Driving Licence conversion

Kenyan Driving LicenceThis is an issue that has many of us have been wondering about. Can you convert your Kenyan DL to a German one? Is it easier to convert a “normal” Kenyan DL than an International one? Well keep reading as I try to answer these questions for you.

First of all, there is no difference between the usual Kenyan DL and the Internation DL issued by AA and other private institutions in Kenya. Save yourself the extra cash (you’ll need it for the conversion here). Around here, they are both considered Kenyan DLs and the rules apply to both.

So you’ve been driving for years in Kenya and would like to get a german DL; this is how you go about it. Find a driving school you’re comfortable with (I’ll give tips on choosing a driving school soon); during the registration they will ask whether you’d like to start from scratch or convert a foreign DL (if they don’t ask, you tell them…hehe).

If you did the kawaida first aid DL and you can barely drive; save yourself the embarrassment and headache of going to the Behörden and just start from scratch #JustSaying.

To be allowed to convert your DL in Germany, you should:

  • Have been here less than 3yrs (that’s the rule but some States are flexible)
    • (You are allowed to use your Kenyan DL for 6months after your arrival in Germany, this can be extended if you show that you’ll not be staying here longer than a year (most au pairs, FSJers and BFDers can apply for an extension of more than 6months, their visas are evidence that they won’t stay here longer. However if they end up staying after that and changing to another visa, then their entitlement to the extended driving is revoked.)

Anyway, if you can really drive (hehehe, I know guys say all chicks can’t drive, but that’s neither here nor there):

  • Take your DL and a copy of it to ADAC or to a sworn translator for translation and certification
  • Next you need to plan a visit to the Bürgeramt there you’ll need:
    • Your Passport
    • Evidence of when you moved to Germany (the registration to the Auslandsamt is enough)
    • The Certified and Translated copy of your DL from ADAC
    • The Original DL

The requirements may increase (chances of them reducing are too low) depending on your Bundesland and their level of strictness.

When your application is accepted, (you have to pay for the above activities by the way) then you are exempted from the Pflichtfahrstunden (usually 12) and the theory classes (12 regular + 2 Sonderstunden).

Remember getting a DL in Germany is crazily expensive, make time to do it when you’re ready and willing to take the time to work on it. If you mix it with a crazy schedule, you’ll only end up spending much more than expected, also choose a driving school wisely.

Avoid picking a school based on how much they charge and instead pick one that is popular. Usually, a cheap school tends to hood wink you into paying for more, while a good school that is also popular tends to have good teachers who will take their time to make sure you understand the theory and are confident enough for the practical, without focusing on the cash. It’s already proven that most people fail because of having a bad instructor.

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