When the man lost his licence for a traffic offence in 1968, he probably figured that he'd be OK to keep driving as long as he didn't draw attention to himself.
He was right. With no known accidents or sundry violation to his name, it was happy motoring until Tuesday when a police speed gun caught him going 19 km/h too fast on a road in Bremervörde, 70 km west of Hamburg.
After 46 years playing innocent, it was worth one final try when the officers asked to see his driving papers.
"When he said he had forgotten them they believed him," said a spokesman for the Rotenburg police, who cover the area around Bremervörde.
Consistent with his errant driving since 1968, his behaviour was "inconspicuous" and the officers gave him a standard warning fine of €35, he added.
It was only when they looked him up in the data base back at the station that they realised he had no licence at all.
The man will now go before a judge who will set the penalty, most likely a fine, taking into account the man's financial status and possibly his age.
While there are certainly other road users who have no documents, the chances of evading scrutiny for so long are extremely slim, however carefully you drive, the spokesman told The Local.
"There aren't many drivers who can say they have never been checked by the police."
Since January 2013 all new licences issued to German drivers must be renewed every 15 years as part of measures to tighten up the system.
Drivers whose licences were issued before this date will not have to automatically renew them.