International Driver’s License

* You can also find information in your Surviving Overseas Booklet provided by the Airmen Family Readiness Center at GK.

Kreis Heinsberg/Kreisverwaltung
Address: Valkenburger Str. 45
52525 Heinsberg, Germany
Get DirectionsTelephone: 02452-131050/02452 13-1100
Hours: Mon 0700-1800 – Tues & Wed 0700-1700 – Fri 0700-1500 – Sat 0900-1200


Unfortunately, even in the couple years that I’ve lived here, police are cracking down on the rules about proper documents and crossing the border means you need your International Driver’s License in addition to your USAREUR license. It’s inexpensive though – a whole lot less that the cost of a ticket if you get caught without one, and it will come in handy when you travel to other countries that require it. Besides, it is more widely recognized then your USAREUR one, if there is a problem, it can help to have something that the police know. You certainly don’t want to have to argue your rights far from home in a language you can’t speak. Yep… this is one of those “better safe than sorry” situations.


The procedure:

1. BRING:
  • Your US passport or military ID
  • Your USAREUR license
  • A European-sized passport photo (Here’s a place in GK that’s fast)
  • Cash. The current fee is 14 Euros cash – it may change. Come prepared with a little extra.
2. GO: to the Heinsberg Administration offices at the address above DURING their office hours. The building is on the corner of Siemenstrasse and Valkenburger Strasse in Heinsberg. There is a parking lot next to it. You need to go into the two story annex to the left of the main building called “Strassenverkehrsamt.” It’s glass and brick. Inside the building, go to the right past the cashier (Kasse).

3. FILL OUT the paperwork that they give you and give them your passport photo.

4. PAY the fee at the Kasse.

5. BRING the cashier receipt back to the person who helped you and then they will give you your new license.

IMPORTANT: Your International Driver’s License isn’t valid alone. It MUST be shown WITH a valid national driver’s license from the issuing country of the International Driver’s License. So, if you get the International Driver’s License in Germany, you must have a USAREUR license issued in Germany. Your International Driver’s License is also ONLY valid outside the country that you’re in. It will be valid for three years.

IF YOU’RE MOVING HERE: If you’re not in the GK area yet, do be sure that your state driver’s license is current when you arrive and when you test. You cannot get a USAREUR license without a valid state license. No USAREUR license = no driving privileges anywhere over here.

3 Responses to “International Driver’s License”

  1. Keri K March 19, 2012 3:04 pm #

    The hours for the office in Heinsberg have changed. Make sure you call before going to confirm the hours. The last two times we went, they were closed.

  2. Anonymous September 20, 2009 8:29 am #

    Remember that just because most states have laws that say a U.S. service member stationed outside their home states license will not expire until 90 days after they move back in to that state, does not mean the germans will honor your technically expired license just because Georgia does for instance.

  3. Elizabbroome November 21, 2008 3:17 pm #

    My husband and I applied for a International Drivers Permit through AAA (one of the only apporved places I could find here in the states).

    http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpapplc.html?association=AAA&clb_id=212&secure=N

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