Passenger transport licence

16. May 2021 | By Tim Ruhoff

For the commercial transport of passengers, it is mandatory that the driver has a passenger transport license. What types of passenger transport licenses there are, who needs it and what it costs, will be discussed below.

Legal basis for the passenger transport licence

According to § 48 of the Driving Licence Ordinance (FeV), a driving licence for passenger transport is required for the commercial transport of persons. According to the Passenger Transport Act (PBefG), this includes: -taxi drivers -ambulance drivers -car drivers in regular service or in the tourism sector -rental car and limousine drivers who work for remuneration -drivers for transporting disabled persons and schoolchildren -drivers who transport persons as part of voluntary service Anyone who does not have a passenger transport licence and nevertheless transports persons commercially is committing an administrative offence. The amount of the fine is 75 euros and a point in Flensburg. This penalty also threatens the vehicle owner if he allows his vehicle to be used by a person without a valid licence for passenger transport

Types of passenger transport licences

In the case of a passenger transport licence (P licence), a distinction is made between a large and a small P licence. The small licence is sufficient for drivers of ambulances or hire cars. Taxi drivers, on the other hand, require the large licence, which is why it is also colloquially known as a taxi licence. The large and small passenger transport licences differ in scope and in the requirements of the local knowledge test. These are significantly more complex for the large licence. The licence is issued for five years. The period for issuing can be up to eight weeks.

From when passenger transport licences are required

A P licence can be obtained from the age of 21. If the licence is required in the field of ambulance transport, the minimum age is 19. The licence is important for drivers who transport people commercially. If, for example, a person gives a lift to another person via a ride-sharing agency, this is not a commercial activity and no licence is required. People who have a bus driver's licence of driving licence class D or D1 also do not need a licence. Ambulance drivers of the German Armed Forces and civil protection are exempt from the obligation to hold a passenger transport licence

Conditions for the carriage of passengers

Persons who wish to obtain a professional passenger transport licence must meet certain requirements. To apply, they must have a driving licence recognised in Germany or another recognised document for driving a vehicle. They must also have held a class B driving licence for two years and have a valid identity card or passport. The minimum age required is at least 21 years. This age has been reduced to 19 years only for ambulance transport. A medical certificate confirming mental and physical fitness is also required, as well as a certificate from an ophthalmologist. A police clearance certificate must also be submitted. Ambulance drivers must also enclose a certificate confirming attendance at a first aid course. As already described above, taxi drivers must also pass an examination on their local knowledge

Application for the P-certificate

A P licence must be applied for at the driver's licensing authority at the driver's place of residence. If more than five points are entered in the traffic register at the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Flensburg, the application will be rejected. Furthermore, there must not be any offences with fines from the Passenger Transport Act, this would also lead to a rejection. The processing time for the application is approx. 6-8 weeks. This also applies to the application for the extension. Therefore, the driver should submit the extension in good time before the five years expire

P Apparent cost

The total cost of a P licence is up to 300 euros. The application costs between 40 and 60 euros. The price of a certificate of good conduct is 13 euros. In addition, the cost of the medical certificate and the health examinations is between 80 and 160 euros. Taxi drivers who have to take the local knowledge test pay a further 40 to 60 euros. When the licence is renewed after five years, costs of around 200 euros are again incurred for the new licence

Fleet Management

The fleet management must check very carefully that the drivers are authorised to transport passengers and that the permit is still valid. Particularly in the case of renewal after five years, it must be ensured that this is done in good time, as the processing time can be 6-8 weeks. The fleet manager can be reminded of such deadlines in good time using fleet management software. In addition, it must be ensured that the drivers have been instructed in accordance with the accident prevention regulations (UVV). In accordance with § 36 DGUV regulation 70, every user of a vehicle is obliged to check the vehicle before setting off, for example checking the levels of coolant, fuel, engine oil or checking that the lights are working properly. It must also be checked whether there is a warning triangle, a warning vest and the first-aid kit in the vehicle


Anyone who transports people commercially cannot avoid applying for a passenger transport licence. There is a risk of severe fines if this obligation is not fulfilled. Since, in addition to knowledge, certificates of health suitability and other official documents must be presented, it is advisable to deal with the requirements for the P licence in good time.