Overview of the license categories

What driving authorization do the numbers and letters on the license give?

The old driver's license classes 1, 2, 3 etc. are no longer valid. They were replaced by the new driving license classes in January 2013. The international upper classes A, B, C and D as well as BE, CE and DE now apply. Class T and class L are national driving license classes in the Federal Republic. There are a total of 16 driving license classes in Germany.

Car driving license classes

The most common driver's license class B is the car driver's license. What do the entries B, BE and class B with key number 96 in the driver's license mean?

B driver's license
The B driver's license can be acquired at the age of 18. It is currently valid indefinitely. In Germany there is the possibility of accompanied driving from the age of 17. This means that driving authorization for classes B and BE is given at the age of 17. Until the age of 18, however, the car may only be driven when accompanied by a qualified adult. Class B includes classes AM and L. The maximum permissible total weight of the motor vehicle is 3.500 kg. A maximum of eight people may be carried in addition to the driver. A light trailer can be pulled.

Class BE
With the BE license, you can pull a trailer with your vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of more than 750 kg. The BE class allows the steering of a vehicle combination with a gross vehicle weight of up to 3,5 tons.

Class B with key number 96

The driver's license B96 applies to the combination of a motor vehicle of class B with a heavy trailer. The gross vehicle weight of the towing vehicle and trailer is limited to 4250 kg. The key number 96 does not represent a separate driving license class. You do not have to take a theoretical or practical exam. For the acquisition, however, you have to complete a theoretical training and practical training trips in a driving school. The training confirmation from the driving school is sufficient to enter the key number 96.

Motorcycle classes

AM class
Colloquially, this class is called a scooter license. The AM driver's license includes motorcycles and light vehicles. This includes two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles, such as mopeds, scooters, mokicks and mini trikes. Four-wheeled light vehicles such as minicars can only weigh 350 kg without the battery. The vehicles must have a maximum design speed of 45 km / h.
The displacement of the internal combustion engine must not be greater than 50 cc. The power limit for an electrically powered vehicle is 4 KW. In this class there are some exceptions for older motorcycles depending on the year of registration.
The driving license of the AM class can either be obtained directly from a driving school or obtained through another driving license class. The minimum age for a scooter license is 16 years or 15 years in some states.

Class A
The highest motorcycle class A includes classes A1 and A2. The minimum age to enter this class directly is 24 years. However, there is the possibility of advancement from class A2. However, this does not happen automatically as before. According to the new rules, a practical test must be taken after two years in order to receive class A. That means a minimum age of 20 years. From the age of 21 it is permitted to drive three-wheel vehicles with more than 15 kW.

Class A1
Class A16 can be acquired from the age of 1. This means that light motorcycles up to 125 cc with a maximum output of 11 kW can be steered. You may also drive three-wheel motor vehicles with an engine power of up to 15 kW and a maximum speed of 45 km / h. After two years, you can move up to class A2. A practical test is sufficient to achieve driving license class A2.

Class A2
A minimum age of 2 is required to acquire Class 18 directly. This class includes A1 and AM. With a two-year pre-ownership of class A1, only a practical test is required to achieve this class.

Truck classes

The C stands for driving authorization for trucks. There are the following four variants. The basic requirement is a class B driving license. The exam can of course be taken together.


The age for acquiring the truck driver's license is 21 years. The C driving license also has strict rules after the test. The certificate is limited to 5 years. Only with a renewed medical examination and an ophthalmological report will the driver's license be extended for another five years. The class authorizes the steering of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3500 kg. The number of seats is limited to 9. This means the driver and 8 other people can be carried. Buses without passengers may be moved.

Class C1
This driving license can be acquired at the age of 18. The validity is limited to the 50th birthday. After that, a medical examination and ophthalmological report must be submitted every five years. The driving authorization applies to vehicles between 3500kg and 7500kg. The number of people is limited to no more than eight seats without a driver's seat.

Class CE
The basic requirement for obtaining this class is a C driving license. The driving license class CE includes BE, C1E and T. This means that you can pull a heavy trailer with you, but also with your car. Like the C certificate, the permit is only valid for 5 years.

Class C1E
This gives the driver with license class C1 the right to carry a heavy trailer. The total weight of the towing vehicle and trailer is limited to 12 tons.

BUS classes

Class D
Under the age of 24, a driver's license is only possible within the framework of the Professional Driver Qualification Act. The bus driver's license is also limited to 5 years. The assessment will be extended after a positive result. With class D authorization, you, as a bus driver, may transport the number of passengers permitted for the bus.

DE is the trailer driving license for buses. The basic requirement is that you have driving license class D. This class includes driving authorization for BE, D1E and C1E, provided class C1 is available.

With a small bus ticket, the limit is the transport of 16 people. The bus driver is not counted. The bus can have a maximum length of eight meters.

This class allows you to drive a D1 tractor with a heavy trailer.

Special classes T and L

Class T
Class T includes classes AM and L. From 16 years old, tractors can be steered with a maximum speed of up to 40 km / h. From the age of 18, the speed limit for the towing vehicles is 60 km / h. Working machines and agricultural and forestry machines fall into this category. A trailer can also be carried.

Class L
Colloquially, it is often referred to as a tractor driver's license. From the age of 16 vehicles with a maximum speed of 40 km / h, which are intended for agricultural or forestry purposes, may be driven. With a trailer, the permitted driving speed is limited to 25 km / h. Self-propelled work machines, forklifts and industrial trucks with a maximum speed of 25 km / h may be driven.


The minimum age for driving trucks and buses can be reduced if the driver is training to become a professional driver or a similar profession. A truck driver may only drive domestically up to his 21st birthday and only within the framework of the training relationship. For buses throughout Germany there is a 3-year dual apprenticeship to acquire the bus driver's license at the age of 18. The driver's license is limited to regular service up to 50 kilometers.

EU guidelines

The old car driver's license is no longer valid and must be replaced. The European Union wants to introduce a uniform driving license by 2033. The new driver's license is said to be particularly forgery-proof. Your previous driver's license will become invalid and must be exchanged.