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Thread: Moving to Germany!

  1. #1

    Default Moving to Germany!

    So that time has come, where I am leaving one duty station and heading to another. I've been in the military for almost three years now, and I'm getting ready to move, in September actually. I have a few questions, mainly with stuff like, cell phones as well as a drivers license and such..

    AT&T international plans are ridiculous, I hear T Mobile is the way to go in Germany. How's the coverage? Please tell me it's better than the US. If not T Mobile, what else compares?

    And if I move over there, how long can I use my US drivers license? I don't know if they let you by with that and like, my military ID, as long as you have one or whatever. If not, how hard is the drivers test for somebody who's driven for 5 years now?

    Who's a good company to get insurance through over there for my car? Wait, is it even worth shipping my car? If yes, do I stick with my current provider, but get an international plan?

    Pretty much anything you can tell me from going to the US from Germany, I would appreciate. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Here's a good link for the driver's license info: License

    Not sure about the rest, but I know there's a few German citizens here that can help you!

  3. #3
    acorn

    Default

    I feel your best bet is to hook up with service personnel that have recently returned from there, I'd say they have the most reliable and up to date information available. I'd wish you good luck on your tour with a German joke, but they marginally more than I are not welcome here, soo sorrys. For God's sake don't mention the war, I'm in enough trouble as it is.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by zipperless View Post
    Here's a good link for the driver's license info: License

    Not sure about the rest, but I know there's a few

    German citizens here that can help you!

    This license requirements do not apply to service members. Service members have to get a drivers license from the military. There is a test you have to pass in order to get one.

  5. #5

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    Sorry I can not help with any of your practical questions but as an American who has traveled the world in the 70s Germany was my favorite country out side of home. Good food, good beer and welcoming people make me long to return some day. I hope your future memorys of being there are as fond as mine!

  6. #6

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    O2, T-Mobile and others are in germany... all with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
    I'd definitely go for one contract that has an all-flat rate.. for voice & data.


    Drivers license... unless your license is really special (don't know about those military licenses)... most civilian type licenses can easily be CONVERTED.
    Usually involves a fee and some forms... but you should not be required to take another drivers test.
    Test: within most parts of western europe usually more complex/demanding then the US tests... but still, if you have some driving experience should be a piece of cake.

    Insurance: can't tell... it's been too long since I've lived in germany for some time and thus really don't know what's the current situation.

    Try this: CHECK24 - Versicherungsvergleich, Kredit, Strom, DSL & Reise Vergleiche
    it's a website that lets you compare various insurance providers etc. in germany.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    O2, T-Mobile and others are in germany... all with their respective advantages and disadvantages.
    I'd definitely go for one contract that has an all-flat rate.. for voice & data.
    Yes, they all offer flat rates nowadays.
    If you want the best coverage (including all obscure rural places), you'll want to go with T-Mobile. They used to be the state-run telecom company, so they've got some advantage over the others. Vodafone d2 is usually regarded #2 and should also be fine.
    Others may have bad coverage away from large cities or generally patchy service (sounds worse than it is, but it can be annoying if you travel around the country).



    Quote Originally Posted by EPO1 View Post
    Drivers license... unless your license is really special (don't know about those military licenses)... most civilian type licenses can easily be CONVERTED.
    Usually involves a fee and some forms... but you should not be required to take another drivers test.
    Test: within most parts of western europe usually more complex/demanding then the US tests... but still, if you have some driving experience should be a piece of cake.
    Ummm nope. That stopped being possible in 1993 or 1994.
    I originally had a US license and I had to take the Test to get a German one in 1994 because they had just recently stopped converting licenses for a fee. Back then you were allowed to use a foreign license for up to 90 days after you started living in Germany permanently. Might be different for the military though.

    If you end up having to take a test... Good luck. It's not your typical 20 question multiple choice thingy that I took in Kansas in the early 1990s. And Make sure that every time you turn into a street you check for cyclists. They tend not to exist in the US, but we have a lot of them here. Ideally take a couple of driving lessons to be on the safe side and familiarize yourself with a thing or two

    By the way:
    You are usually NOT allowed to turn at red lights unless explicitly permitted by a green arrow next to the red.
    You're not allowed to pass on the right on Autobahns or anywhere outside of city limits.
    Traffic lights are on your side of the intersection, not the opposite one.
    There is no such thing as a 4-way stop.
    The rest is pretty much the same as in the US.

    Taking your car along... depends on the car. If it's an american model that's not sold here, spare parts for repairs will be more expensive and may take a long time to order.
    Not to mention that in case you drive a huge ass pickup you'll find some places a bit hard to get around in, and will be in despair over parking spaces. Gas is also a lot more expensive here unless you can hop from army site to army site because they (I think) sell it to their personnel cheaper.

    Please feel free to message me if you have any other specific questions and I'll be happy to help if I can

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoakedinTexas View Post
    This license requirements do not apply to service members. Service members have to get a drivers license from the military. There is a test you have to pass in order to get one.
    It is different for the Military... your stateside license is worthless in Germany if you are in the Military. You have to pass a test to get a license in Germany through the Military. Car inspections are tough over there so make sure EVERYTHING works on your car and it is in good working order. Parts are tough to get but not that tough but the wait to get a part could be a month or more depending on the part. Car insurance places will be abundant just outside the gate to the base you will be stationed on, just ask your partners who they use. The same with cell phones ask your partners when you get there what is best for the area. They didn't have cell phones over there when I was stationed there so can't give you better information on those. But good luck, have fun, eat lots of good food, see the fests and drink the good beer. I loved all the years I was there wish I could go back again.
    On another note there are some actual adult baby shops in Germany if you are stationed in the right area or out taking a trip. http://www.ab-versand.de/ So you may have some fun at the shops too.
    Last edited by SoakedinTexas; 13-Nov-2013 at 14:50. Reason: Forgot something

  9. #9

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