Letzte Aktualisierung: 20 Dec 2015

Führerschein in den USA

Da gibt es für deutsche Führerscheinbesitzer eine Menge Fallstricke. So beträgt z.B. die Gültigkeit des deutschen Führerscheins nicht wie gerne kolportiert generell 6 Monate sondern

- 30 Tage: Washington D.C., Vermont,

- 60 Tage: Mississippi, New Hampshire,

- 90 Tage: Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia (90 Tage pro Kalenderjahr),

- 1 Jahr: Kentucky,

Inzwischen liegt mir schriftlich eine Stellungnahme des Leiters des Rechtswesens einer Vertretung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika vor, die die Regelungen der einzelnen Bundesstaaten zusammenfasst. Vollständig ist sie allerdings wohl nicht.

In einer ganzen Anzahl Staaten ist der ausländische Führerschein genauso wie eine Drivers License eines anderen US-Bundesstaats auf das limitiert, was im Ausgabestaat erlaubt ist, also deutsche Pkw-Führerscheine auf 3,5 bis 7,5 Tonnen. ( 7.850 bis 16.850 lbs)

Zu Erläuterung: Praktisch jeder Staat der USA hat seine eigenen Regelungen und Gesetze. Ein "nonresident" ist jemand, der im genannten Staat keinen festen Wohnsitz hat, gleichgültig, ob er in einem anderen Staat der USA lebt oder Ausländer ist

Beispiele:

Illinois: Illinois Vehicle Code Sec. 6-102
A nonresident who has in his immediate possession a valid license issued to him in his home state or country may operate a motor vehicle for which he is licensed for the period during which he is in this State.

Iowa: 2013 Iowa Code, Title VIII, Subtitle 2 321.176
The following persons are exempt from driver’s licensing requirements: A nonresident operating a motor vehicle within the legal scope of the nonresident’s home state or country license.

Kansas: Kansas Statutes, Chapter 8, Article 2 8-236:
A nonresident who is at least 18 years of age and who has in such person's immediate possession a valid license issued to such nonresident in such person's home state or country which authorizes such person to operate any motor vehicle in class A or class B, as designated in K.S.A. 8-234b, and amendments thereto, may operate any such motor vehicle in this state, subject to the age limits applicable in this state to the operation of any type or class of vehicle operated by such person;

Maine: Maine Revised Statutes, Title 29, Chapter 11, Subchapter 1 §1251.
License required A nonresident who is 16 years of age or older and who has in that person's possession a valid license or instruction permit issued by that person's state or province. A nonresident operator shall adhere to all restrictions applied to the license or instruction permit issued by that person's state or province.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90Section 10
A nonresident who holds a license under the laws of the state or country in which he resides may operate any motor vehicle of a type which he is licensed to operate under said license.

Nebraska: Nebraska Revised Statutes, Chapter 60 60-488.
Such nonresident shall be duly licensed under the motor vehicle laws of the state of his or her residence or have complied with the laws of the state of his or her residence relating to the registration or licensing of motor vehicles and conformed to the laws of such state of residence in relation to the operators of motor vehicles.

Nevada: Nevada Revised Statutes, Title 43, Chapter 483 483.240
A nonresident who is at least 16 years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid license issued to the person in his or her home state or country may drive a motor vehicle in this State of the type or class the person may operate in that home state or country.

North Carolina: North Carolina General Statutes, Chapter 20, Article 2 § 20-8.
A nonresident who is at least 16 years of age who has in his immediate possession a valid driver's license issued to him in his home state or country if the nonresident is operating a motor vehicle in this State in accordance with the license restrictions and vehicle classifications that would be applicable to him under the laws and regulations of his home state or country if he were driving in his home state or country.

Oklahoma: Oklahoma Statutes, Title 47 (Motor Vehicles), §47-6-102
A nonresident who is sixteen (16) years of age or older may operate a motor vehicle in this state as authorized by the class, restrictions, and endorsements specified on the license.

Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Code, Title 75, Part II, Chapter 15 § 1502.
A nonresident may only drive the class or classes of vehicles in this Commonwealth for which the person is licensed to drive in the person's home state or country subject to all restrictions contained on the license.

South Dakota: 2012 South Dakota Codes, Title 32, Chapter 12 32-12-24.
A nonresident who is at least sixteen years of age and who has in that person's immediate possession a valid operator's license or motorcycle operator's license issued by that person's home state or country may operate in this state any motor vehicle for which that person is licensed in the person's home state or country.

Tennessee: Tennessee Code, Title 55, Chapter 50 55-50-304.
A nonresident who is at least twenty-one (21) years of age and who has in immediate possession a valid license equivalent to a Tennessee class license issued to the person in the person's home state or country may operate a motor vehicle of a comparable class in this state.

Texas: Texas Statutes Title 7, Subtitle B, Chapter 521, Subchapter A Sec. 521.030.
A nonresident who is 16 years of age or older and who has in the person's possession a driver's license issued to the person by the person's state or Canadian province of residence may operate a type of motor vehicle that is permitted to be operated with a Class C or Class M driver's license in this state if the license held by the nonresident permits operation of that type of vehicle in the person's state or province of residence.

Utah: Utah Code Title 53, Chapter 3 Section 202.
A nonresident who is at least 18 years of age and who has in the nonresident's immediate possession a valid license certificate issued to the non-resident in the nonresident's home state or country if driving in the class or classes identified on the home state license certificate.

Vermont: The Vermont Statutes, Title 23, Chapter 7:23 V.S.A. § 411.
Reciprocal provisions As determined by the commissioner of motor vehicles, a motor vehicle owned by a nonresident, shall be considered as registered and a nonresident operator shall be considered as licensed in this state, if the nonresident owner or operator has complied with the laws of the foreign country or state of his or her residence relative to the registration of motor vehicles and the granting of operators' licenses.


Für uns Europäer sind diese Gegebenheiten nicht ganz einfach zu verstehen, wir sind ein anderes System gewohnt.

Wenn Sie den Text, den die deutschen Vertretungen in den USA bereitstellen, selbst lesen möchten: "Touristen mit deutschem Führerschein: Fahren ohne Führerschein?"

Bei Unsicherheit, was für Sie zutrifft, müssen Sie sich an die Behörden des jeweiligen Staates wenden. Keine Angst, die Mitarbeiter sind praktisch immer freundlich und hilfsbereit, auch die Sprachbarriere wird oft geschickt umschifft.

Eine umfassende Liste der zuständigen Behörden finden Sie im Internet.

Als wichtigste Erkenntnis aus den oben aufgeführten Bestimmungen kann genannt werden, dass Sie in den USA in den aufgeführten Bundesstaaten mit dem Führerschein Ihres Heimatlandes nur solche Fahrzeuge fahren dürfen, die Sie auch zuhause fahren dürften.

Das ist besonders im Zusammenhang mit der Anmietung von Campingfahrzeugen relevant. Viele US-Staaten erlauben bei einer US-Standardlicense für die private Verwendung Fahrzeuggewichte bis zu 26.000 lbs = ca. 11,8 Tonnen. Also zumeist kein Problem für US-Bürger, ein grösseres Wohnmobil zu fahren. Diese License hat der (z.B. deutsche) Besucher aber nicht, sein Pkw-Führerschein ist je nach Ausstellungsdatum zumeist auf 3,5 bis 7,5 Tonnen limitiert. (7.850 bis 16.850 lbs) Das Fahrzeuggesamtgewicht wird in den USA in lbs (pound) angegeben und als GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating - gelegentlich auch GVM = Gross Vehicle Mass) bezeichnet. (1 pound ~ 0,454 kg)

An dieser Stelle ein herzliches Dankeschön an Herrn Andreas Boße vom deutschen Generalkonsulat in Boston für die schnelle und umfassende Information.