Getting a Czech driver's license




I know this may have been covered before, so if there's a thread, I'd welcome someone pointing it out. However, I couldn't find it. I've got a US driver's license, and I'm planning on being here for the foreseeable future, and I've been told that it's important to get a Czech driver's license (for insurance purpose, or whatever). Does anyone have any idea how to go about doing this? Or even the ministry/government office I'd need to do this through? Any information pointing me in the right direction would be most appreciated. I even tried calling the Embassy, and no luck. Thanks!!

09:16:12 28.01.2011 mateoBK

http://magistrat.praha.eu/64768_Exchanging-a-foreign-driving-license-for-a-Czech-one Found my answer... ish.

09:18:14 28.01.2011 mateoBK

i'm fairly sure that link is only referring to holders of a driving license from another EU country. If you have an American license I think you have to take a driving test here to get a Czech license.

09:31:37 28.01.2011 skotik

and it was covered before when you asked the same question: http://www.expats.cz/prague/showthread.php?t=286805&page=1&pp=10 :rolleyes:

09:36:11 28.01.2011 skotik

Quote: skotiki'm fairly sure that link is only referring to holders of a driving license from another EU country. If you have an American license I think you have to take a driving test here to get a Czech license.

Hi skotik, how about a Canadian license, do you still have to take the driving test in order to get the Czech license? is that condition valid for all non-EU countries? On that site it doesn't say anything about road tests. Thanks!

10:06:36 28.01.2011 lightplay

I've had so many bureaucratic questions, it's hard to keep track :-D I got an email from the US Embassy saying: Long term or permanent residents are required to obtain a Czech drivers license. You need to pass a test, it cannot be exchanged for the US drivers licenses since they do not meet the EU standards. You may wish to confirm this information by checking the webpage of the Czech Ministry of Transportation at http://www.mdcr.cz/en/Road+Transport/Driving+Licences/default.htm . Below is an excerpt from the webpage of the Czech embassy in Washington regarding drivers licenses. International Driver's License Every person who drives a motor vehicle in the Czech Republic must carry either a driver's license issued by the Czech Republic itself or another European Union (EU) member state, or an international driver's license that is accepted in the Czech Republic including one from his/her home state. Driver's licenses issued by the individual states in the U.S. without the international driver's license component are not accepted in the Czech Republic. The full version is at http://www.mzv.cz/washington/en/consular_information/travel/information_on_driving_motor_vehicles_in/index.html Here is also a link to information from our website: http://prague.usembassy.gov/message_to_all_americans_-_notice_on_drivers_licenses.html Regards, ACS Prague

10:27:17 28.01.2011 mateoBK

From the above link "The applicant may be only a person who holds a DL issued by a foreign state or a European Communities DL, and who has been granted a long-term or a permanent permission to stay in the Czech Republic, or a person who holds a DL issued by a foreign state or a European Communities DL, who has permanent residence in the Czech Republic and lives in the country for more than 185 calendar days in a year" http://www.mdcr.cz/en/Road+Transport/Driving+Licences/Issuance+of+a+Driving+Licence+or+an+International+Driving+Licence.htm So, does this mean that one has to take a driving test or not to exchange a license? I have got an Ontario license, and I'm in the Czech Republic on long-term residency.

10:33:12 28.01.2011 Sigma

Quote: SigmaSo, does this mean that one has to take a driving test or not to exchange a license? I have got an Ontario license, and I'm in the Czech Republic on long-term residency.

Same here. I think the only way to find out for sure is to actually go to their office in person and ask. I am planning on doing that as soon as I get my residency proof so I'll let you know, if you can wait a couple of weeks :)

11:01:32 28.01.2011 lightplay

I don't know the situation with Canadian licenses, whether it is possible to exchange them or whether you have to take a test.

11:26:21 28.01.2011 skotik

US license - you must do a basic course and take both the driving and written tests (with the help of a translator). I can highly recommend Petr Sim at Autoskola King - this is his bread and butter and he knows exactly what is necessary. He may even be able to answer your question regarding Canadian licenses. Speaks English well. http://www.expats.cz/prague/czech/adult-education/driving-school-king/

23:18:04 28.01.2011 Jen

After looking at the pricing for Autoskola King (18,000kc), I'll stay on the tram. Ridiculous.

23:51:58 28.01.2011 paulrm

I'm not sure if you are from the states, but if you are you can apply for an international drivers license through AAA and fax over your forms, etc. You don't have to physically be present to receive an international drivers license, but you will need a valid DL from one of the states and an address in the states. The international drivers license is about $30.

00:25:44 29.01.2011 PSFJustin

I thought that only applied if you were in the Czech Republic on a short term basis?

09:31:04 29.01.2011 Sigma

Quote: paulrmAfter looking at the pricing for Autoskola King (18,000kc), I'll stay on the tram. Ridiculous.

That's if you need the full schooling from square 1 (i.e. never held a license in your life). He customizes the fees depending on your experience. I paid about half that, with a 27 year old US driver's license and nearly 20 years' driving experience here in the CR. But if you live in the city, then sticking with the tram isn't a bad idea. I don't, so it is :)

10:44:26 29.01.2011 Jen

Quote: SigmaI thought that only applied if you were in the Czech Republic on a short term basis?

That is true. Once you make the Czech Republic your legal place of residence, then you are legally required to get a czech license. That said, I went for almost 2 decades without a Czech license. It took the threat of a very stiff fine to get me to finally do it (and the very real possibility that my insurance company wouldn't pay out if I didn't have a Czech license - but I always had a valid international DL). But I'm glad I did it in the end.

10:46:37 29.01.2011 Jen

Quote: JenThat is true. Once you make the Czech Republic your legal place of residence, then you are legally required to get a czech license.

You could swap "EU" for "Czech" in that sentence and it would be true as well. Any EU license is valid in the Czech Republic. It's the third-country licenses that in my cases aren't valid. And has been said many times on these pages, the international driver's permit (note that these are called PERMITS and not LICENSES) is not a substitute for anyone aside from tourists. Once a person declares that they are resident in the Czech Republic, the EU license is a requirement. Full stop.

Quote: JenThat said, I went for almost 2 decades without a Czech license. It took the threat of a very stiff fine to get me to finally do it (and the very real possibility that my insurance company wouldn't pay out if I didn't have a Czech license - but I always had a valid international DL). But I'm glad I did it in the end.

This is the real issue. You can usually get past policemen doing checks easily enough but if it came down to a question of going to court, claiming against insurance etc it would be very easy for them to find you (as the driver) to have been driving without a (valid) license, and then legal troubles could begin mounting.

18:33:06 30.01.2011 mjet

Yep and yep.

15:51:42 31.01.2011 Jen