Professional driver; registration for the examination to obtain the basic qualification

Drivers engaged in commercial road haulage or passenger transport must provide proof of a special qualification in addition to their driver's license.


If you wish to transport goods or passengers by road for professional purposes, you must provide proof of the so-called basic qualification for professional drivers in addition to your driver's license.

This applies to drivers of vehicles with a permissible total weight of more than 3.5 tons in road haulage and own-account transport or of vehicles with more than eight passenger seats in passenger transport, insofar as a C or D class driving license is required for driving the vehicle/vehicle combination.

If you have already acquired your driver's license before 10.9.2008 (bus) or 10.9.2009 (truck), you do not have to provide proof of basic qualification ("grandfather status").

Training as a professional driver is simultaneously recognized as a basic qualification for passenger and freight transport. Training to become a specialist driver is only recognized as a basic qualification for passenger transport, while training to become a road warden and a plant firefighter is only recognized for freight transport.

The "basic qualification" examination comprises a theoretical examination and a practical examination.

To take the exam, you do not have to attend a preparatory course.

A driver's license is also not required at the time of taking the exam.

If you have a certificate of professional competence in accordance with the professional regulations for road haulage and passenger transport (GBZugV and PBZugV), the theoretical parts of the exam are easier to pass. However, you must pass the practical examination in full.

The type of examination differs depending on the prerequisites:

  1. Regular examination "Basic qualification"
    You must take the regular examination if you can neither present proof of a specialist examination in road haulage or passenger transport ("transport manager examination") for the type of transport in question, nor have you successfully passed an examination (accelerated) basic qualification for the other type of transport.
  2. Changeover test "basic qualification"
    You can take the "changeover" test if you have already successfully passed the regular test for the type of transport that is not the subject of the changeover test. Thus, in the accelerated basic qualification "Changeover" training, only the special features of the type of transport are dealt with. For example, the future bus driver is taught how to behave with regard to passengers, since this was not part of his first initial qualification for freight transport.
    This also applies to drivers who acquired the driver's license for the other type of transport before the respective cut-off date (grandfathering).
  3. Cross-entry test "Basic qualification"
    You can take the "Cross-entry test" if you have valid proof of a specialist knowledge test for the type of transport for which the test is to be taken.

Since not all the knowledge that a driver must have is tested in the specialist knowledge examination, you must also acquire the basic qualification as the holder of a specialist knowledge certificate.


  • For the "Basic qualification" test, you need a suitable test vehicle for taking the practical test. If you are unable to provide a suitable test vehicle, the IHK can arrange a suitable test vehicle for you on request.
  • Furthermore, you must provide a driving instructor for the practical examination who is in possession of a valid driving instructor's license for the driving license classes CE for freight transport or DE for passenger transport. If you are unable to provide a driving instructor who fulfills the above-mentioned requirements, the IHK can arrange for an appropriate driving instructor upon request.


You register for the exam at the local IHK and the exam dates (theoretical and practical exam) are coordinated.

  • The IHK confirms your registration for the exam
  • You take the theoretical exam.
  • After passing the theoretical exam, you take the practical exam.
  • After passing both parts of the exam, you will receive a certificate from the IHK, which you will present to the driver's license office.

Special notes

Trips for specific purposes, such as:

  • Police vehicles, fire department, emergency rescue by recognized rescue services that carry out transports within the scope of their duties
  • agricultural and forestry transport

are exempt from the obligation.

Processing time

As a rule, you will receive your pass or fail notification approximately 2 weeks after taking the exam.

Required documents

  • In order to be admitted to the examination, you must submit the following proofs to the responsible IHK with your registration:

    1. for regular examination:
      • No proof required
    2. for changeover examination:
      • Proof of the type of transport that is not the subject of the changeover test - Proof of having passed the "basic qualification"/"accelerated basic qualification" test in accordance with the BKrFQG or
      • Driving licence with a valid entry of the code number 95 or
      • a driving licence with a driving licence class that was acquired before the respective key date or
      • a driver qualification certificate in accordance with Annex II of Directive 2003/59/EC of 15 July 2003 (OJ No. L226/4 of 10.9.2003) or
      • a driver attestation in accordance with Annex 3 BKrFQV, or
      • a driver attestation in accordance with section 5 paragraph 3 BKrFQV
    3. for lateral entry examination:
      • certificate of professional competence in accordance with the model in Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 for the type of transport that is the subject of the lateral entry examination.


  • The examination fee is based on the respective valid fee tariff of the locally responsible IHK.

Links to more information


Responsible for editing:Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag e.V.

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