Why carry an IDP while driving in Germany?
Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.
It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Germany highly recommends an International Driving Permit.
Driving Rules in Germany
Driving in Germany can be a very pleasant experience as the scenery is beautiful and the roads are well maintained. Nevertheless, there are some rules and regulations to keep in mind:
Important Reminders For Driving in Germany:
- Traffic moves on the right side of the road.
- Overtake to the left of the other vehicle in free flowing traffic. Overtaking on the right is only permissible in stationary traffic.
- It is illegal to drive while wearing headphones (Kopfhörer).
- Mobile cellular telephones may only be used with a “handsfree” system. Using a handheld mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle or bicycle is punishable with a fine and (if applicable) points on the driving licence.
- Devices to evade police vigilance (such as radar detectors) are illegal and must be switched off if part of a Satellite Navigation system
- Winter tyres or all weather tyres are required to be fitted during winter in Germany. Snow chains are recommended for travel in mountainous regions and are legally required if there are signs depicting a tyre with snow chains. A 50 Km/h speed limit applies to vehicles with snow chains attached.
- U-turns and stops may only be made in the event of an emergency or breakdown otherwise they are punishable by law.
- Dipped headlights are compulsory when driving through tunnels.
Additional information for driving in Germany:
It is compulsory for a driver to have a driving licence, car registration and ownership (Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil I und II) and insurance documents in the car. Valid German, EU, EEA and foreign driving licences represented by an international driving licence (IDP/IDL) are accepted in Germany. An environmental badge is compulsory for vehicles driving within Environmental Green Zones (Umweltzonen).
Motor vehicle tax (Kraftfahrzeugsteuer) is compulsory. It is payable for a year in advance at the request of the local tax office (Finanzamt). Third party insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) is compulsory in Germany and is the minimum insurance requirement.
Any driver involved in an accident must stop, secure the scene of the accident and call the police Tel:110. If there are injuries first aid must be provided at the scene and an ambulance called Tel: 112. If you’re involved in an accident, it’s illegal to leave the scene without getting help or offering assistance. If it’s just your car in the accident, you must wait there for at least 30 minutes.
Driving in Germany in the Winter
Driving a car in Germany in winter shouldn’t be a huge problem if you drive carefully with winter tires. According to the new regulation from 1 January 2018, tires with the M+S symbol will no longer be accepted on German roads during winter season.
Make sure your winter or all-season tires have the Alpine symbol on it. Please also bear in mind that days are shorter in the winter season, getting dark at 3.30pm – 4pm. It is advised to plan carefully your sight-seeing options during this period to avoid the risk of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Enjoy your stay and have a safe travel.
How to get your IDP
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“I was renting a car in Italy when i found out i need to get an International Driving License, after a quick online search and 5min application. i was able to get my IDP in 15 Minutes.. I am very pleased with the service I received”
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