How to get a driver's license in the Czech Republic in 2022

Here's all you need to know about exchanging your license for a Czech one as well as getting an international driving permit. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.09.2022 15:01:00 (updated on 22.05.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

Many people coming to the Czech Republic overlook the fact that they'll need to switch to a Czech driving license if they plan to stay for any length of time.

Driving without a valid license can cause multiple problems. Not only are drivers without a Czech license subject to stiff fines from the police, but insurance claims might not be honored after an accident.

The good news? Since the Czech Republic is a member of the European Union, anyone with a Czech license can drive in other EU countries which means getting licensed to drive in Czechia can pave the way for international travel.

With the help from Pavel Greiner, who founded Autoškola KING, one of the biggest Prague's driving schools 15 years ago we outlined the process for getting a driver's license in the Czech Republic in 2022:

EU vs. non-EU citizens: Getting licensed to drive in Czechia

Someone who obtains long-term residency in the Czech Republic must also get a Czech driving license within three months of obtaining their residency if they wish to drive.

For drivers who hail from outside the EU, foreign licenses can be used by for up to one year. Some conditions apply as well. If your license does not meet all of the Czech standards, you need to obtain an International Driving Permit, sometimes also called an International Driver’s License. In the U.S., for example, it can be obtained from the AAA auto club.

Driverse who have a license issued by an EU member state or Norway, Switzerland or Liechtenstein, are allowed to drive and do not need to exchange their license for a Czech one. EU citizens who reside in the Czech Republic at least 185 days a year can exchange their license for a Czech one when they provide some documents such as a lease and proof of employment.

One of a series of videos from Autoškola KING videos (Eng. subtitles available) featuring driving tips and trick.

Changing a non-EU license for a Czech one can be done only if the national license meets all the Czech road requirements and is written in the Latin alphabet. Otherwise, the driver will need to pass a Czech driving test. The latter case applies to holders of licenses from a number of EU countries including drivers from the U.S.

No matter what your nationality, those who want to drive on the Czech roads must meet the Czech age requirement, which is 18 years of age or older. Even though they are allowed to do so in other countries, 17 years old, for instance, can't drive a standard-size car in the Czech Republic.

The Czech government, however, has begun to discuss lowering the legal driving age to 17 by 2024. Mopeds and smart cars can be driven from 15 years of age (see more below).

Determine the type of license you want to have

To drive a standard vehicle such as a car, truck, SUV, or recreational vehicle (most motorhomes and caravans) you'll need a B license. Something that's popular with expats is a license for driving only a car with an automatic transmission. For those who opt to take the test on an automatic as opposed to stick shift, the back of the B license card will have a note that reads “Group B restrictions on driving vehicles with automatic transmission" or vice versa.

To upgrade the license later, a driver has to take another practical driving test but does not have to retake the written theory test. This means you’re not allowed to drive a manual car or even rent one, regardless of whether you’re actually capable of using a car with manual transmission.

Group B license| The holder of this license can operate a vehicle of up to 3.5 tons and transport a maximum of 8 people, including the driver; a trailer weighing up to 750 kg can be attached, but the total weight must not exceed 3,500 kg; vehicles from group A1 (smaller motorbikes) with automatic transmission can also be operated.

If you’re stopped by the police and you happen to be driving a manual car despite your automatic license, you will be treated as if you were driving without a driver's license. In most cases, this means a heavy fine (CZK 25,000 to CZK 50,000) and potentially a suspension of your license for up to two years.

International driving permits|The Czech Republic issues International driving permits for people with a Czech license who plan to drive in a non-EU country. The Czech-issued permit, which can be applied for at your local municipal office, can't be used in Czechia.

For motorcycles, there are four categories of licenses, depending on the age of the driver and the size of the vehicle. The A category license is for motorcycles more than 35kW and drivers over 24 years old. AM, A1, and A2 are for younger drivers and smaller bikes. The AM license allows people as young as 15 to operate a moped.

The AM license can also also be used for microcars, so people 15 and older can then drive at a speed limit of up to 45 km/hour.

Enroll in a Czech driving school

While in some countries, would-be drivers can learn on their own and simply make an appointment to take a driving test, this is not the case in the Czech Republic. Here, you need to go through an accredited driving school. The basic course outline is defined by law, every driver must take the classes no matter what their skill level and experience.

Applicants need several units of driving instruction with an instructor from an accredited driving school. This includes both in-class preparation for the written exam and for a practical driving test. Driving school courses typically run for 6-8 weeks; for the B-license you need to spend roughly 28 hours driving (no more than 2 hours per day).

Following the course, a written and practical test must be passed before you can obtain your Czech license. The tests are taken at the relevant municipality; the driving school makes the appointment for you. The written test is taken before the driving skills test.

The written exam: What does it look like in 2022?

Written tests are administered in Czech but applicants who don't speak the language can use the help of a translator. Applicants must score 43 points out of a possible 50 on the test within a time limit of 30 minutes.

Changes are coming to written exams this autumn: 100 new questions will be added to final exams over a three-month interval; the first 35 new questions will appear at the end of October. Over the next two years, the final theoretical exams should consist mainly of dynamic "video questions" focusing on risky encounters with a tram, cyclist, or simulating weather changes.

The new law on exam retakes|As of July 2021 students now have only three attempts each to pass their driving or written exams. If they aren't able to pass after three tries, they are allowed to retake the exams only after repeating lessons. Previously, there were no limits on retaking the test.

What does the driving skills test look like?

The actual driving instruction must be done in person. It includes not only driving in traffic but also first aid and vehicle maintenance. The driving test takes at least 30 minutes under the supervision of the examiner.

In the first part of the test, the driver's license applicant demonstrates in particular: basic knowledge and skills of preparing the vehicle before its use, starting, stopping, reversing and other maneuvers, and driving at a speed of under 30 mph. The second part of the exam tests the driver's response to traffic situations and driving at higher speed.

Making it official

After successfully passing all parts of the test, the applicant will receive a certificate which is to be submitted to your local municipal office together with several other documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Valid proof of identity
  • Proof of residence (for foreigners)
  • Original driver's license (in the case of renewals)
  • A medical release from a doctor (upon turning 65 you'll need to have a check-up and doctor's proof that you're fit to drive; after you are 68 you'll need a check-up every two years)

Driver's license applications must be submitted within 6 months of passing the test; there is an administrative fee of CZK 200. Once all the documentation is turned in and the fee is paid, your license should arrive in about 20 days.

This article was written in association with English-friendly driving school Autoškola KING. Founded in 2007 by Bc. Pavel Greiner the schools offer a professional approach and excellent English as well as training on automatic cars. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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