The driving license should have a uniform format in the EU by 2033. According to the Auto Club Europa (ACE), around 43 million bills have to be exchanged in Germany in order to convert all bills to the only valid check card format. This applies to all driver’s licenses for cars and motorcycles that were issued before January 19, 2013.

So that this does not end in chaos, the exchange takes place in stages over the years at specific deadlines. For the first group, however, it is now high time to take care of it.

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If you were born between 1953 and 1958 and still have a driver’s license that was issued before January 1, 1999, you have until July 19, 2022 to exchange them. And that’s only because the original deadline (January 19) was extended due to the corona, according to ACE. After that, the document becomes invalid.

Anyone who gets caught with it risks a fine of ten euros. According to the ADAC, there could also be problems with expired documents abroad. As a rule, the exchange takes place at the responsible driving license authority or the driving license office. Depending on where you live, this can also be the Citizens’ Registration Office. The exchange is mandatory, but takes place without an examination or health check, according to the ADAC.

The next group of certificates issued up to and including December 31, 1998 are those born between 1959 and 1964. You must have swapped by January 19, 2023. However, you do not have to wait for any of the deadlines and you can exchange your document beforehand, depending on your wishes and the schedule.

Two points are important for the key date: the year of birth and the date of issue of the driver’s license. For driving licenses made of paper, i.e. grey, pink or documents from the GDR, not only the date of issue but also the year of birth of the holder is relevant. These certificates were issued before January 1, 1999.

If you have a credit card-sized document issued up to and including January 18, 2013, you can only use the date of issue as a guide. Here, the first certificates issued from 1999 to 2001 must be exchanged by January 19, 2026.