quite pricy. Another option is partial coverage (Teilkasko; covering fire, theft, damage to the windshield, damage due to severe weather or animals, etc.). While the basic fee is cheaper than Vollkasko, Teilkasko usually comes with deductibles.

Mandatory car inspection (Hauptuntersuchung/HU)

Another requirement for driving your own car in Germany is passing the mandatory car inspection (Hauptuntersuchung/HU) every other year. This kind of inspection is provided by TÜV, DEKRA, KÜS and GTÜ.

Environmental badge (Feinstaubplakette)

In order to ensure good air quality, several cities in Germany have instituted so-called environmental zones. While Tübingen is no longer one of these cities due to improved air quality, to ensure that you can drive in areas such as Stuttgart, your car will need an environmental badge certifying that your car is sufficiently environmentally friendly. There are several ways to get a badge:

  • You can order the badge from abroad by sending a copy of your car documents (with information on construction year and type of engine: gasoline, diesel, ...) by e-mail to or by fax to +49 7071 207-4399. The badge and the invoice (6 EUR) will then be sent to you via post if your car is eligible. You will also be notified if your car is not eligible for an environmental badge. Shipping takes about two weeks.
  • If you need to register your car in Tübingen, you can get the environmental badge at the time of car registration.

Car Rental and Car Sharing

Options in Tübingen

There are several car rental companies in Tübingen.

Car rental companies in Tübingen

There are also some car sharing providers. The fee is usually calculated based on how many hours/days you rented the car as well as kilometers driven. In order to use their cars, you must become a member of the car sharing association and pay a small annual membership fee.

Car sharing companies in Tübingen

Please contact your personal support whenever you have further questions.

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