International Driving Permit Latvia
The Central Baltic States is probably best known for its indulgent party spots in its glorious Gothic and Art Deco capital or the vibrant Jurmala just above the coast.
It is a country of Latvia surrounded by Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, and the Baltic Sea. The country is a mix of city attractions such as the capital Riga and scenic landmarks. Latvia offers stunning views and plenty of outdoor activities, from waterfalls to national parks. Beaches, forests, and medieval villages compete for your attention, and the only thing left to do to complete your perfect trip to Latvia is to know about the driving eligibility.
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.
United Nations Convention on road traffic
The UN Convention on Road Traffic, commonly known as the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, is an international treaty that promotes the development and safety of global road traffic by establishing specific unified rules among the Parties. The Convention addresses the minimum mechanical and security devices that need to be installed and defines identification marks to identify the source of the vehicle. The Convention was prepared and opened for signature by the United Nations Road and Motor Transport Council held in Geneva from August 23 to September 19, 1949. It came into effect on March 26, 1952. The conference also created a protocol for traffic signs and traffic lights.
A European Convention, signed in Geneva on September 16, 1950, supplements the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and the 1949 Protocol on Road Signs and Signals.
Benefits of having an IDP
All non-resident drivers need an International Driving Permit to drive in many countries legally. If you don’t have it and get caught by law enforcement, you may risk a fine.
Overcome language barriers with local authorities. This is very useful in foreign language countries. The International Driver’s License contains your driver’s license information in multiple languages.
Please note that in this case, most major car rental companies require the rental car company to present a valid International Driving Permit. This also applies to countries where this document is not required by law for foreign drivers.
Knowing that illegal activity can lead to fines can be stressful and overwhelming for some people. If you have an international driver’s license in a foreign country, you can be sure you follow the law.
Driving requirements in Latvia
You need to apply for an IDP to drive and rent a car. An international driving permit is not a substitute for a foreign national driver’s license. This translation of your driver’s license allows you to drive legally in Latvia and any foreign country; it is also a means of identification. Car rental companies also consider this a required document, which without you may be refused to rent a car.
However, if you choose to stay in Latvia for more than a period of three months, then you are required to obtain a Latvian driver’s license. There are plenty of methods to get your driving license in Latvia, and you may take a practical driving test, a theory exam, or you can have your driving license issued by the Ministry of Transport.
How can I get a driving license in Latvia?
You can apply for automobile registration in Latvia and pass the theory exam or get your license from the Ministry of Transportation. To obtain a Latvian driving license, you should undergo several procedures familiar with those driving their cars. Specific Latvian moments that influence a driving training course’s success can also be described here.
However, it applies only to persons planning to stay longer in the country. If you’re traveling abroad for more than three months of your stay and using a leased car, a Latvian driving license is required for a person who is traveling long-term. The states recognized it as per conventions on roads.
If you already have a driver’s license
If one obtains a residency permit from Latvia, he is forbidden from driving until the driver has exchanged his national driver’s card for Latvian. However, if you studied driving school, it is impossible. In the same way, there is no requirement for the theory exam. However, medical examinations and tests for driving cannot be bypassed. The Latvian medical examination is carried out at the address specified by the local CSDD. Your test results can be accessed instantly via unique CSD databases for just 35 euros. The cost is 30 euros for the driving test.
Inter-American driving permit
An Inter-American Driving Permit (IADP) is an identification card that gives the holder the right to drive a personal car in another country if they have a valid driver’s license from their home country. The IADP is similar to the International Driving Permit (IDP) but specific to North, Central, and South America drivers. To qualify for the IADP, you must first have a valid driver’s license. The IADP is a party to the Geneva Convention of 1949 or the Vienna Convention of 1968, so it may not be enacted in all countries in the Americas. Therefore, most governments only issue IDPs.
Car rental in Latvia
To rent a car in Latvia, you must be 21 years of age or older (age may vary depending on the car company) and have had a driver’s license for one year. Drivers under 25 may be charged an additional young driver fee. An international driver’s license is required to rent. Remember always to carry a valid driver’s license, credit card, and additional identification (such as your passport) if you’re renting abroad.
In Latvia, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and anti-theft are required. Third-party insurance covers $55,000 for damage or injury to anyone or property other than the rental vehicle. Fire insurance is also included. Accident insurance is available locally from some providers for about $10 daily.
Renting a car in Latvia costs an average of $315 per week ($45 per day). But it also depends on the car type as well; cars in Latvia can range from Small, medium, and premium cars and vans.
Most important driving rules in Latvia
All countries have different travel rules, and Latvia is no other; this may be because nature can make driving more demanding. Below we list some key road rules in Latvia that ensure safety.
Always bring your native driver’s license.
Your driver’s license is your holy grail when driving in Latvia. You will have to get a fine or be banned if your car has no license. It also serves as a translator for a driving permit if it can’t be understood in Latvia. Compared with a driving license, Latvian drivers can apply for a license from another nation. It is advisable to submit your application online, particularly if you are applying from an International drivers association or another organization.
Drunk driving is strictly prohibited.
In all countries in Latvia, the use of alcohol is illegal. However, it is better not to drink alcohol. Mainly because many roads are poor, with many drivers incredibly negligent. Avoiding drinking doesn’t just reduce your likelihood of getting caught in a traffic violation and decreases the chance of a crash. If you encounter sobriety checks, ensure BAC reaches acceptable levels. Better yet, avoid drinking alcoholic drinks to get negative results on a drug test.
Drive within the speed limits
Because Latvia has many poor and reckless highway conditions, it’s always important to adhere to rules for driving and keep speed limits. Latvia’s streets are dangerous during the winter too. Please bring your documents if someone is running into someone in the police department.
Seat belts Currently, most national laws require that both the driver and the passenger seat wear properly secured seat belts. In addition, most European countries do not allow children under a certain age to sit in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle.
In major cities that park only in permitted locations, parking spaces are marked “blue zone” for short-term parking (1 to 1.5 hours), “green zone” for long-term parking, and “Red zone” where parking is prohibited. Some cities also use parking meters, so check to see if you have a parking meter and pay if you have one.
In Latvia, you drive on the right and pass on the left. Vehicles on the right and ambulances have priority.
You can dial 112 anywhere in Europe, and an operator will help you contact emergency services in your destination country. The operator can answer your call in their native language, English or French.
Secured parking lots should be used whenever possible as car thefts and thefts are common. In Riga, you must be careful not to park on tram lines. If you park illegally, you may be fined on the spot. You can be fined on the spot if caught driving a traffic violation through Latvia. The police can fine, but they cannot collect money. You must pay or appeal within 30 days.
Driving in winter
Avoid planning road trips between December and March, as driving in harsh winter conditions does not make it easy to travel around Latvia. Temperatures reach a minimum of -13ºF (-25ºC) and travel with snow, ice and fog.
Be careful of frozen roads in winter and drive slowly on frozen roads. Check with the locals before looking for black ice. The snow that covers the arterial road is cultivated as needed. In winter, the hours of sunshine are reduced to 6 hours a day.
Drivers should always use the lights, even during the day. During the winter, it can be especially tiring during the day. You cannot drink or drive in Latvia. You may be involved in a serious accident. The statutory limit is 0.05% (0.02% for less than two years of driving experience). You face heavy fines, license approvals, and imprisonment if caught up in a speed breach. Therefore, remember to pay attention to traffic signs while driving. .. The use of mobile phones is prohibited, and in the case of an emergency, you can answer the call with a hands-free kit. Always use high beams to maximize road visibility, as headlights may not be suitable in some areas. Avoid driving in a snowstorm. However, if your schedule requires it, drive slowly.
Top 6 Places to Visit in Latvia
Rundle Palace and Museum
Rundle Palace is one baroque palace constructed in the 1700s to house the Duke of Courland. In recent times this place has become an important tourist destination that delights visitors through the historic beauty of architecture. This palace also features several gardens – a theater and a fountain- and is now used in ballrooms and wedding venues. If you would like to visit Runde’s Palace and Museum along with its beautiful landscape, the ideal time would be from June to September. Alternatively, it can be accessed in spring from February to early June. Perfect weather and spectacular views are available.
Gauja National Park
A major tourist spot in Latvia was the Gauja National Park. The park was built on September 23, 1973, with a broad biological diversity. Tourists looking for great outdoor activities can find many opportunities at Gauja National park, including walking, mountain biking, camping, and canoeing. Some attractions are not restricted to nature, as tourists may also visit historical and cultural sights. You should go on a hike through this park and stay at their maximum. It generally falls between October and November or spring between late February/late April and early June.
If you are escaping the hectic city life, Kuldga will be your place. It is a small quaint city with a potential UNESCO status, and all of Latvia’s buildings have been preserved without plastic. Tourists may wander through the quiet streets of Kuldga, enjoy its beautiful landscapes, or discover historical sites. One of the best ways to experience Kuldaga is through its festivals. Most festivals take place during the summer (July to September) during the Summer Solstice if you want to explore this town.
The castle is an impressive building dating back over 13 centuries. Guests may enjoy exploring the ruins by visiting castle towers, dungeon walls, or spotting outside. A visit to Cis Castle is also an enjoyable visit for children. The castle has numerous displays, and even medieval activities occur at the medieval activity center every day on the weekends and holidays. The perfect time to visit the Castle of Csis will be between June and October for the beautiful views of the castle.
House of Black Heads
The house at Black Head is a lavish home constructed during the 1500s by unmarried German merchants. Following a few losses in WWII, the residence has since been rebuilt by the Soviets and was eventually a tourist destination in Latvia. Guests may visit the art and chandeliers that decorate the rooms in the surrounding areas. Tourists arrive at Blackhead House on Friday from 12:00 to 12:30. If your intention is for a quieter walk home, avoid these hours.
Jermala is the Baltic’s most famous resort town. The city has spectacular beaches and natural trails, which attract visitors outside. Guests can visit museums, parks, or ice skating rinks. Take advantage of this summer’s visits to Jermala from June-August to explore the sites you have yet to explore.
Do I need an International Driving Permit in Latvia?
In Latvia, a foreign driving permit can only be obtained in the license class, which complies with classifications set out by the 1968 Convention governing road traffic.
How much does it cost to get a driving license in Latvia?
You should pay approximately 30 euros and start taking driving tests. Successfully in both cases, Latvia will issue your European-type driver’s license within ten years, and it would require a new registration fee of approximately 22 euros.
How can I obtain an IDP, and at what costs for Latvia?
You can easily and quickly obtain an IDP through our website. You will be required the following documents: current driver’s license, passport-sized photographs, and ID (ID card, passport, etc.) Princes can be found on our pricing page.
How long would it take to receive my IDP for Lativa?
After filling out the application form, which would take around 20 minutes, you’ll receive an email of your IDP, and a printed IDP will arrive at your postal address in 2-30 working days.