25 Years of Driving Without a License Comes to a Stop for German Man at Spangdahlem Gate

Traffic on a German autobahn. Getty Images
Traffic on a German autobahn. Getty Images

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- A German man who drove for 25 years without a license finally had the brakes applied when Air Force guards asked him for a valid ID as he tried to drive onto Spangdahlem Air Base.

The 58-year-old man had driven up to the gate at Spangdahlem on Oct. 29, in a car belonging to a construction company that was doing work on the base, German police in the nearby town of Bitburg said in a statement Monday.

When he could not provide a valid license to the guards, the Air Force called the Bitburg police, who discovered the man had long been driving without the legally required documentation.

The man, whose name was not released, has driven a company vehicle often and may have provided his employer with an invalid license, the police said.

German driver's licenses used to have no expiration date, but since 2013 European Union rules require drivers to renew their licenses every 15 years.

After the police have investigated the man for driving without a license, his case will go to the prosecutor's office to determine whether he should face criminal charges, Bitburg police detective Edwin Gertn said.

The penalty for driving without a valid license in Germany can include up to one year in confinement and a fine, which is based on income. In 2014, German national soccer player Marco Reus was fined 540,000 euros, equivalent to nearly $665,000 at the time, for driving without a license.

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