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Caught speeding in Germany? Do I have to give up my license?

Here, you will find information about the legal consequences if you have driven too fast on the German freeways.

The answer in detail

What to do in case of speeding in Germany?

Legal consequences

Caution, new fines will apply from 9 November 2021!

Violations of the German road traffic law are usually punished with a fine and, in certain cases, with a driving ban. This also applies, of course, to Mr. and Mrs. Swiss who are traveling in Germany by car.

The legal consequences of speeding in Germany range from a fine to a driving ban. However, the driving ban for Swiss drivers is limited to Germany only. The driving ban has no effect on Switzerland if the sanction is not documented in Switzerland.

When is a sanction documented in Switzerland:

  • If the German office actively reports the revocation of the license to Switzerland
  • If the Swiss authorities make inquiries in Germany
  • Or if the information is reported in Switzerland based on the European exchange of information from criminal records.

Important: As soon as a fine from Germany flutters into your home, you should definitely check whether it is only a fine or whether a driving ban is also imposed. 

If a driving ban is imposed – for example for one month – this will be recorded in the fine notice. In this case, it is advisable that you send your driving license to the German authorities so that they can record the driving ban. Obtain advice here from us first. Normally, your license will then be returned to you within a week – with a sticker to draw attention to the driving ban. In certain federal states, it is also sufficient to send a color copy of your license. It is best to inquire in advance by telephone with the authority mentioned on the fine notice.

If you rely on your driving license for professional reasons, the driving ban can be converted into a fine in cases of hardship, whereby the fine is usually doubled. However, this only applies if you are really dependent on your vehicle for your job and the driving ban in Germany would massively restrict the exercise of your profession. You must be aware that a German driving ban can also lead to a withdrawal of your driving license in Switzerland if the Swiss authorities learn of the violation in Germany (Art. 16cbis SVG). The legislator wants to ensure that Mr. and Mrs. Swiss do not violate the law when they are abroad and suffer negative consequences at home.

In Switzerland, a learning permit or driver’s license can be revoked after a violation for the following reasons:

  • If a driving ban was imposed abroad
  • and the violation can be qualified as moderately severe or severe according to Art. 16B and 16c SVG).

A moderately severe violation is driving 21-24 km/h too fast in a 30 km/h zone or urban area, 26-29 km/h too fast outside an urban area, and 31-34 km/h too fast on the motorway. A severe violation is driving too fast by 25 km/h or more in a 30 km/h zone or urban area, by 30 km/h or more outside an urban area, and by 35 km/h or more on the motorway.

MyRight advises you to comply with traffic laws in Germany. You must be particularly careful on the Autobahn. You can’t drive as fast as you want on all sections. In Germany, speeding is not a trivial offense, even if the fines are not as high as they are in Switzerland.

In general, it is recommended to cooperate with the German authorities. Based on the police cooperation agreement between Switzerland and Germany, the German authorities can request information on vehicles and their owners from the Swiss authorities – in this way violations can become documented in Switzerland. As a rule, if you depend on your driver’s license for your job and the driving ban would severely limit your ability to perform your profession, a court must decide whether this constitutes a case of hardship and the driving ban can be waived. You must show documentation proving the fact that you are dependent on your car for work.

The following table provides an overview of the fines and from which speed you should expect your license to be withdrawn.

Important documents
Speeding in Germany (document in german)