International license required outside Germany

Defense Department personnel stationed in Germany need an international driver’s license, in addition to a U.S. Forces Certificate of License (also known as a USAREUR license) and a valid stateside driver’s license to drive outside the country.

Applicants should ensure they have the proper documentation in hand when they go to the USAG Wiesbaden Drivers Training and Testing Station before their next road trip.

“For incoming personnel and Family members the priority is to get a U.S. Forces Certificate of License, to operate a privately owned vehicle on and off installations in Germany,” said Hans-Peter Moosberger, driver’s training instructor at the DTTS.

However, at the start of every POV orientation Wiesbaden’s instructors tell students to not delay getting their IDLs, and obtaining the signed application from their office is the first step.

“Every student who completes the POV orientation here, passes the written test and receives their permanent certificate of license should return to our offices for an IDL application if they plan to drive outside Germany’s borders,” Moosberger said.

An IDL can’t be obtained using the temporary certificate of license issued immediately after passing the written test.

To apply, visit the Wiesbaden DTTS located on Clay Kaserne, Bldg. 1023W, Room 324. Applicants should bring their USAREUR license and a valid stateside license. The application must be completed in person and signed by DTTS personnel. It takes approximately 10 minutes. No appointment is required; however, applicants can call ahead to determine staff availability at (0611) 143-546-6076/6077.

Next, bring the signed application, a single passport photo, your U.S. Forces Certificate of License, official or tourist passport (red or blue), valid stateside driver’s license, Department of Defense ID card and 15 euros to the off-post KFZ-Zulassungsstelle (the German equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles) located in Wiesbaden-Schierstein.

“No additional driver’s test is required to get an IDL; just some paperwork, valid documentation and 15 euros,” said Michael Leyba, transportation specialist at the DTTS.

Some navigation systems may direct drivers past the facility to the “Federal Mogul” building; however, the vehicle entrance to the KFZ-Zulassungsstelle is immediately past the blue sign for “TÜV Hessen Service Center” on the right-hand side of the street. Free parking is available.

“They offer extended evening hours until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays, which makes it a convenient time to visit the facility,” Moosberger said.

When entering the building, get a number from the small electronic kiosk in the waiting area. The kiosk screen will read, “Warteticket.” Press the orange button with the word “Fahrerlaubnisbehörde.” A paper ticket will print with a customer number that begins with the letter “F.” Pay attention to the screens on the wall. When the number comes up on the screen, the appointment will be upstairs on the second floor (1. Stock, in German) in the room (Raum) indicated on the screen.

After processing, applicants return downstairs to pay at the “Kassenautomat,” a self-service pay station, before the IDL will be issued. The license costs 15 euros and must be paid in cash or with an EC card, no credit cards.

Passport photos can be taken at self-service photo booths located at the food court on Clay Kaserne and the Hainerberg Exchange Mall. A booth is also located in the entrance of the KFZ-Zulassungsstelle, for those who forget to bring one. Four photos cost 5 euros. Don’t forget scissors to cut one photo from the page.

The IDL is valid for a maximum of three years, or as long as the accompanying stateside license is valid.