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New York City meets Munich

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March 8th, 2005 · No Comments · Germany

With my recent hassles of getting re-licensed to drive in New York City behind me, I make a mental note to make sure to not get myself in the same fix if I ever live in Germany:

Germany recognizes only the licenses of 24 U.S. states that have taken the trouble to negotiate a reciprocity agreement. If you come from one of the states that hasn’t — in my case, New York — you’re out of luck…

But still, I wanted to drive, so this is what I had to do:

  • Go to an optician and get an eye test.
  • Spend Saturday taking a first-aid course.
  • Attach proof that I had done this, plus passport-size photo, to the official application form.
  • Take a number at the city office that accepts the form and wait to be called.
  • Pay $68, the first of many, many fees.
  • Wait six weeks for the form to be processed. Enroll at a driver’s school.
  • Sit on folding chairs in a crowded room with about 50 other pupils — bored German teenagers and bored older foreigners. And do it seven days in a row for three hours per day.

Suddenly, I feel like I got off easy.

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