Do you still remember the old driving license made of green-greyish paper? Its nickname “rag” is no coincidence, as such documents actually look a bit like cleaning utensils. If you still drive a car like this or a pink one, you should in many cases take care of exchanging them: some of the old driving licenses will soon have to be exchanged due to an EU directive, and some will even need to be exchanged in the next few days. And – in many cases the deadline has already expired, which can also be seen in the table below.
Paper driving license holders born between 1965 and 1970 are currently affected. They must have completed the exchange by January 19, 2024. This is pointed out, among others, by municipal authorities in Germany and also by the ADAC, which provides a "driver's license exchange calculator" on its website where you can check individually when exactly it is your turn. Anyone who lets the deadline pass risks a fine of ten euros.
The exchange is a bit confusing at first glance because there are differences between those who have paper driving licenses and those who have a driving license in credit card format. There are also old maps. These were issued without a time limit until January 18, 2013 and must also be exchanged piece by piece for EU-compliant cards, the validity of which is then limited to 15 years. The last exchange deadline for these older card driving licenses is January 19, 2033.
Anyone who travels with such a card still has some time: the exchange deadline ends in several steps from January 19, 2026.
On the other hand, the exchange of paper documents is in full swing. An example: You have a pink paper driving license and were born between 1965 and 1970. Then you are one of those who must complete the exchange – as mentioned above – within the next two and a half weeks. Anyone can make the exchange in their community, in Hamburg, for example, by making an appointment at the State Transport Office, which can be booked online.
The Federal Council decided on the mandatory exchange of driving licenses in 2019. This is intended to make all of these documents in the European Union uniform and forgery-proof. The driving license must be exchanged at the local driving license office. The cost is around 30 euros plus shipping. A biometric passport photo is also required.
The next year group can take note of the deadlines. Drivers born before 1953 are an exception - they have a longer period.
Anyone who has a driving license that was issued after January 1, 1999 and before 2013, i.e. that has a credit card format, must observe these deadlines.
Sources: ADAC, Hamburg.de, State Office for Transport in Hamburg
Read at stern: Seniors aged 70 and over should have their driving ability checked every five years, demands the EU. About time, our overseas author thinks.