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How to get driving in Germany (USAG Bavaria Hohenfels)

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

It's time to get your own vehicle registered so you don't have to hop on public transportation or rely on your sponsor as much. Here is how to get driving when assigned to Hohenfels. You can get step 1 done before you arrive in Germany which is why I placed it first unlike the flow chart. Steps 1 and 2 are interchangeable. To get the most up to date guidance from USAG Bavaria visit the USAG Bavaria Driver's license guidance. Below is a flowchart for the whole process.

Vehicle Processing Flowchart
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Step 1. Get insurance before you arrive if you know your vehicle information or shipped. GEICO (Mirascon) was the best rate I found (better than USAA). You have to have insurance in place before you can go to registration. Registration appointments are scheduled 2 to 3 weeks out at the time of this post while we are still observing COVID restrictions.

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Step 2. Get USAEUR license by turning in your JKO driving test certificate and $20 per person at the TMP office. Bring your stateside driver's license and military ID when you go. They can usually take card for the payment but it was not working when we went so the safe option is to stop at the community bank no more than a block away and get a money order. You do not need an account to get one and they have an ATM at the building. You may want to make an account here to help with German bills.

Step 3. Get temporary registration for your vehicle before you go to pick it up. You can schedule a registration appointment here. Their site says they will not register your vehicle until it is in country so you will have to wait until you receive arrival confirmation for any shipped vehicles. We were able to purchase a vehicle while we were in quarantine and get insurance for it while we were stuck at home. If you are in a pinch and need to see if you can get an earlier registration appointment you might be able to find one by asking in Hohenfels Military Spouses.

Step 4. Pick up your vehicle. I picked up my car at the Grafenwöhr (Tower Barracks) VPC. Due to COVID, I had to schedule an appointment as soon as I got the email saying my truck had arrived. There were appointments available for the next day as early as 0900. As soon as we got the email, we made sure we had registration and we grabbed an Esso card from the main exchange so I could fill up with no problem.

Once you pick up your vehicle it is a very short 100 meter drive to the walk-in inspection. The registration office is also right in this small area as well for a one stop shop if not for appointments required because of COVID. Pass inspection and get to registration to get your permanent plates! If you don't, the temporary registration is good for 30 days to allow you the opportunity to get everything fixed. Good luck and hit the road Jack!

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