Driving in Germany with a New Zealand License & Conversion Process

driving in germany with a new zealand license

Driving in Germany with a New Zealand license can be a new experience for many, so this guide is here to assist you. This guide offers a comprehensive overview of how a person from New Zealand can drive in Germany using their New Zealand license.

We will explore converting your New Zealand driver’s license into German. This includes information about where to apply for the conversion, which vehicle classes you can drive, and whether additional tests are required.

New Zealand License in Germany

Driving in Germany with a New Zealand license is possible, and the process is relatively straightforward. However, you must be aware of key details and timelines.

Duration of Validity

For travellers visiting Germany, a valid full New Zealand driver’s license can be used for up to six months from the date of entry into the country. This timeframe allows most holiday-goers and short-term visitors to drive around the country without applying for a German license.

Requirement for an International Driving Permit

While your New Zealand license is valid for use in Germany, holding an International Driving Permit (IDP) is recommended. This is especially important if you plan on renting a car during your stay.

An IDP is an internationally recognized translation of your driver’s license, making it easier for car rental companies and local authorities to verify your driving credentials.

Note that your IDP must always accompany your New Zealand driver’s license when driving.

Extension for Long-Term Residents

For those residing in Germany for at least 185 days per year and planning to return to New Zealand after one year, applying for an extension of up to 12 months on your New Zealand license is possible. Written approval is required as proof of the extension.

Conversion to a German License

For long-term residents staying more than six months (or beyond the extended 12 months), converting your New Zealand license into a German one becomes necessary.

To do this, you need to contact the local Fahrerlaubnisbehörde (driver’s license bureau) or Bürgeramt (Municipality). Depending on the state government’s policy where the license is converted, a translation of your New Zealand license may or may not be required.

Converting New Zealand License to a German License

If you plan on staying in Germany for an extended period, specifically more than six or twelve months, with an approved extension. 

In that case, you’ll need to convert your New Zealand license into a German one. The process involves a few crucial steps that we will break down for you in this section.

When to Apply

As a resident in Germany, if your stay exceeds six months (or twelve months with an extension), you should start the conversion process as soon as possible. This ensures you can continue driving legally in Germany without any interruptions.

If you are driving in Germany without a valid driving license, it means you are driving without a license in Germany.

Where to Apply

The application process for converting your New Zealand license into a German one should be done at your local Fahrerlaubnisbehörde (Driver’s License Bureau) or Bürgeramt (Municipality).

Each German state may have a different policy regarding the requirement of a translation of your license. Therefore, it’s essential to check with your local authorities regarding this.

Documents Required

To convert your New Zealand license, you will typically need the following:

  1. Your original valid full New Zealand driver’s license.
  2. Personal identification documents.
  3. A recent biometric photo.
  4. The relevant fee.

In some cases, a translation of your New Zealand license might also be requested, even though it is generally not required.

Conversion of Vehicle Class

It’s worth noting that a New Zealand driver’s license for classes 1 and 6, which cover cars and motorcycles, respectively, can be converted into German driver’s license classes B (car) and A (motorcycle) without the need for further tests.

Forfeiting Your New Zealand License

If you choose to obtain a full driver’s license from Germany, be aware that you might be required to forfeit your New Zealand license. Germany does not allow dual licenses.

If you need to continue driving in these countries, you may have to leave temporarily and/or get a new International Driving Permit to reset the time limit on driving with your New Zealand license.

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here