Driving at 17

Young people can normally obtain a standard driving licence in Germany when they reach 18. However, there is the possibility of starting to drive at 17 provided conditions are met.

Driving at 17

Picture: © mapoli-photo - Fotolia.com

Many young people cannot wait to begin driving. Under special rules in Germany, 17 year olds are permitted to drive a vehicle provided they have passed the relevant driver training and are accompanied by an adult driver.

A young person can commence driver training once they reach 16-and-a-half years old and after they have registered with a driving school. The driver will have to pass a theory and practical driving test.

Once the learner driver has passed the driving test they can then drive with an accompanying adult for one year. Once they reach 18, their pass certificate will be converted into a full licence.

There are conditions attached to the so-called “accompanied driving” status. The accompanying adult must:

  • be over 30 years old
  • have possessed a classed B driving licence for at least 5 years
  • not have more than 3 points on the their driving licence
  • not be above the drink-drive limit (0.5 mg per ml)

If you plan to accompany a young driver, but are currently being threatened with points on your driving licence, it is a good idea to appeal against the notice of intended prosecution.

Contact our team of German lawyers on +49 (0) 221 / 951 563 0 for more advice on road traffic law in Germany.


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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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