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Old 21.07.2021, 00:13
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Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

Hello beautiful people of EFS,

I have lived in Switzerland since 2017 and, unfortunately, have not exchanged my DL within the first year of my stay. Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US DL? Even though I have been in Switzerland for almost four years?

Any info would be helpful.

Thanks,
Romik
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  #2  
Old 21.07.2021, 00:31
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

I would suppose so, in a rental car you mean?
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  #3  
Old 21.07.2021, 07:15
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

As long as your license is still valid you can drive a rental car. Not sure about your own Swiss registered car as this ties up with insurance.

Last edited by otec; 21.07.2021 at 08:28.
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Old 21.07.2021, 07:21
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

As long as it's not Swiss registered, and you don't drive from Switzerland to Germany, yes.

Tom
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Old 21.07.2021, 08:38
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

Just a side note: As you are approaching 5 years since arrival in CH, you are also approaching the deadline for exchange of your US license. While you could only use it in CH for driving in the first 12 months, within 5 years from arrival, you can still exchange it under the same rules - for US ones, no test or driving exam. Just eye test, form and the fees
Once 5 years pass, you need to do the driving exam (unless you can prove you've had enough driving practice [abroad] in the meantime)
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Old 21.07.2021, 11:57
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

No, it is my friend's car which is registered in Germany and I want to drive it only in Germany for a couple of days.
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Old 21.07.2021, 12:03
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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Just a side note: As you are approaching 5 years since arrival in CH, you are also approaching the deadline for exchange of your US license. While you could only use it in CH for driving in the first 12 months, within 5 years from arrival, you can still exchange it under the same rules - for US ones, no test or driving exam. Just eye test, form and the fees
Once 5 years pass, you need to do the driving exam (unless you can prove you've had enough driving practice [abroad] in the meantime)

Do you know someone who has exchanges his/her DL after the first 12 months? I have got conflicting answers in this regard and I guess would not know until I try. Do I need proof that I have been driving cars once in a while in the past few years outside of Switzerland? Or they do not even care and it is just some paperwork?
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Old 21.07.2021, 12:05
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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I would suppose so, in a rental car you mean?

No, it is my friend's car which is registered in Germany and I want to drive it only in Germany for a couple of days.
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Old 21.07.2021, 12:17
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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No, it is my friend's car which is registered in Germany and I want to drive it only in Germany for a couple of days.
No, you cannot drive your friends car. A rental would be ok though.
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Old 21.07.2021, 12:18
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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No, you cannot drive your friends car. A rental would be ok though.
Of course he can.

Tom
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Old 21.07.2021, 12:23
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

So link me the website that says you can? I was told it is not allowed, only rentals.

So the insurance would pay if something happens? Driving a german registered car, not being resident?
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Old 21.07.2021, 14:44
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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Do you know someone who has exchanges his/her DL after the first 12 months?
I exchanged mine last June after 2 years being here - it was set to expire July, so I had to hurry!! It was VERY Easy - plenty of guides on here as to what you need, but it took maybe 45 min waiting inline (right after lockdown ended).

Do it
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Old 21.07.2021, 16:06
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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So the insurance would pay if something happens? Driving a german registered car, not being resident?
Isn't the car insurance in Germany connected to the vehicle and not to the driver, same as in Switzerland.
Sorry for my ignorance, I always thought such concept is valid in the whole Europe, only later here on EF I have learned that UK have it differently. So, maybe other countries too.
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Old 21.07.2021, 16:17
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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Isn't the car insurance in Germany connected to the vehicle and not to the driver, same as in Switzerland.
Sorry for my ignorance, I always thought such concept is valid in the whole Europe, only later here on EF I have learned that UK have it differently. So, maybe other countries too.
Off topic, but Ireland is the same. Hence extortionate costs for new drivers.
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Old 21.07.2021, 18:23
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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Isn't the car insurance in Germany connected to the vehicle and not to the driver, same as in Switzerland.
Sorry for my ignorance, I always thought such concept is valid in the whole Europe, only later here on EF I have learned that UK have it differently. So, maybe other countries too.
That was also my understanding. However, if you do "ding" the car, your friend would lose his no claims advantages (Bonus) and potentially have a higher premium in the subsequent year (Malus). To avoid this, you can actually get additional insurance that covers you when you drive someone else's vehicle, what they call "Führen fremder Fahrzeuge" in your policy (exemptions apply though, check the policy). While you are at it, you could also get insurance to cover your excess waiver thingamybob for rental car hires, AXA now offers this (I previously had to get this from a UK company, who no longer offer it to those with residence in Switzerland). Much cheaper than the extortionate daily rate they normally ask for zero excess cover.
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Old 21.07.2021, 20:42
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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That was also my understanding. However, if you do "ding" the car, your friend would lose his no claims advantages (Bonus) and potentially have a higher premium in the subsequent year (Malus). To avoid this, you can actually get additional insurance that covers you when you drive someone else's vehicle, what they call "Führen fremder Fahrzeuge" in your policy (exemptions apply though, check the policy). While you are at it, you could also get insurance to cover your excess waiver thingamybob for rental car hires, AXA now offers this (I previously had to get this from a UK company, who no longer offer it to those with residence in Switzerland). Much cheaper than the extortionate daily rate they normally ask for zero excess cover.
UK has same stuff with no-claim bonus and no-claim bonus protection
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Old 21.07.2021, 22:43
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

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So link me the website that says you can? I was told it is not allowed, only rentals.

So the insurance would pay if something happens? Driving a german registered car, not being resident?
Here you go.
Quote:
Your driving licence is valid for temporary residence in the Federal Republic of Germany.

If you have a valid national or international driving licence, you may drive motor vehicles in the Federal Republic of Germany in the classes for which your driving licence is issued. You must also observe the conditions and restrictions of your driving licence.
[..]
You must carry a translation of your national driving licence if it:
  • is not issued in a member state of the European Union (EU) or a state party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) or
  • is not written in German, or
  • does not comply with the Convention on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968 (Appendix 6). You can find out whether your driving licence complies with Annex 6 by contacting the competent authorities of the issuing state.
German-language translations may be made by, among others, German or internationally recognised automobile clubs of the country of issue of the driving licence, official bodies of the country of issue of the driving licence, court-appointed and generally sworn interpreters and translators.
So in short, OP, get it translated and enjoy the ride. I would expect that TCS will gladly accept your business, but make sure the Germans accept it.

Excellent advice on insurance given above.
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Old 22.07.2021, 14:35
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Here you go.

So in short, OP, get it translated and enjoy the ride. I would expect that TCS will gladly accept your business, but make sure the Germans accept it.

Excellent advice on insurance given above.
Thanks a lot, I did not know I have to translate it!

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I exchanged mine last June after 2 years being here - it was set to expire July, so I had to hurry!! It was VERY Easy - plenty of guides on here as to what you need, but it took maybe 45 min waiting inline (right after lockdown ended).

Do it
Thanks a lot.

My US DL is expiring soon as well (in September). I did submit my form today to exchange my US DL with a Swiss one. It was super fast. They did not care that I have been here for almost 4 years. They told me to expect my Swiss DL in about a week or so (fingers crossed).

Last edited by 3Wishes; 23.07.2021 at 21:30. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 22.07.2021, 15:42
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Re: Am I allowed to drive in Germany with my US driving license (No Swiss DL)?

I thought that the international "driver's license" was the recognized translation document. I don't see how your own provided translation will be acceptable.
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