Drive in Germany with a Philippine License & Conversion Process

Drive in Germany with a Philippine License

Can I Drive in Germany with a Philippine License? It’s surely one of the most common questions the travelers and expatriates from the Philippines ask when they are about to visit Germany. The answer is, Yes, you can, however, there are some regulations and instructions that you should adhere to.

Today let’s see how you can legally drive in Germany with a Philippine license, when you might have to go ahead and convert it into a German one, and all that you should be aware of.

Drive in Germany with a Philippine License

Yes, you can drive in Germany with a Philippine driving license for up to six months from the date of entry. After that, you will need to convert it to a German driver’s license.

If your Philippine license expires while you’re in Germany, you should apply for a German driving license as soon as possible. Driving with an expired license is illegal.

General Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Your Philippine driver’s license must be valid and it should not be a learner’s permit.
  • An International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended, especially if your license is not in English or German.
  • If you don’t have an IDP, a certified translation of your Philippine license may be required.

Tourists and Short-Term Visitors

As a tourist or short-term visitor, you can drive with your Philippine license for up to six months from your date of entry. Most car rental companies will require an IDP along with your Philippine license. Ensure that you have the necessary insurance coverage for driving in Germany.

Permanent Residents

If you plan to become a permanent resident in Germany, you must convert your Philippine license to a German one within six months of establishing residency. We’ll cover more details about the conversion process later in this article.

Process of Converting a Philippine License to a German License

If you’re a driver from the Philippines planning to live and drive in Germany for more than six months, you’ll need to apply for a German driving license. It’s important to note that you are not converting your Philippine license to a German one; instead, you are applying for a new German license using your Philippine license as a basis.

This process is necessary if the stay exceeds six months or if there are specific requirements for certain vehicle categories.

Required Documents

To apply for a German driving license, you’ll need to collect the following documents:

  • Valid Philippine Driving License: Original and a photocopy.
  • Valid Passport: For identity verification.
  • Recent Passport-Sized Photos: Usually two.
  • Proof of Residence in Germany: Such as a registration document (Meldebescheinigung).
  • Translation of the Philippine License: Must be done by a certified translator.
  • Application Form: Available from the local driving license authority.
  • Eye Test Certificate: From a certified optician in Germany.
  • First Aid Course Certificate: Sometimes required depending on the region.
  • Proof of health suitability

Steps to Convert the License

  1. Enroll in a driving school in Germany: Find a reputable driving school in Germany and enroll in their program. This will involve signing up for both theory and practical classes.
  2. Attend theory lessons: Attend the theory classes provided by the driving school to learn the rules and regulations of driving in Germany.
  3. Pay for classes: Pay for the theory and practical classes as required by the driving school.
  4. Sign up for the theory exam: After completing the theory lessons, sign up for the computer-based theory exam. This exam tests your knowledge of driving rules and regulations.
  5. Take practical driving lessons: Alongside the theory classes, you’ll also need to take practical driving lessons to learn how to operate a vehicle safely.
  6. Prepare for the practical driving exam: Once you’ve completed your practical driving lessons and your instructor believes you’re ready, you can prepare for the practical driving exam.
  7. Register for the practical driving exam: With your instructor’s approval, register for the practical driving exam. This exam will include a series of questions and tasks administered by the examiner.
  8. Complete the practical driving exam: Take the practical driving exam, which may include both driving tasks and questions asked by the examiner.
  9. Consult with the driving school: It’s recommended to consult with the driving school to understand the specific requirements, fees, forms, and supporting documents necessary for obtaining a German driving license, especially if you have a Philippine license.
  10. Follow guidelines and be patient: Adhere to the guidelines provided by the driving school and be patient throughout the process, as it may take several weeks to complete all the necessary steps.
  11. Successfully obtain a German driving license: By following these steps and completing all requirements, you can successfully obtain a German driving license.

Tips for Driving in Germany with a Philippine License

Driving in a foreign country can be both exciting and challenging. Here are some practical tips to help you navigate the roads in Germany with a Philippine license.

Understanding German Traffic Rules

Familiarize yourself with German traffic laws and regulations. This includes understanding road signs, speed limits, and right-of-way rules. Germany has strict traffic laws, and it’s essential to follow them to avoid fines and penalties.

Car Rental Considerations

If you’re a tourist or short-term visitor planning to rent a car, make sure to check the rental company’s requirements. Some may require an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your Philippine license. Always read the rental agreement carefully and ensure that you have the necessary insurance coverage.

Insurance and Other Legal Considerations

Whether you’re renting a car or driving your own, having proper insurance is crucial. Research the types of insurance required in Germany and ensure that you have adequate coverage. Additionally, always carry your driving license, IDP (if applicable), and other essential documents while driving.

Road Etiquette and Safety

German roads are known for their quality, but understanding local driving etiquette can make your experience more enjoyable. This includes knowing when and how to use the Autobahn, being courteous to other drivers, and following safety guidelines like wearing seat belts. I would also strongly encourage you to read our guide on driving in Germany as a tourist.



Driving in Germany with a Philippine license is indeed possible, whether you’re a tourist or planning to become a permanent resident. By understanding the requirements, following the process of applying for a German license, and adhering to local traffic rules, you can enjoy the freedom of exploring Germany’s diverse landscapes and vibrant cities by car.

Waheed Akhtar
Waheed Akhtar, an experienced driver in Germany. From speed limits to parking etiquette, his insights will make you a pro on German roads. Connect with him for expert insights on driving in Germany.



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