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Driving & Public Transport

Frankfurt - Driving & Public Transport

Compared to many other European cities, obtaining a driver license in Frankfurt is a relatively simple process for most expatriates. The rules for obtaining a license differ depending on your home country, but requirements are typically not onerous.

If you move to Frankfurt from one of the European Union countries, there is nothing you need to do. Your driver license from your home country is automatically valid, so there is no need to take an examination or exchange your license for a German license.

If you are from the United States, you can legally drive using your United States driver license for a period of six months after entering the country. After that period, the rules differ depending on which state your license was issued in. Driver licenses from most states can simply be exchanged for a German driver license, with no need for a written exam or road test. However, the German government does not officially recognize the licenses issued by a handful of states – in this case, you would need to pass a written exam and driving test before receiving your German driver license.

Expats from most other countries, other than those described above, will have to pass the exams to receive German driver licenses.

In order to register your vehicle and maintain your license, you will need to provide proof of third party liability insurance. There are several carriers in Frankfurt that can assist you with obtaining the necessary insurance coverages.

Your point of contact for obtaining your driver license and registration is the Ordnungsamt:


Mainzer Landstrasse 321-323

D-60326 Frankfurt am Main

+49 (0)69 212 44422

+49 (0)69 212 44423

If you would rather not obtain a driver license or brave the roads of Frankfurt, you can utilize the city's well managed public transportation system. One unique feature about Frankfurt's system is that it consists of different carriers that all use the same fare system. Thus, you can purchase a single ticket, and use it for multiple modes of transportation for the duration of your trip.

The suburban rapid transit system, the S-Bahn, is a rail system that transports residents from the suburbs to the city center. Trains usually run on a 15 to 30 minute schedule, and operate at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. Some of the lines share mainline tracks with long distance passenger trains and other regional trains.

Frankfurt also has a network of seven underground lines, collectively known as the U-Bahn. These lines run underground near the city center, but above ground in outlying areas of the city. While not as fast as the S-Bahn, it offers a greater number of routes.

The city also maintains a fairly extensive bus system, although buses play a minor role in Frankfurt's public transportation infrastructure, largely because most of the major areas are serviced by trains.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners


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