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Driving instructor; recognition of foreign professional qualifications

Working as a driving instructor is regulated in Germany. This means that you need a driving instructor's license to work in this profession. Only with this permit are you allowed to train people to drive vehicles.

You can also obtain a driving instructor license with a professional qualification from abroad. To do this, you must have your foreign professional qualification recognized. In the recognition procedure, the competent body (an authority) compares your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and checks the equivalence. The equivalence of the professional qualification is an important prerequisite for the issuing of a driving instructor license.

In addition to the equivalence of the professional qualification, you must also meet other requirements for the issue of a driving instructor license.

It is irrelevant which nationality you have or in which country you acquired your professional qualification.

You can also submit the application from abroad.

Process flow

  • You submit an "Application for a driving instructor license" to the competent authority.
  • For professional qualifications from the EU/EEA/Switzerland: You can submit the application and the documents directly to the competent authority or to the Point of Single Contact. You can also submit the application electronically via the Single Point of Contact.
  • The competent authority will then check whether you meet all the requirements. An important requirement is the professional qualification.
  • The competent body will then compare your professional qualification from abroad with the German professional qualification and check the equivalence. If your professional qualification is equivalent, it will be recognized. You must still meet the other requirements and provide proof of your language skills. You will then receive the driving instructor license as a written document.
  • If your professional qualification is not equivalent, it will not be recognized. You will then receive written notification of the differences in your professional qualification.
  • If your professional qualification is not equivalent, you can choose between an aptitude test and an adaptation period in order to compensate for the differences.
  • In the aptitude test, only the differences identified by the competent authority will be examined. The aptitude test consists of a written and oral examination. You will also have to take theory and practical driving lessons.
  • The adaptation period is a practical post-qualification course and lasts a maximum of 3 years. During the adaptation period, you must complete written exercises and give theoretical and practical lessons.
  • If you complete the adaptation course or pass the aptitude test (and meet all other requirements), you will receive the driving instructor license as a written document.
  • You can take legal action against the decision of the competent authority. The decision will then be reviewed. Details can be found in the information on legal remedies at the end of your decision. We recommend that you first speak to the competent authority before taking legal action against the decision.

Competent authority

Regional authorities are responsible for the procedure, e.g. traffic offices, state directorates or driving licence offices.


  • You have a professional qualification as a driving instructor from abroad.
  • You are at least 21 years old.
  • You are mentally and physically fit.
  • You are professionally and pedagogically qualified.
  • You have a valid driving license.
  • You have not violated the requirements for driving instructors.
  • You have the necessary knowledge of German to teach learner drivers.
  • You want to work in the profession in Germany.

Which documents are required?

The responsible office will tell you which documents you need to submit. Important documents are generally

  • Proof of identity (identity card or passport)
  • officially certified copy of your proof of qualification to work as a driving instructor
  • Valid driving license for the relevant driving license categories
  • If working as a driving instructor is not regulated in your home country: a certificate stating that you have worked as a driving instructor for at least 2 years in the last 10 years
  • Proof of your personal reliability. This proof must be from an authority in the country of your professional qualification. This can be an extract from your criminal record or a Certificate of Good Standing. (The proof should be a maximum of 3 months old at the time of application).
  • Proof of your mental and physical health from the country of your professional qualification. The proof must prove that you are suitable to work as a driving instructor. (The proof should be a maximum of 3 months old at the time of application).

It may be that your home country is unable to issue proof of your personal reliability or your mental and physical health. In this case, you can replace these documents with a declaration in lieu of an oath. The competent authority will inform you of this.

The competent authority will inform you which documents you must submit in the original or as a copy. If your documents are not in German, you must submit German translations of your documents. The translations must be made by translators who are publicly appointed or authorized.

What are the fees?

The responsible office will inform you of the costs. The costs generally depend on the time and effort required for processing.

Additional costs may be incurred (e.g. for translations and certifications). These costs vary from person to person.

The issue of a driving instructor's license and a driving instructor's certificate costs EUR 40.90.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?


Sometimes documents are still missing from the procedure. The responsible office will then inform you by when you must submit the documents.

Processing duration

The responsible office will confirm that your documents have arrived after a maximum of one month. The competent office will also inform you whether any documents are missing.

If the documents are complete, the procedure will take a maximum of 3 months. In individual cases, the competent authority may extend the procedure by one month.

Applications / forms

  • Forms: Forms can be obtained from the responsible office.
  • Online procedure possible: via the Single Point of Contact
  • Written form required: possibly
  • Personal appearance required: no

What else should I know?

  • Freedom to provide services
    You can also work temporarily and occasionally as a self-employed service provider in Germany. A corresponding note will then be entered in your driving instructor license. However, special conditions apply: You must notify the competent authority of your work before you start working for the first time. The competent authority will inform you in detail about the procedure.
  • Procedure for ethnic German repatriates
    As a late repatriate, you can go through the recognition procedure either according to the law mentioned here or according to the Federal Expellees Act. You can decide for yourself. Your responsible office will advise you on this.

Technically approved by

Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training

Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)