Rhineland-Palatinate has a dense road network. The excellent road infrastructure connects the economic regions of Rhine-Main, Rhine-Neckar and Rhine-Ruhr. It provides fast and easy access to the neighbouring countries of France, Luxembourg and Belgium.
We have gathered a few tips for you about driving in Germany.
Driving in Germany
Right-hand traffic applies in Germany. The relevant speed limits vary depending on the type of street you are driving on:
- In towns or cities the speed limit is 50 km/h.
- Certain zones within a town or city are limited to 30 km/h.
- In Spielstraßen (traffic-calmed area e.g. living streets) you may only drive at walking pace.
- You can generally drive at 100 km/h on a Landesstraße (roads crossing the boundaries of a rural or urban district that are designated with an L and a serial number e.g. L 1 or L 83).
- There is no mandated speed limit on the Autobahn (German federal controlled-access highway) unless signposted otherwise. The recommended speed is 130 km/h. However, there are special speed limits on many high-traffic and therefore dangerous segments of the Autobahn.
When driving in Germany, you must always carry your driver’s licence and the Fahrzeugschein (vehicle registration certificate) for your vehicle, since the police usually checks these documents during traffic stops.
Citizens of the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland do not need to have their driver’s licence re-registered.
If you come from a different country, your driver’s license allows you to drive in Germany for six months. This period starts from the day you register your residence in Germany. After these six months, you will require a German driver’s licence. Whether you have to take a driving test to be granted a German driver’s license depends on the country in which you acquired yours.
You can find information about the validity of foreign driver’s licences at the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Registering and checking your car
All cars in Germany must be registered. You can complete this registration at your nearest KFZ Zulassungsstelle (vehicle registration office). These registration offices are located either at your local Kreisverwaltung (district administration office) or Stadtverwaltung (city administration office). To register, you will need your vehicle registration certificate proving the car belongs to you, as well as your automotive insurance policy.
For further information, the staff at the Rhineland-Palatinate Welcome Center will be happy to assist you.
To be allowed to drive in Germany, you must purchase motor vehicle insurance. Third-party coverage is the mandatory minimum insurance. Without motor vehicle insurance, you cannot even register your car. It covers any damage you or your car might inflict on other people, cars or property in case of you causing a car accident or an injury. Furthermore, it is advisable to have comprehensive insurance (Kaskoversicherung) or roadside assistance (Schutzbrief).