Losing your driver's license can be a frustrating experience, especially if you're in a foreign country like Germany. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your lost license is replaced as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Germany’s lost and found service
Throughout Germany, you’ll find many lost and found services. If you google ‘lost and found service’ in the city where you lost the license, you should see many private services like Verlustsache, Faundit, etc. You can register in one of them and wait. They’ll return your lost driving license as and when they find it for a small fee. The fee depends on the service you register in.
The "lost and found" office, also known as the "Fundbüro" in Germany, is typically located in or near the city hall or public transportation hubs such as train stations or airports. They are responsible for collecting and storing lost items that have been turned in by Good Samaritans or found by public transport workers.
Lost driving license in Deutsche Bahn
If you lost your driving license or any other items in a train operated by Deutsche Bahn or in one of the stations, you can report the incident in the lost property service of Deutsche Bahn.
You may have to pay a handling charge to Deutsche Bahn for searching and returning the lost item. Deutsche Bahn also offers to send the item via Deutsche Post. However, you may have to pay an additional fee for this service. Check out the Faq page of Deutsche Bahn portal for the details on fees.
Reporting the lost driving license in Germany
If you find your driving license is lost or stolen, you have to contact your local driving license authority and provide evidences to get a duplicate license or a new one.
But, firstly, we recommend to report the loss of your driver's license to the local police station as soon as possible. This is a crucial step in preventing identity theft or fraud, as a lost driver's license can potentially be used by someone else to impersonate you. After reporting the loss to the police, they will provide you with a written confirmation that you will need to provide to the appropriate authorities.
If your driving license is issued in Germany, the next step is to apply for a replacement license in the local driver's license authority or "Fahrerlaubnisbehörde" and provide them with the necessary documentation. This typically includes your passport or other form of identification, your police report, and a passport-sized photograph. You may also need to pay a fee for the replacement license.
If you are unable to speak German, it may be helpful to bring a translator with you to ensure that there are no misunderstandings or communication issues.
It's worth noting that the process for replacing a lost driver's license can take several weeks, so it's important to plan accordingly. In the meantime, you may be able to obtain an interim license or "Führerschein auf Probe" from the driver's license authority, which will allow you to legally drive until your replacement license arrives.
Similarly, if your license was issued in EU, but you lost it while you were in Germany, you need to follow the same steps as mentioned above. Due to the fact that your driver's license was not issued in Germany, the German authorities may contact the issuing authority where your license was issued in order to obtain your information.
You have a high chance to get a replacement.
Documents required to apply for a replacement driving license in Germany
If the license is stolen, a written statement aligned with a police theft report
A photo identity proof
A biometric passport photo
Your replacement driving license will be ready within three to four weeks depending on the rush in the issuing authority in Germany.
What to do if your foreign driver’s license is lost in Germany
For licenses issued by a foreign country, you need to contact the authorities in the corresponding issuing country.
Please note that it is possible that a police report will be required to issue a replacement driving license. Otherwise, you may be required to take a driving test just like when you applied for your first license.