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Germany’s federal cabinet approves amendments to the Professional Driver Qualification Act

The changes will make it easier for German hauliers to recruit drivers from abroad.

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Germany’s Federal Cabinet has approved a draft law to amend the Professional Driver Qualification Act (BKrFQG).

The amendments, which were approved last week, introduce a number of changes aimed at easing access for foreign drivers to the profession and reducing barriers for attracting skilled workers from abroad.

The key amendments are as follows:

  • Introduction of E-Learning: The proposed regulation in the professional driver qualification law includes the integration of e-learning through digital lessons as part of professional driver training.
  • Examinations in Eight Foreign Languages: It will be possible to undertake the examination for the accelerated basic qualification for professional drivers in one of eight foreign languages, in addition to German. These languages are English, Modern Standard Arabic, Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

Measures to address the driver shortage

We are addressing the shortage of skilled workers and facilitating entry into the profession. Without drivers, logistics grinds to a halt, and growth becomes unachievable,” said Federal Minister Volker Wissing. The opportunities presented by digitalization are also being harnessed; the introduction of digital instruction in professional driver training will modernize and make the training process more flexible, enhancing the overall attractiveness of the job profile.”

The amended Professional Driver Qualification Ordinance also lowers the barriers for recruiting skilled workers from abroad. In the future, the exam for accelerated basic qualification will also be available in several foreign languages.

Ukrainian professional drivers can have their qualifications recognized by completing additional training and testing,” the ordinance concludes.

Exemptions for drivers from Ukraine

To facilitate access to the profession in Germany, the Cabinet has passed the national Ukraine exemption regulation:

  • Regulation (EU) 2022/1280 allows Member States to recognize Ukrainian driver qualification certificates (limited to the duration of the protection status) provided they complete additional training and testing.

Moreover, plans are underway to include Ukraine in the list of states in Annex 11 of the Driving License Ordinance.

This amendment will allow Ukrainian drivers to exchange their driving licenses without needing to take a test. Other measures include expanding the language catalog for the theoretical driving license test to include Ukrainian and Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish).