যখন জার্মানিতে কেও গাড়ি চালানো নিয়ে কথা বলে তখন সাথে সাথে বিখ্যাত Autobahn এর কথা চলে আসে যেখানে বেশীরভাগ ক্ষেত্রেই কোন স্পীড লিমিট নেই। তবে শুধু স্পীডই না, এখানে গাড়ি চালানো আনন্দদায়ক হয় এর অন্যতম কারন হল খুব ভালো এবং যত্নের সাথে রক্ষণাবেক্ষণ করা রাস্তার জন্য। তাই স্বাভাবিকভাবে জার্মানরা গাড়ি চালাতে খুবই ভালোবাসে। যদিও গাড়ি চালানো সবসময় দরকার পড়ে না বিশেষ করে আপনি যখন কোন বড় শহরে থাকনে। কারন তাদের বাস বা রেল ব্যবস্থা খুব ভালো। তারপরও প্রায় সব জার্মান অধিবাসীর একটি হলেও গাড়ি থাকে।
হুম… যা বললাম। এটি সত্যি যে জার্মান Autobahn এ কোন স্পীড লিমিট নেই। কিন্তু মনে রাখবেন আপনাকে এর সাথে অনেক নিয়ম-কানুন মাথায় রাখতে হবে। এসব মেনে এবং বুঝে চললে, জার্মানিতে গাড়ি চালানো হতে পারে আপনার জন্য সুখকর এবং আনন্দদায়ক। তবে আসুন দেখা যাক কি সেই পথ।
Can I drive in Germany with a driving license from Bangladesh?
Technically you can drive with your Bangladeshi drivers license in the EU zone for the first 6 months (from the time of your registration in your city) only provided you have an International drivers permit (IDP).
You can drive motor vehicles with a maximum authorized mass not exceeding 3500 kg and designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver; motor vehicles in this category may be combined with a trailer having a maximum authorized mass which does not exceed 750 kg.
But it is very highly advised not to do so. To start with, vehicles here are driven on the right side of the road and there are numerous rules to follow. Traffic rules are to obeyed very strictly and can be very confusing for beginners.
International driver’s permit (IDP) allows an individual to drive a private motor vehicle in another nation when accompanied by a valid license from their home country. The document is slightly larger than a standard passport and is essentially a multiple language translation of one’s own existing driver’s license, complete with photograph and vital statistics. It is not a license to operate a motor vehicle on its own. It is valid only along with the original driver’s license. That means, you need the Bangladeshi driver’s license and the IDP to drive a vehicle in the EU during the initial 6 months period.
How to obtain a German drivers license?
German driver’s license (European driving license) is valid for life time and all over the world along with an IDP. The European driving license is a driving license replacing the many driving license styles already in use in the member states of the European union. It has the credit card-style with a photograph. They were introduced to replace the 110 different plastic and paper driving licenses of the 300 million drivers in the EU.
A typical 4 wheeler (PKW) license is called “B” class and a 2 wheeler license is classified as follows,
A1 – Motorcycles with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimeters, of a power not exceeding 11 kW and with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0,1 kW/kg and motor tricycles with a power not exceeding 15 kW.
A2 – Motorcycles of a power not exceeding 25 kW and 0.16 kW/kg.
A – The minimum age for category A is fixed at 20 years. However, access to the driving of motorcycles of this category shall be subject to a minimum of two years’ experience on motorcycles under an A2 license. This requirement as to previous experience may be waived if the candidate is at least 24 years old. The minimum age for motor tricycles exceeding 15 kW is fixed at 21 years.
Usually 2 wheeler license is difficult to obtain and is generally costlier when compared to 4 wheeler’s license.
Driver’s license in Germany can only be obtained via a driving school. The license will be issued by the respective town/city traffic authorities, but the application for the license can only be made by a driving school.
How to obtain a car (PKW), B class driving license is explained below.
In order to successfully achieve a drivers license (considering that you do not already possess an Bangladeshi driving license) you need to,
(a) Register at a driving school of your choice. Depending on the city and the driving school, the registration charges will vary from 80 to 160€.
(b) Buy study materials for the theory exam. This will be supplied by the driving school. There is an online version of the theory exams too. This will cost you between 50 to 120€.
(c) You need to attend a mandatory 12 theory classes and all the basics of driving theory will be covered. This is very important. For eg, you will get to learn when to use the different lights in the car. This might sound very simple but you need to consider that there are day light, high beam, low beam, warning lights, stationary head lights, fog lights and fog warning lights in every car. Very important basics about overtaking, minimum distance to be maintained from the vehicle ahead, what to do in case of emergency when you get stuck in the Autobahn (German federal highways), how to read your position from the road side markers to let the emergency authorities know etc etc.
(d) Eye test (The cost is fixed ca.6€)
(e) A certificate stating that you have attuned a first aid class and have undergone a basic training in the same. This can be done from a local red cross. (ca. 18€)
(f) Once you have (d) and (e), you will be able to register for the drivers license at the transportation department. (This will cost you between 50 to 60€)
(g) If you have completed enough theory class then the driving school will advise you to start with the practical training. Driving classes are called as “Fahrstunden” and are as rule 45 mins long. There is no general rule as to how many Fahrstunden you need to take. But on an average, a person requires between 25 to 30 such Fahrstunden to get thorough with car handling and more importantly getting used to the driving rules, parking etc. Each Fahrstunden will cost between 25 to 30€. So, for eg if an Fahrtstunden costs 30€ and you take about 30 Fahrtstunden then it will cost around 900€ for the basic driving classes alone.
(h) Then you have to take 12 mandatory driving classes called as “Besondere Ausbildungsfahrten”. This comprises of 5 Fahrstunden in Federal roads and country roads ( Schulung auf Bundes- oder Landstraßen), 4 Fahrstunden in Autobahn and 3 Fahrstunden for driving in the night. These 12 Fahrstunden will cost about 45€ each.
Please note that in (h) only the minimum requisite is mentioned. If your driving school instructor personally believes that you need to do take more practical classes in order to be fit for the exam then you will have to do it. Certain driving schools will not allow you to take the practical exam if they are not convinced that you might pass the exam.
(i) Once you have completed all the above mentioned successfully, then you can register for the practical exam. You will have to register for the practical exam at the transportation office by paying ca. 145€. Your driving school will again charge you ca. 145€ for the practical exam for their service.
Failing in practical exams during the first and second attempts is very common. When one does not the successfully pass the practical exam, then he/she has to undergo more driving training and repeat the process (i). Failing a practical exam will end up being costly in financial terms.
If you already have an Bangladeshi driving license, then you will have to go through all the above mentioned points except for point (h). It is highly recommended and advised that you do ask your driving school to train you with point (h) too as it not easy to drive on the autobahn without training. You will have to get your Bangladeshi drivers license translated by an approved authority. ADAC for example will do it for you here in Germany and they will charge you ca.50€ for the same.
Please note that the above mentioned prices are an estimate only and are by no means binding. The estimate has been provided by taking one driving school into consideration. But the format and procedure is same for all.
The procedure for obtaining a motorbike lenience is the same as that of a car. But if you do both together, then you need not provide separate eye test and first aid training certificate. The theory exam is different for B class and Motorbike, but the exam can be taken together and will consist of additional questions and costs a bit more too.
One step at a time – A real life experience
For those who only have to take the tests, “You generally have to allow two months for the whole process,” says Christine Timmer, who runs an English-language Fahrschule in Munich.
Typically, the process goes like this. First, you complete the requisite eye exam and first aid courses (eight hours, available through the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz or Malteser for EUR 25). In addition you will have to provide an eyesight test by an authorized doctor related to driver’s license that is not older than 2 years. Then, with those certificates, your translated license, a recent biometric passport photo, your most recent residence registration form (Meldebescheinigung), and (sometimes) the registration information from your chosen Fahrschule in hand, you apply for your license at the Führerscheinstelle (call first for exact requirements).
It usually takes between four to six weeks to process your application, giving you time to prepare for and take the written and practical exams with your chosen Fahrschule. Practice materials for the written test and the test itself are available in English. You’ll take the driving test in German with your driving instructor and an official examiner. Don’t sweat the German part, though, says Christine. “It’s really not that difficult, if you’re prepared and understand a bit of German. The examiner really doesn’t say a lot.” And when you pass, you get your new license on the spot.
How long you’ll spend preparing for the tests at your Fahrschule depends on your previous driving experience. Christine Timmer’s typical student requires two to six lessons. She charges EUR 51 a lesson, plus EUR 80 for the written test and EUR 150 for the driving test, but rates vary, she cautions. Altogether, then, you can expect to pay around EUR 500.
Worst case scenario
The worst case Führeschein scenario is having to take a full driving course, like young German drivers do. “To get a regular driver’s license,” Christine explains, “you have to take 14 theory classes and at least 12 driving lessons. Driving schools usually offer them twice a week, so that takes about seven weeks. Depending on how quickly you learn, it can be done in about three months; but it usually takes longer, because of holidays and so forth. You start with the classroom sessions, and then move on to the driving portion, taking them in parallel so you learn the rules and also how to apply them.” How many driving lessons you’ll need to take depends on how quickly you learn. With 12 as the minimum, and 50 on the high end, the full licensing course can cost between EUR 1000-2000.
You can take the course at an English-language driving school like Christine’s, but don’t think it’ll be easy, she warns. “Take your time, start things early. Take it seriously, although you may be annoyed about it. And look for a driving school that has experience with license conversions (if you’re able to exchange licenses), because not all of them do.”
How long and how much will a driver’s license cost?
This is a very difficult question and practically impossible to answer. It depends on how good you are at grasping the road rules, your ability to maneuver the car and how many times you need to take the practical exam and many other factors. Pundits say, to begin with one shall calculate with a duration of 6 months and around 1600 € for a car (PKW, B class) license.
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No more cheaper options
Until 2011 you could fairly easily get a driver’s license from other EU countries. Driver’s license tourism has now been abolished by European law. The important detail is “residence”. You are only supposed to get a license for where you live. The authorities are now thoroughly checking whether or not you really live where you say that you do. For further information, see:
- www.adac.de (enter “Führerschein- Übersetzung” into search bar for info on license translation)
- http://www.fahrerlaubnisrecht.de (a complete legal guide on all issues related to driving licences in Germany)
- http://www.fahrschule.de/ (all about Driving licenciating exam in Germany)
- Useful links:
বিভিন্ন ওয়েবসাইট অবলম্বনেঃ মু. রশিদুল হাসান, ফখরুল ইসলাম বাপ্পি।