jump link

citizen service

Where?

You enter your place of residence or the place where you want to contact the administration or use the location sensing.

What?

In the second step, you choose which information you really need.

Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for a driving licence on federal waterways (patent or certificate of competence)

Description

If you want to drive a vehicle on federal inland waterways, you generally need a driving license.

Driving licence on federal waterways

You may only drive a vehicle on federal waterways if you are the holder of a corresponding permit. The authorizations are divided into different patent classes:

  • Boatmaster's certificate A: for driving all vehicles on inland waterways and maritime waterways up to the border of seafaring
  • Boatmaster's certificate B: for driving all vehicles on inland waterways
  • Boatmaster's certificate C1: for driving vehicles of less than 35 metres in length on inland waterways and maritime waterways up to the frontier of seafaring, excluding:
    • authorised passenger ships to carry more than 12 passengers
    • authorised passenger boats to carry more than 12 passengers
    • Pusher and tugboats with more than 73.6 kW (100 hp) propulsion power
  • Boatmaster's certificate C2: for driving vehicles of less than 35 metres in length on inland waterways, excluding:
    • authorised passenger ships to carry more than 12 passengers
    • authorised passenger boats to carry more than 12 passengers
    • Pusher and tugboats with more than 73.6 kW (100 hp) propulsion power
  • Fire boat patent D1: for driving fire boats and civil and civil protection vehicles on inland waterways and maritime waterways up to the border of seafaring
  • Fire boat patent D2: for driving fire boats and civil and civil protection vehicles on inland waterways
  • Recreational craft product (patent class E): for driving sports vehicles of a length not exceeding 25 metres on inland waterways
  • Ferry driver's license (patent class F): for driving ferries for a specific ferry station

Certain official vehicles of the Federal Government and the Länder do not require a permit granted by the GDWS to drive company vehicles. These include:

  • Service vehicles of the Bundeswehr, the Federal Customs Administration, the Federal Police, the Riot Police and the Water Protection Police of the Länder with a length of less than 25 meters.
  • Service vehicles of the Civil and Civil Protection, the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration, the Shipping Administration of the State and the Fire Brigade with a length of less than 20 meters.

Rhine Patents

Special regulations apply on the Rhine. You may only drive a vehicle there if you are the holder of a Rhine patent or the holder of a boatmaster's certificate recognised as equivalent by the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine for the type and size of the vehicle in question and for the route to be crossed.

A distinction must be made between:

  • Large patent: to drive all vehicles on inland waterways and maritime waterways to the border of seafaring
  • Small patent: to drive a vehicle with a length of less than 35 meters,
    • intended to carry no more than 12 passengers
    • provided that:
      • is not a tugboat or pusher boat, or
      • no coupled vehicles moving
  • Sports patent: to drive a sports vehicle with a length of less than 25 meters
  • Authority patent: for driving government vehicles and fire boats

Special regulations apply to small vehicles up to a length of 15 meters: These may be driven on the Rhine with a permit granted in accordance with national regulations. In Germany, for example, this is the sports boat driver's license.

In order to obtain a skipper's certificate or Rhine certificate, you must take an examination at the Directorate-General for Waterways and Shipping (GDWS).

Further evidence and patents

For vehicles over 15 meters in length, a special route knowledge is also required on certain inland waterways and the Rhine. You will also receive proof of special route knowledge by means of an examination at the GDWS.

A patent can also be granted as a Danube captain's patent. They are then allowed to drive vehicles on the Danube in international traffic, i.e. also outside the scope of the Inland Navigation Certificate Ordinance.

You must apply for the skipper's certificate or patent in writing to the Directorate-General for Waterways and Shipping (GDWS):

  • Download the application form from the Electronic Waterway Information Service (ELWIS). Fill it out completely and print it out.
  • Add the necessary evidence. Above all, have yourself examined by a licensed doctor for this purpose and obtain proof of medical fitness.
  • Submit the application documents to the Directorate-General for Waterways and Shipping. 
  • Apply to the competent authority for a certificate of good conduct for submission to an authority. Have the certificate of good conduct sent to the Directorate-General for Waterways and Shipping.
  • If you meet all the requirements for the respective skipper's certificate, the Directorate-General for Waterways and Shipping will admit you to the examination and agree on a suitable examination date with you.
  • Take the exam. Once you have passed the test, you will receive a provisional skipper's certificate directly on site, with which you can drive a vehicle for three months. Within these three months, your personal patent card will be issued by Bundesdruckerei and sent to you by post.
  • If you have not passed the exam, you can repeat the exam after a certain blocking period has expired. As a rule, the examination board will impose a blocking period of three to six months on you. Those parts of the examination that you passed in the first attempt will usually remain recognised, so that you will only be re-examined via the failed parts of the examination.
  • Physical and mental fitness to drive a vehicle
  • Reliability (including no criminal record for traffic offences)
  • Passing the appropriate exam
  • Depending on the type of certificate requested, a certain minimum age:
    • 21 years for the large and small Rhine Patent, the Authority Patent and the Inland Navigation Patent A, B, C, D and F
    • 18 years for the sports patent and the inland navigation patent E
  • From the age of 50, you must regularly present an up-to-date medical certificate to prove your fitness again. Proof is required
    • at the age of 50, 55, 60 and 65, and
    • annually from the age of 65 years
  • medical certificate of your physical and mental fitness for Rhine or inland navigation (not older than three months)
  • Copy of your identity card or passport
  • Certificate of good conduct for submission to an authority (document type "O")
  • current passport photo
  • Presentation of the skipper's service book

Depending on the scope of the examination, different fees apply:

  • Admission to the exam: EUR 147 or EUR 158
  • Examination fee: between EUR 390 and EUR 585 (the exact amount of the fee depends on whether, for example, a route customer examination is carried out at the same time or a practical examination is included)

Your application and all documents should be submitted to the relevant branch office no later than four weeks before the desired examination date. Due to the high number of applicants, however, you will usually have to expect significantly longer waiting times until the exam.

Depending on the number of applications and the location of the examination. 
Examinations usually take place every two to three months.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure

No authority found