CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE
Getting your drivers license is a rite of passage for teens in the U.S. Now you get to relive your teen years – without the zits and high school drama! Your state-issued driver’s license is not enough if you’d like to drive a car while stationed in Germany. You will also need to get a U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) license in order to drive in Germany. Here is what you will need to do:
You will need to have a valid driver’s license issued by a country (in most cases the U.S.A.) and you will need to complete the training and pass the computer based testing. The training has changed recently (summer of 2012) so you may see a few new details that don’t match some of the older information. If you have a current drivers license for another European Union nation, you may not need to complete the test. Check with your licensing office.
If you are active duty Air Force or civilian government employee with a CAC card and .mil computer, you can take the training and testing before you get here. When you get here you will be issued your license and you are ready to go! If you are unable to complete the training and testing before you arrive, you will need to schedule an appointment to do so once you arrive on base. Army members and civilians without a CAC are not able to take the test early.
The training/testing is computer based and the same regardless if you do it before or after you get here. First you will need to watch a video about German driving. The video is about 45 minutes long. After the video you will have a CBT (Computer Based Training). There are six modules in the training. The first module is an introduction and has no questions. For modules two through six there are some slides to click through and then multiple choice questions for each section.
For each set of questions you need to pass with 100% correct. If you do not have all of the questions correct you will be told which questions you got wrong and will be given a second chance to answer the questions. If you cannot answer the questions all correctly on the second turn, you will need to click through the slides before being given a third chance at the questions.
After you score 100% for each set of questions you will be directed to the next module. Once you have scored 100% for all of the modules you are done! There is a time limit and you have about 2 hours from the time you complete the videos. If you are unable to complete the test in that amount of time, you need to schedule a time to retake the test.
There is an application form to fill out to get your license. With that form, your completed test, a valid United States drivers license, and $10 (payable by check or credit card, but not cash) you are ready to get your temporary license. Your actual plastic license will come via mail in a few weeks.
With this USAREUR license, US military members and their dependents are able to drive in Germany. You will need an additional international driver’s license to be able to drive into other countries. Don’t think you can use this as a loop hole to drive in Germany without a USAREUR license, though.
As with most tests, you will need to study ahead of time. You can get a physical copy of the drivers manual from the office, or you can get a copy and have it to study ahead of time. Also, there is a wonderful website with practice tests and study material. The practice tests here are more in line with the old form of the test, but I practiced with this test and was able to pass the new CBT training with no problems. Another site, is like on-line flash cards for the road signs. It does a good job of explaining the signs and where you might encounter them.
In my case, my husband took the training before we got to Germany and he was able to walk in to the licensing office and come out with his temporary license. So within a day of getting here he was able to drive. My test was scheduled for a Wednesday at 0745. I arrived early and competed the application. They took this information and my Stateside drivers license and had me wait in the testing room.
There were about 30 people taking the test that day. After we watched the video together, they helped us log onto computers and we could start taking the test. It took me about an hour to complete the test and I had a huge smile on my face as the last “100%” appeared on my screen!
It sounds like this newer system is a little easier to pass than the old pass/fail system that was in place before this summer. You still have to know the German rules of the road, but isn’t that the point?
Below you will find the information for Ramstein’s licensing office below. If you have the current information for other installations, please add that to the comments section.
Ramstein Driver’s License Office:
Hours: 0700-1600, depending on base down days and exercises.
Phone: DSN 314-480-2394/5534 or commercial 011-49-6371-47-2394/5534
Directions: The driver’s license office (Officially the 86th Vehicle Readiness Squadron Driver Testing Office) is in building 2106 room 201. This is the same building as 786 FSS and MPS. It is on Mitchell Boulevard just north of the Hercules Theater. There is a back door to the building that leads almost directly to the office.