Driver’s license compulsory exchange deadline until 2033

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Driver's license compulsory exchange deadline until 2033
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Driver’s license compulsory exchange deadline until 2033

Driver’s license compulsory exchange until 2033
These deadlines apply

In order to meet an EU guideline for forgery-proof driving licenses, around 43 million driving licenses have to be exchanged in Germany by 2033. We say who has to change his rag by when.

Uli Baumann,

Uli Baumann


The EU wants that from 2033 only forgery-proof driving licenses are in circulation, which are stored in a database in order to prevent misuse. These driving licenses have only been issued since the beginning of 2013. All those who still have an older driving license must have a compulsory exchange.

So that the authorities do not go to their knees under the onslaught of around 43 million people who are obliged to swap, a step-by-step plan with corresponding deadlines has now been developed, which is based on the year of birth and issue. In Germany, around 15 million (paper) driver’s licenses issued by December 31, 1998 and around 28 million other credit card driver’s licenses issued between January 1, 1999 and January 18, 2013 are affected by the compulsory exchange. By the way: the new driving licenses are then only valid for 15 years and then have to be renewed.

Driving license exchange deadlines

Driver's license compulsory exchange deadline until 2033


Driver's license compulsory exchange deadline until 2033


What do I need to convert my car or motorcycle license??

Identity card or passport, biometric passport photo and the current driver’s license. If the old (pink or gray) driver’s license was not issued by the authority of your current place of residence, you will also need a so-called index card copy from the authority that originally issued the driver’s license.

Which classes will be entered in the new driver’s license document?

When changing from driving license classes under old law (e.g. class 2 or 3) and exchanging driving licenses according to previous models (e.g. gray or pink driving license), the classes that correspond to the previous driving license are confirmed in the new driving license. A comprehensive exchange table is contained in Appendix 3 of the Driving License Ordinance.

How much does the exchange cost?

The cost is around 25 euros.

Where and how often must be exchanged?

The driver’s license authority of the current place of residence is responsible for the exchange. The car and motorcycle classes are limited to 15 years in the new driver’s license document.

How much is the penalty fee if the exchange is not made?

There is a risk of a € 10 fine.

Can I drive abroad with my old, expired car or motorcycle license??

That depends on the country you are traveling to. Significant problems can arise in individual cases.

Which date on my driver’s license is the most important?

The date of issue of the driver’s license document (not the date of issue!) Is decisive. You can find it on the driver’s license document that you are currently holding in your hands. This date is decisive for the question of which table is relevant in your case.

All driver’s license documents issued from January 1, 1999 must therefore be exchanged according to the second table. If the year of issue is before January 1, 1999, you must refer to the first table (broken down by year of birth).

Can you keep the driver’s license document after the exchange??

The old driver’s license can be kept, but it will be canceled. That means it is punched. This shows that it can no longer be used.

You can already exchange it now?

A voluntary exchange of the driver’s license document is possible at any time, i.e. even before the date specified in the exchange table.

Why do drivers born before 1953 have to exchange them in 2033??

By 2028, most driver’s licenses should be exchanged piece by piece in order to equalize the onslaught on the authorities: After that, the first driver’s licenses that were issued after 2013 will expire. Driving license holders who were born before 1953 are exempt from the regulation. The Federal Council’s Transport Committee justifies this as follows: “This is to save them having to exchange their driver’s license, although due to their age it is not certain whether they would like to use their driving license after January 19, 2033 and need a valid driver’s license to do so.”

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