International Driving Permit Czech Republic
What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Driver’s License (IDL)?
An International Driving Permit is a small grey booklet marginally larger than a passport containing a translation of your original driving license in 10 languages, including English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. It is recognized by 141 countries worldwide and is valid for one year.
In comparison, an International Driving License is not a legal document and cannot be used to drive in foreign countries or instead of an IDP.
How does an IDP work in the Czech Republic?
You could indefinitely drive in the Czech Republic if your valid driving license were issued from a state in the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). If your driving license was not issued from one of those European countries, you should have an accompanying international driver’s permit. You are also only allowed to drive for six months from entry if your driver’s license is not from a state in the EU or EEA. You may also use your international driver’s permit as an identification document in the Czech Republic.
How do you apply for an IDP in the Czech Republic?
You can apply for your IDP on our website.
How long does it take to get an IDP?
If you want the official printed international driver’s permit, it will take 2 to 30 working days. The lead time for delivery depends on the delivery method you choose and your preferred address. If you want an electronic IDP while you wait for your official version, it takes only two hours for us to send one to your email box after payment. If you are in a hurry, you can choose the Express Order option, and we will send your digital IDP within 20 minutes.
United Nations Agreements on Road Traffic
The United Nations has contracted many countries to honor international driver’s licenses in three international motor traffic conventions. They were held in Paris (1926), Geneva (1949), and Vienna (1968). Depending on which motor traffic convention a country is contracted to, it will honor one-year or three-year IDPs. Only institutions authorized by the United Nations can issue IDPs in any contracting country.
Benefits of Carrying an IDP in the Czech Republic
Functionality as an ID
If you are worried about protecting your important documents while traveling abroad, an international driver’s permit might be indispensable. Many travelers prefer to keep their passport and national ID locked up while using an IDP when dealing with authorities in foreign countries. IDPs can be even more helpful if your identification documents are in a language that is not internationally recognized.
Quicker traffic authority stops.
If you are in a country that allows you to drive using your foreign license without an international driver’s permit, you can still benefit from carrying an IDP. While countries try to promote tourism and globalism through such measures, many law enforcement officers cannot process driver’s licenses unless it is in an internationally recognized language. Having an international driver’s permit allows them to quickly jot down your particulars and send you on your way during a traffic stop.
Car rental companies
Foreign law enforcement agents face trouble with foreign licenses, as do foreign car rental agencies. Many car rental companies will refrain from renting out to travelers with undecipherable driver’s licenses though their government’s stance is different. You can save a lot of vacation time by walking into a car rental agency with an IDP. You will also be privy to discounts and lower deposit charges in most car rental agencies.
Laws requiring an IDP
The Czech Republic is contracted to the Geneva (1949) and Vienna (1968) Conventions on Motor Traffic. It allows you to drive on its roads with just your driver’s license if it was issued from the EU. There is no time limit to how long you can use a license issued by an EU state. If a country gives your driver’s license outside of the EU, you should have an accompanying international driver’s permit. The Czech Republic honors IDPs that are both one year and three years in duration. You should have a valid driver’s license when using your IDP in Czechia.
Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in the Czech Republic
Short-term visitors vs. residents
If you expect to stay in the Czech Republic for more than three months, you can register with the Czech government if you are from a country within the EU, though it is unnecessary. You may be granted a residence permit if you want to study in the Czech Republic, though there may be restrictions on what other activities you can do. You may also be granted a residence permit for family reunification (primarily applicable to families disrupted during the world wars). You can be given a residence permit if you find employment and can find a sponsor in the Czech Republic or if you have sufficient money to invest and start a business there. All tourists and visitors to the country are considered short-term visitors.
How long can I drive with a foreign driving license?
You may only drive for six months after entry with a foreign driver’s license if a non-EU country issued your driver’s license. If an EU country issued your driving license, you could use your driving license indefinitely. You are only allowed to drive for three months after getting a residency permit in the Czech Republic if the country issued your driving license is not in the EU or EEA. After this period, you are expected to convert your license to a Czech driving license.
When Should I Get a Czech Driver’s License?
If a country issued your driving license in the EU or EEA, you might never want to exchange it for a Czech one, as no law requires it. The only benefit you may get is if the renewal process is hindered by you not being in the country that issued it. If you are from any other country, you should exchange it within the given three-month time period.
Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s License While in the Czech Republic
Renewing your International Driver’s Permit
You can renew your IDP on our website.
Renewing your International Driver’s License
The institution that initially issued your international driving license can be contacted to renew it. Ordinarily, a short form or an email with your particulars is all that is required. The lead time for the delivery of your renewed IDL will be similar to the initial lead time taken by the company.
Renewing your original driver’s license
In the unfortunate event that you need to renew your license during your stay in the Czech Republic, you will have to contact the institution of the country that initially issued it. The procedure is relatively painless if it is a country within the EU. If you are from any other country, the government will provide an internet portal for the procedure if you are lucky. Sometimes, a medical certificate or a vision test is required, and you may be forced to return to your country of origin to get these certifications.
Car Rental in the Czech Republic
Requirements for car rental
Most car rental agencies will only rent you a car if you are 21 and have had your driving license for a year. Some may require you to be 22 and have held your license for two years. If you are below 25, there will be a young driver’s surcharge. Some companies will not rent to drivers above 70. You should pay with a credit card in the driver’s name, and clients using debit cards will have to keep a significantly higher deposit.
Deposit and costs for car rental
Rental car agencies charge €25 to €60 per day in the Czech Republic. On average, a mid-sized four-door sedan will cost €40 per day and €260 per week. Many Czech car rental companies will not rent a car for a few hours, and you may be charged a full day’s rental. Rental car deposits range from €300 to €1,000, depending on the type of car. Luxury cars will have much higher rentals and deposit requirements. Additional features such as GDP will have a daily surcharge.
Road goers are required to have ‘compulsory liability’ (povinné ručení) from an insurance company in the Czech Republic. This type of insurance is called third-party insurance and covers damage to vehicles, property, and people due to negligence or fault. It does not cover any damage to your car, yourself, or any passengers or property in your vehicle. When traveling, it’s required to have ‘comprehensive insurance’ (havarijní pojištění). This insurance includes theft insurance and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). Comprehensive insurance may still have excess payments not covered above a threshold. You should get Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) if you want to be absolved of any liability in an accident.
The Czech Republic is a safe country with a low crime rate. However, we recommend you get travel insurance from an insurance provider as it covers contingencies that can happen during any trip. Please consider the following points before purchasing your insurance package:
- Hospital stays are covered if injured.
- Costs incurred due to lost or canceled deposits are protected.
- Losses due to damaged or lost baggage are covered.
- Excess payments not covered by your rental car insurance are covered.
- Emergency dental work to relieve pain or discomfort is covered.
- Funeral costs in an extreme eventuality are covered.
Driving and Safety in the Czech Republic
Where can you get a driving handbook with the road rules?
It won’t be easy to find a free copy of the Czech highway code on the internet, especially if you are looking for one in English. However, you can get a basic idea of the road rules at https://expat.praha.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/basic-traffic-rules-in-the-czech-republic.pdf. You will be given a basic overview of Czech traffic laws. Usually, you are given a free copy of the driver’s handbook when you enroll for a course in an accredited Czech driving school. You may also find up-to-date highway code booklets in bookstores in major cities.
Overtaking on Czech roads
Czech motorists drive on the right side of the road and have left-hand driven vehicles. This means you can only overtake from the left unless there is a sign saying otherwise. You should check all your mirrors and ensure there is sufficient space in front before overtaking. You may not overtake on dangerous roads or when there is poor visibility. Look out for traffic signs depicting either when driving.
Turning and right of way on Czech roads
Motorists on bigger roads prioritize motorists on more minor intersectional roads. If the intersecting streets are of a similar size, vehicles going straight and turning right have the right of way. A motorist turning left has to wait until there is a sufficient gap in the oncoming traffic.
On some rural roads, there are no markings on which crossroads to stop before moving forward. When approaching an unmarked crossroads, go slow enough to come to a complete stop. Motorists merging into traffic on a roundabout should give way, and you should adapt to the speed of the traffic on the roundabout.
Speed limits on Czech roads
The speed limit for cars in pedestrian zones is 20 km/h (13 mph), and motorists should give way to oncoming traffic when exiting these zones. In cyclist zones, you may go at 30 km/h (19 mph). The speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph) on regular roads inside urban or built-up areas. The regular speed limit for roads outside built-up areas is 90 km/h (56 mph). Expressways have a speed limit of 110 km/h (69 mph) outside settlements and 80 km/h (50 mph) inside them. Motorways have a maximum speed limit of 130 km/h (81 mph).
Tips for driving in the Czech Republic
- Motorists drive on the right side of the road in the Czech Republic.
- You must be 18 to drive on Czech roads.
- Your headlights must be dipped and on when driving at all times.
- The driver and passengers of all vehicles should wear seatbelts.
- Your car should have a warning triangle, a high visibility vest, and an unexpired first-aid kit.
- You cannot use a mobile phone unless you use a hands-free device.
- If you have a child passenger under 150cm and 30kg, you should have an appropriate restraining system according to their size and weight.
- Children under 12 cannot ride in the front passenger seat unless it is a baby in a front-facing baby seat.
- To use Czech motorways, you should get motorway stamps at shops or self-serve kiosks. Most motorways in the Czech Republic are toll roads.
- Police officers are authorized to issue on-the-spot fines and revoke your license.
- Snow chains and vignettes can be bought at a gas station.
- The emergency services hotline in the Czech Republic is 112.
- The Czech Republic is a part of Europe’s Green Card system for environmentally conscious motoring.
Drinking and driving
The Czech Republic has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drunk driving. You may not have above a 0.00% blook-alcohol level when driving, and you are automatically the guilty party in any road accident if you have a higher blood-alcohol percentage. The fine for getting caught driving under the influence is €1,000 to €2,000. According to Czech law, you can also be jailed for up to 2 years.
Top 3 Places to Visit in the Czech Republic
Prague is considered by many to be the most beautiful city on earth. It is filled with stunning architectural pieces, and baroque palaces and Gothic cathedrals represent the rich history of the Czech capital city. You will also find an abundance of Cubist and Art Nouveau buildings, representing the vibrant new business class. One of the most beautiful new buildings is Prague’s Dancing House. You should also check out Prague’s 600-year-old astronomical clock in its Old Town.
If you plan to take many photos (which you should in this gorgeous city!), you have to make your way to its Charles Bridge Tower and the Old Town Hall Tower over the main square. You will be able to get some scenic photos of Prague’s red rooftops and the 9th-century Prague Castle. The Prague Castle is considered the largest castle complex in the world, according to Guinness World Records. You should also visit the city’s museums (over 100 of them) and the breathtaking 12th-century Strahov Library.
Many tourists use Český Krumlov as a base to explore the south of the country. You can explore the city’s Old Town on foot. It has a cute ambiance, and quaint cobblestone streets connect the artsy stores that litter the area. One of the city’s highlights is Český Krumlov’s castle. The best views of the city are from the castle’s central tower. Český Krumlov’s castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city has a functioning Baroque theater built in the 17th century, giving two performances per year. You should also engage in some water activities in the city’s Vitava River if you visit during the summer. If you have time, visit Vitavou Castle, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
If you want to pamper yourself during your trip to the Czech Republic, you should visit Karlovy Vary. It has been considered a spa town since the 19th century and is home to several natural hot springs with therapeutic properties. There are many wellness centers and spas around the natural springs, and you should invest in a few classic massages and curative baths to get the whole experience. Like any other Czech city, Karlovy Vary has many buildings preserved over hundreds of years. The city is home to unique neo-Renaissance and neo-Baroque buildings not present in other areas of the country. Make sure to visit the Moser Museum on your trip, as it outlines the history of the country’s exquisite glass-making industry.
Am I required to have an IDP in the Czech Republic?
While some countries will accept a foreign license for a while, many will require you to have an IDP.
Can I drive a vehicle with a foreign license in the Czech Republic?
You can drive on Czech roads for six months if you have an accompanying international driver’s permit. If a country issued your license in the EU, you could drive indefinitely without an IDP.
Can I use my EU driver’s license in the Czech Republic?
Yes, you may drive indefinitely in the Czech Republic with an EU driving license.
How long will my International Driving Permit be valid in the Czech Republic?
The Czech Republic was contracted to the Geneva and Vienna Motor Traffic Conventions in 1949 and 1968, so you may use your IDP for one or three years.
How long will transferring my license to a Czech one take?
You can exchange your license for a Czech one within three weeks.
On which side of the road do you drive in the Czech Republic?
In the Czech Republic, vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
Do you need a foreign license printed in English to drive in the Czech Republic?
No, but you need an IDP for driving licenses issued by any country outside of the EU. Only licenses issued in the Latin alphabet can be exchanged for a Czech license (other conditions also apply).