What is a class B crime

Driving without a license: penalties and consequences

The driver's license is just a plastic card, a piece of paper, a "rag". For many Germans, however, the driving license is one of the most important authorizations.

Over 37.5 million card driving licenses were recorded in the Central Driving License Register (ZFER) in 2017.

There are countless ways you can be prosecuted for driving without a license. Driving in spite of a driving ban, driving with a foreign driver's license that is in Germany is only valid for a limited time, or just let the youngsters behind the wheel who do not have a driver's license.

The following guide is intended to help you comprehensive overview give what can happen to you when driving without a license and what traffic law regulates in these cases.

FAQ: Driving without a license

How is driving without a license sanctioned?

Driving without a license is a criminal offense that can be punished with a fine or imprisonment of up to one year.

What happens if I drive despite the driving ban?

If you drive in spite of the driving ban, you are also liable to prosecution and have to reckon with the consequences mentioned above.

What if I just forgot my driver's license?

If you have a valid driver's license and just don't have your driver's license with you, the whole thing is done with a fine of 10 euros.

Driving without a license vs. driving without a license

Driving without a license is in Germany no petty offense, after all, it means that the vehicle was moved despite a driving ban, driving license withdrawal or even without ever having had a driving license.

The driving license is the Government approval to drive certain vehicles. The driver's license is a printout of the driver's license and a document to be carried.

Driving without a license is usually just an administrative offense. It means not having your driver's license to hand if - for example, at a general traffic control - this was requested. Usually a fine of ten euros is due for this offense.

The driving license may only be obtained from or by the driving license authority a court order be withdrawn. The driver's license may also be used during a general police check or similar. be drafted by police officers if the officers doubt the driver's suitability for driving on the road.

Driving without a license: regulation and penalty

Driving without a license is im Section 21 of the Road Traffic Act (StVG) "Driving without a license" is regulated. There it says in paragraph 1: “Whoever is punished with imprisonment for up to one year or with a fine

1. drives a motor vehicle, even though it does so does not have the required driving license or driving the vehicle is prohibited under Section 44 of the Criminal Code or Section 25 of this Act, or
2. as the owner of a motor vehicle orders or allows someone to drive the vehiclewho does not have the required driving license or who is prohibited from driving the vehicle according to Section 44 of the Criminal Code or Section 25 of this Act.

The fines depend on the income the person who committed the offense.

Driving without a license can result in a fine or even imprisonment. It is also an A-violation, which means that it brings additional benefits three points in Flensburg. In addition, liability and pension insurance claims can expire as a result of driving without a driver's license.

The penalty for driving without a license is so high because it is assumed that the person is not (yet) familiar with the circumstances of road traffic and driving a vehicle or has disqualified himself through - mostly serious - violations. Can the Do not understand the penalty order, it can always be worth consulting a traffic attorney. After the driver's license has been revoked, it is better not to drive anyway.

Driving without a license: how and when it can happen

§ 21 StVG makes here no difference between the various reasons for which “driving without a license” is a criminal offense.
There are various ways of doing this.

Driving despite driving ban

A driving ban is the loss of a temporary driving license. Usually it is a one to three month driving ban that has been imposed on the driver. They are the result of a gross administrative offense (usually a 2-point offense) or a repeated one simple administrative offense. The driver's license is officially held during the driving ban.

From the start of the ban on driving, the driver is prohibited from driving any form of vehicle. In this case, driving without a license applies from motorcycles to moped. As a rule, however, paragraph 2 of § 21 StVG is used: An imminent prison sentence is included there a maximum of six months reward, since negligent action is usually assumed.

Driving after driving license revocation

The withdrawal of the driver's license, i.e. the withdrawal of the driver's license, is considered to be harshest secondary punishment (This means: punishment in addition to a fine or a custodial sentence) in Germany. If you are guilty of driving without a driver's license after having your license withdrawn, you risk not only the criminal consequences but also the imminent re-issuance of your driving license.

Driving without ever having a valid driver's license

Whether on a little practice drive in the parking lot or for a few minutes behind the wheel of your best buddy. The classic case of “I may not, but actually can” is not simply dismissed in criminal law with (mostly) youthful arrogance - but before the legislature, the offense of “driving without a license” is fulfilled with it.

People who are about to take their own driving test will be putting a heavy mortgage on themselves if caught. Because the driver's license test can turn around after such an incident Postpone years.

One exception is left in the legal text: practicing is permitted on private or fenced off (that is to say: property separated by a barrier or similar). The Owner of the property but must expressly consent.

By the way: The Youth Protection Act, which usually does not provide for a fine, can apply to young people. The sentence must then be served differently.

Driving with a foreign driving license

Is a translation of the driver's license necessary?

A person who no international driving license and does not have the driving license from a country of the European Union (EU) or a signatory state to the EEA, i.e. the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), you must urgently have a translation of the driving license with you if it is not in German is written.

In some states waived the Federal Republic of Germany on carrying a translation. These are: Andorra, Hong Kong, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Switzerland and Senegal.

German traffic law applies to the minimum age

Should be the minimum age for a driving license class in another country from the Provisions of German traffic law deviate and the driver is subsequently too young according to German law, the driving license is not valid. Even if the validity of the driving license expires and a new one has not been applied for in time, it is driving without a valid driving license.

Driving without a German driver's license

You can drive a maximum of six months in Germany with a foreign (not belonging to the EU or EEA). During this time, a German driver's license or a Extension requested become. The latter is possible if you stay in Germany for a maximum of one year.

“Driving license tourism” should be pursued more consistently

If a driving license is obtained abroad, although the ordinary residence (at least 185 days a year) is in Germany, the driving license office can also revoke its validity.

The federal government has made it its goal, the so-called Driving license tourism to fight. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) provides information on this on its website:

The safety and ease of road traffic is an essential goal of the federal government's transport policy. So-called 'driving license tourism', which undermines the stated objectives by circumventing legal provisions, is still a serious problem in Germany. Time and again, people who are considered by the German authorities to be unsuitable for driving a motor vehicle try to circumvent the requirements for driving a vehicle by obtaining a driving license in another Member State.

Driving without a license for a trailer

The offense also applies to driving a vehicle for which the driver's license is granted another driving license class is necessary. Anyone who only sits on a motorcycle (class A1) or in a vehicle over 3.5 tons (e.g. class C) with a class B driving license is also guilty of driving without a license.

So whoever pulls a trailer with a class B driving license without also having the permission to do so (B96 or BE), also risks heavy penalties.

Example: A class BE driving license entitles you to drive a combination with a class B towing vehicle and a trailer or semi-trailer. If the total mass of the two parts of the combination exceeds that permissible maximum weight of 3500 kilograms, a driving license of class C1E is required. If this is not available, the driver drove without a valid driver's license.

Negligent driving without a license

Very few will deliberately get into the car or get on a motorcycle without a valid driver's license. However, driving without a license - in contrast to driving without a driver's license - remains a criminal offense, even if committed the act negligently has been. However, the sentence almost always includes a reduced sentence of a maximum of six months' imprisonment or a fine of a maximum of 180 daily rates.

For information: From an imposed fine of 90 daily rates you are already considered to have a criminal record.

Penalties for drivers and owners

As the text of the law suggests, it is not just the driver, but also the holder prosecuted for driving without a license. It is unimportant whether the owner ordered the trip or only knowingly allowed it. The latter likes to happen within the family: Parents or partners who, knowing that they do not have a driver's license, allow their own car to drive, are also accused of driving without a driver's license.

Let your underage offspring without a license behind the wheel of your own car, as you are convinced that they have already mastered it and take part in road traffic with them, you risk the withdrawal of your driving license yourself, as well as a fine or imprisonment.

As a rule, the owner must also expect a conviction according to paragraph 2 § 21 StVG, i.e. one mitigated sentence. However, this only applies in the event of a first-time act.

In the event of an accident or damage as a result of unauthorized driving, liability insurance will probably make recourse claims against the owner.

Driving without a license: driving a moped allowed?

A driver's license is not required to drive a moped. One is enough Inspection certificate. Those who have this can also drive a moped without a license. In the event of a driver's license being withdrawn, it is possible to continue to use a motorized vehicle.

It can, however, when the driving license is withdrawn judicial Permission to drive a moped may also be withdrawn.

People who have had their driving license completely withdrawn have one (only) small advantage over people who have been banned from driving. Because a driving ban closes driving with the moped.

Anyone who drives a moped during this time is guilty of “driving without a license”.

Mind you, it is of course also possible to be guilty of driving the moped without a driver's license: for example, if the moped or scooter is not reduced to 25 km / h as specified, but the driver is only has one test certificate.

Driving without a license: Harsher punishment for repeat offenders

While the law lists fines and imprisonment to sanction people who have been deprived of their driving license and have still driven, in most cases it should be one Remain fine. The situation is different when it is established that an act has been committed deliberately and, above all, repeatedly was committed. Repeated offenses of driving without a license are more likely to be imprisoned than a first-time suspect.

Prominent case: German national player

In 2015, the case of a German national soccer player became known who, in 2014, received a penalty warrant in six cases for driving without a license in the amount of 540,000 euros received. The case attracted a lot of attention and the argument was made that "the rich footballers can buy their way out of anything". The six cases were in the legal sense, however no repeat offense, since there was no conviction between them. If the national player concerned had become conspicuous again after paying the fine, a repeat offense with the consequence of harsher penalties would have been likely.

The vehicle can also be confiscated

Ultimately, it can also confiscated the vehicle become. Paragraph 3 of Section 21 of the Road Traffic Act regulates that the vehicle can be withdrawn if the driver has driven without a driver's license. It is about always about the vehicle to which the act relates.

This is decided by the legislator on a case-by-case basis, but mostly it affects the vehicle owners who have been permanently deprived of their driving license and who have to serve a suspensionbefore they can apply for a new one.

The vehicle can also be withdrawn if the driver (or owner) within the three years has previously been convicted of driving without a permit.

Driving without a driver's license despite being blocked gives the legislature the right to seemingly brutal acts. It is intended to make the conditions for a further hazard more difficult for people who are unauthorized in road traffic.

Driving without a license: an MPU is likely

The medical-psychological examination (MPU) is intended to mental and physical ability check to be able to move in traffic without endangering others. With this in mind, does an MPU make sense when driving without a license?

The ability to drive cannot only be questioned because of medical or psychological concerns.

Even knowledge of the traffic rules is checked

In the case of the MPU that was ordered as a result of driving without a driver's license, it can also be a question of whether the person concerned Known the traffic rules at all are. This is particularly important for those who do not yet have a driver's license. But for everyone else too, the questions about traffic rules and other behaviors will be the Suitability for participation in road traffic checked.

The MPU is mostly at serious violations of traffic law arranged. This includes: drink-driving, hit-and-run and driving without a license.

Notwithstanding the MPU as a result of driving without a license, this can also be ordered if there is basically about recovery the driver's license goes - i.e. if the person has submitted an application for a new license to their responsible driver's license office.

When is it allowed to drive without a driver's license?

Driving without a license always involves that person in public road traffic Is on the way. As a rule, driving without a driver's license is also permitted on closed private properties or areas that are otherwise clearly separated from road traffic.

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Driving without a license: penalties and consequences
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