How to get an International Driver’s License in Stuttgart

international driver license 2016

This depicts an International Driver’s License permit issued by the Stuttgart “Internationale Führerscheinstelle,” or international driver’s license office. Photo by Holly DeCarlo-White

By USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

Commonly known as an “international license,” the international driving permit, or certificate, is not an actual license in its own right, but rather a verification that the holder has a valid driver’s license, translated into multiple languages.

The U.S. Army Europe driver’s license is valid in Germany only. To obtain an international license, one must first hold a USAREUR driver’s license. Note that this is not a official license, but rather a certificate of license.

Only the permanent, hard plastic USAREUR license is acceptable, not the temporary paper license issued at the time of testing.

Read more about obtaining your USAREUR license click here.

Drivers can obtain international driver’s licenses prior to arriving in Stuttgart at travel offices such as the American Automobile Association.

To obtain or renew the permit after arrival in Stuttgart, ID cardholders have two options:

  1. After you receive your USAREUR license, make an appointment and then visit the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Driver Testing Center in Building 2913 on Panzer Kaserne to obtain the appropriate documents to take to the German local driver’s registration office (Führerscheinstelle). There are several locations available and the Driver Testing Center will provide you with options nearest to your location of preference.
  2.  Mail an application through AAA. The process takes a minimum of 10 days. For application details, visit http://www.aaa.com/ppinternational/IDP_IADP_Apply.html.

According to the AAA website, its international license is recognized in more than 150 countries.

All international driver’s license permits must be carried in conjunction with a valid U.S. driver’s license, and USAREUR license. The permit can help break down language barriers when traveling in non-English speaking countries.

While stationed in Europe, having  an international driver’s license is worth the effort. Being caught without one can cost as much as €500, according to Emmanuel Redeit, the supervisor of the Stuttgart Driver’s Testing Center. The current fee for the international license is €16.

Checklist:

1) USAREUR driver’s license
—You must have your U.S. Army Europe Certificate of License before applying for an international license
Note: You must have the actual hard plastic license, not the temporary paper certificate issued at time of testing.

2) Application form from the Driver’s Testing Office, Building 2913, Panzer Kaserne
— filled out and stamped by the Stuttgart Driver’s Testing and License Office. (Make sure to provide a German mailing address, not an APO.)

3) Passport Photos (one )
—the quickest and easiest way to get these is probably at the Panzer Exchange, right across the street from the driver’s testing office.

Note: Euro passport photo size is different than the U.S. standard size photo.

4) Bring U.S. Stateside driver’s license, U.S. Passport and military ID

5) Bring cash 

— The current fee for the international license is €16.