International Driving Permit Ukraine
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 Ukraine?
You can drive in Ukraine with either a foreign driver’s license or an international driver’s permit. Ukraine allows drivers with licenses from a country contracted to the Vienna Motor Traffic Convention (1968) to drive on its roads. However, it is recommended that you use an international driver’s permit in addition to your driver’s license, irrespective of which country you are from. You can use your IDP as an identification document in Ukraine as well.
How do you apply for an IDP in Ukraine?
You can apply for your IDP on our website.
How long does it take to get an IDP?
It only takes two hours for you to receive a copy of your digital international driver’s permit. If you are in a hurry, you can choose the Express Order option on our website to receive it in just 20 minutes. The official printed version of your driving license will be sent to your preferred address. The time it takes to reach you depends on the location (it can be anywhere in the world!) and the chosen delivery method. We start processing your IDP application as soon as you pay on our website.
United Nations Agreements on Road Traffic
The United Nations has had three international motor traffic conventions standardizing road rules and regulations. They were held in Paris (1926), Geneva (1949), and Vienna (1968). Countries contracted to either of the first two conventions recognize international driver’s permits for one year, and countries contracted to the last convention honor IDPs for three years. A country can be contracted to more than one convention, and only institutions authorized by the United Nations can issue an IDP.
Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Ukraine
Functionality as an ID
If you lose your passport or national ID, it will result in a lot of lost money and time. You can keep them under lock and key and use an international driver’s permit as your official ID instead. Any country contracted to an international motor traffic convention will consider an IDP a legal form of identification. An IDP is beneficial if your domestic identification documents are not in a language that is internationally recognized.
Quicker traffic authority stops.
If you are stopped in a foreign country while driving, having an international driver’s permit will help foreign law enforcement authorities quickly jot down your particulars and send you on your way. This means you can save valuable hours of vacation time. Some countries allow visitors to drive on their roads without an IDP, but their traffic police will not always be able to process your driving license. This is especially true for areas in countries outside cosmopolitan urban areas.
Car rental companies
Many car rental agencies will be upfront about requiring an international driver’s permit. The countries they operate in may not have the exact requirement as many countries try to promote tourism. You can save a lot of time by going to a car rental company with an IDP. Many car rental companies will also require a smaller deposit when you have one.
Laws requiring an IDP
Ukraine was contracted to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 1968, recognizing IDPs issued for one year. While Ukraine allows foreigners to drive using their domestic driver’s licenses, there may be some trouble with administrative procedures if you do not have an international driver’s permit, as there is no clear policy on the issue. Some official sources mention that you can drive on Ukrainian roads with just an international driver’s permit, though almost all other countries require a valid driver’s license.
Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Ukraine
Short-term visitors vs. residents
The Ukrainian eVisa is a single-entry 30=day tourist visa, and you may extend this for 90 days after arrival. If you apply for a regular visa with Ukrainian authorities, you can get a multiple-entry 90-day tourist visa that is extendable for a further 90 days. There are two types of residence permits in Ukraine, temporary and permanent. Temporary resident permits allow the users to enter and leave Ukraine as many times as they wish for the period. These permits are given for employment, international development, religious activities, education, investment in Ukrainian businesses, or marriage to a Ukrainian citizen. A permanent residence permit is like getting citizenship but doesn’t have voting rights or the right to hold agricultural lands.
How long can I drive with a foreign driving license?
Some official sources suggest you may drive with a foreign license in Ukraine for as long as it is valid. Some mention that only licenses issued by countries contracted to the Vienna convention may drive on Ukrainian roads without an international driver’s permit. Similarly, some official sources say that you may drive as long as you have a valid driving license and IDP. All sources mention that you can drive in Ukraine for 60 days if you have a valid driving license and IDP. If you become a resident in Ukraine, you need to convert your domestic driving license to a Ukrainian national driving license within 60 days. Your original driving license stays valid and will not be taken by Ukrainian authorities as in other countries.
When Should I Get a Ukrainian Driver’s License?
There is some confusion among the Ukrainian offices on what types of foreign licenses are valid and what is needed to drive on Ukrainian roads. The only option guaranteed valid for 60 days from entry to Ukraine is if you have a foreign driver’s license and an international driver’s permit. We recommend you get a Ukrainian driver’s license within 60 days.
How to get a Ukrainian driving license
You can convert your driver’s license to a Ukrainian license if your license is valid, unexpired, and has no restrictions put on it in your home country. However, unlike in other countries, you are only exempt from taking a driving course at an accredited Ukrainian driving school. You are required to pass a medical exam with the standard 083/o form. You will then be able to take theory and practical tests at the Ministry of Internal Affairs after the necessary fees are paid. The ministry has affiliated service centers where you can take these tests in cities such as Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv. If you do not have a driving license, you must take a driving course at an accredited driving school. The procedure is similar for both foreigners and Ukrainian citizens.
Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s License While in Ukraine
Renewing your International Driver’s Permit
You can renew your IDP on our website.
Renewing your original driver’s license
If your domestic driver’s license expires during your stay in Ukraine, you should renew it. Most countries allow expatriate citizens to renew their licenses remotely, and many countries have internet portals for this procedure. Some countries have a mandatory vision and medical tests that need to be conducted before the renewal. If such a country issued your driver’s license, you must return to your home country to renew your license. Plan and ensure you leave enough time for this process as it can take several months.
Car Rental in Ukraine
Requirements for car rental
Ukrainian car rental agencies require you to be 21 to rent a car. If you are below 25, there can be a young driver’s surcharge. Rental companies may require you to be 30 for luxury and premium cars. Almost all car rental companies require you to have an international driver’s permit in addition to your driver’s license. You don’t need other personal identification documents if you have an IDP. If you do not, you should have your passport. You are generally required to pay using a credit card in the driver’s name. A considerable additional deposit may be required if you pay using a debit card or cash.
Deposit and costs for car rental
Ukrainian rental car charges are similar to other European countries, ranging from €25 to €80. There are international and local car rental agencies, and global companies are significantly more expensive and have a higher surcharge for renters under 25. On average, a week’s rental should cost €250, and luxury vehicles cost significantly more. Many car rental companies also have a daily mileage limit, after which you must pay per kilometer driven.
Similar to other European countries, Ukraine only requires third-party insurance for motorists. Third-party insurance covers damage to people and property but not to the motor vehicle being driven or its occupants. Some Ukrainian car rental companies include the cost of third-party insurance and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). LDW covers damage to the rental car or theft. The excess amount blocked off on your credit card will also be deducted if the damage exceeds the cover limit. You can get Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) to limit the amount charged directly from you if there is damage to the car or others. Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) will absolve you from any liability in an eventuality.
Ukraine has one of the most turbulent political climates in the world. Crime has increased significantly increased during the past eight years. It is highly recommended that you get travel insurance before your trip there. Consider the following points before you choose your travel insurance package:
- Any costs due to hospital stays are covered.
- Any deposits that are lost due to travel mishaps are covered.
- The excess payments not covered by car insurance in an eventuality are covered.
- The insurance company reimburses you for lost or damaged baggage.
- You can recover costs incurred due to emergency dental surgery.
- Your funeral costs are covered in case of an extreme eventuality.
Driving and Safety in Ukraine
Where can you get a driving handbook with the road rules?
You can get an updated copy of Ukraine’s traffic rules on https://vodiy.ua/en/pdr/. You should use an online page translation add-on when accessing this site using a browser, as the website is Ukrainian. You can go through an amalgamation of Ukraine’s road signs in English at https://traffic-rules.com/en/ukraine. You can get an official highway code booklet and additional literature from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. You may find an English copy in major Ukrainian cities such as Odesa, Lviv, and Kyiv. When registering for a Ukrainian driving school course, you will get a free copy.
Overtaking on Ukrainian roads
Ukrainian motorists drive on the right side of the road, and you may only overtake from the left side. You must look at all your mirrors and ensure enough space in front before making the maneuver. Many Ukrainian roads need repair, especially ones between the major cities. You should look for potholes and select a road section where you can see at least 300m ahead when overtaking. There may be signs on certain roads disallowing you to overtake, so be vigilant.
Turning and right of way on Ukrainian roads
If you are on a major road, you have the right of way over traffic from more minor roads. If you are on a road similar to the one that’s intersecting the road you are on, you have priority when going straight and turning right. If you want to turn left, you should wait until there is space in the oncoming traffic.
If you are on a rural road or a small road within metropolitan areas, there may not be any signs of who has priority when going straight. You should slow down to a pace that will allow you to come to an abrupt stop before passing the junction.
When entering a roundabout, you should give way to the traffic already on it, and you are expected to match the speed of the existing motorists within the roundabout.
Speed limits on Ukrainian roads
You can only go at 20 km/h (13 mph) in Ukrainian residential zones, and you can only go 50 km/h (31 mph) in built-up and urban areas. Ukraine has white road signs depicting the names of towns considered urban. You can go 90 km/h (56 mph) on rural roads. Blue village name signs do not override this speed limit as these areas are not considered populated enough to need it. You can go 110 km/h (69 mph) on dual carriageways and 130 km/h (81 mph) on motorways.
Tips for driving in Ukraine
- Motorists drive on the right side of the road in Ukraine.
- You should be 18 to drive on Ukrainian roads.
- If an oncoming motorist flashes their lights, it can mean that you are requested to dip your headlights or that there is a traffic policeman ahead.
- Like in other European countries, Ukraine has 112 as its emergency hotline.
- You may stop on highways and motorways in areas marked by a green sign.
- Most parking areas have an hourly charge. You are not allowed to park on the sidewalk or crosswalks.
- You may not use a mobile phone unless you use a hands-free device.
- Children under 12 are required to be securely harnessed and have a proper seat for their age.
- Most cars available in Ukraine have manual transmission.
- Manhole covers can go missing, leaving open space in the middle of the road.
- You can use your horn to notify other road-goers of your presence to avoid bumps.
Drinking and driving
The Ukrainian limit for driving under alcohol is 0.2 parts per million when given a breathalyzer. You can be stopped at any point and given a test, especially if an officer deems your driving erratic. You can be given a fine of a sum decided by the courts for refusing to take a breathalyzer test. If caught driving under the influence, the fine ranges from €452 to €904. If an injury or death is caused to other people in an accident while driving under the influence, there will be additional penalties, including jail time.
Top 3 Places to Visit in Ukraine
Odesa was recorded as a Greek settlement before being taken over by the Ottomans and the Russians. The city was developed to its current layout under the administration of Russia. It is filled with museums that document its exciting history. Odesa is situated on the southwest side of Ukraine and on the northwest coast of the Black Sea. You can enjoy the gorgeous Black Sea beaches of the city and observe the cargo ships functioning off its shipping port. Odesa developed into one of Russia’s main holiday destinations and has a wide variety of cafes and restaurants. You can also visit exquisitely built theaters and underground catacombs that span thousands of kilometers below the city.
Kyiv is the political and commercial capital of Ukraine. Its architecture is a mix of older Soviet styles and newer western-influenced buildings. Through its quaint cobblestoned streets, you can visit some of the city’s Orthodox Christian monasteries and golden-domed churches. Kyiv was founded in 500 AD and served as Russia’s founding capital city. Originally Russia was called the Kievan-Rus, showing Kyiv’s significance in its history. It served as a significant developmental center for the Eastern European culture for over millennia. Now Kyiv is a vibrant commercial center that drives Ukraine’s economy. You can enjoy Ukraine’s cuisine and cosmopolitan foods in its various cafes and eateries.
Lviv is the cultural center of western Ukraine and has a unique history, starting from 1240 AD as the capital of Ruthenia. and has been under Polish and Russian administration for long periods. Lviv also has many museums worth visiting, as they have historical pieces from all the cultures the city has belonged to. You should visit the Lviv National Art Gallery, which houses over 50,000 works of art. There are also opera houses and theaters that have regular showings. You will be able to find niche bars called knaipas in the city, giving the city’s nightlife a unique feel.
Can I drive a vehicle with a foreign license in Ukraine?
You can drive in Ukraine with a foreign driver’s license for at least two months, and you must have an international driver’s permit.
Can I use my EU driver’s license in Ukraine?
You may drive for 60 days with an EU driver’s license.
How long will my International Driving Permit be valid in Ukraine?
Ukraine was contracted to the Vienna Motor Traffic Convention of 1968, so you may use your IDP for one year.
How long will transferring my license to a Ukrainian one take?
You can exchange your license for a Ukrainian one within two months. You must take the written and practical tests no matter where your domestic license was issued.
On which side of the road do you drive in Ukraine?
In Ukraine, vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
Do you need a foreign license printed in English to drive in Ukraine?
No, but we recommend you have an international driver’s permit if your driver’s license is not used in an internationally recognized language.