Expat Guide: Driving Licenses in The Czech Republic

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Every country has its own rules for issuing a driving license, which raises a lot of questions when you want to relocate to a new place. If you have just moved to the Czech Republic and want to continue driving here, Jobspin is here to update you on issues related to driving licenses for foreigners in the Czech Republic. Whether you are an experienced driver who already has a driving license, or a newbie on the doorstep of a driving school, our guide will get you up to date on what you have to do. Photo credit: Freepik. 

Written by Nataliia Sliusarenko.

For those who already possess a valid driving license, the next step will depend on where it was issued. For residents of the European Union (or Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, or Liechtenstein) the process of getting your license recognised is slightly simpler than for those coming from outside the EU. Let’s have a look at what both EU residents and foreign nationals should do when they arrive in the Czech Republic with a valid driving license.

What if I have a valid driving license issued by an EU state?

Those holding a valid driving license issued by an EU member state (or Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein) can breathe easy, as your driving license is valid on the territory of the Czech Republic. You may use it without a problem for the whole period of its validity, though you can also get it replaced at the competent office with extended powers. There are 206 offices with extended powers across the Czech Republic. To find the closest one to where you live, consult this map on the Ministry of Transport website.

When applying for an exchange of a driving license issued elsewhere in the EU for a Czech one, the following documents are required:

  • Valid proof of identity (ID card, passport)
  • Valid driving license
  • Proof of residency in the Czech Republic

If you don’t have temporary or permanent residence in the Czech Republic, a lease or employment agreements can be presented as evidence.

You don’t need to bring a photo in an ID format with you as it will be taken at the office. When applying, you can choose between the standard 20 days processing time for a fee of CZK 200 or the express application process of five working days for a fee of CZK 700.

As soon as your driving license is ready, you can pick it up in person or through an authorized person (on the basis of a certified power of attorney) at the same municipal authority where you applied for it.

What if I have a valid driving license issued by a non-EU state?

If you have a valid driving license issued by a state outside of the EU and you have had Czech permanent or temporary residence for more than one year, you are obliged to exchange your driving license for a Czech one.

To apply, you need to make sure that your driving licence meets the requirements of the Convention of Road Traffic from the Vienna Convention (1968) and is on the list of countries with whom Czech Republic has an agreement. If your licence meets those requirements, you can exchange it at the municipal office with extended powers. In this case, the procedure is similar to the one for those with an EU driving license.

To apply to exchange your driving license, you should visit the office with a valid proof of identity and your valid driving license. You can get your license exchanged within 20 days free of charge, or for CZK 700 if you want your application to be processed within five working days.

You can pick it up in person or through an authorized person (on the basis of a certified power of attorney) at the same municipal authority where you applied for it.

What if my driving license is not recognised in the Czech Republic?

If your driving license is not recognised in the Czech Republic, you have to take a Czech driving test, both the written and practical parts. Before taking the exam, you must complete several units of driving lessons at an accredited driving school. In addition, you need to obtain a certificate from a doctor stating that your health allows you to drive. Nowadays, there are lots of schools providing lessons in English, so don’t worry if your Czech language skills are not strong enough yet. As soon as you pass your exam, you can apply for a driving license at the competent office.

To apply, you must present:

  • A valid proof of identity
  • A medical certificate
  • Proof of professional competence to drive motor vehicles no older than six months

Along with your application you must pay an application fee of CZK 200 and wait 20 days for your brand-new well-deserved driving licence.

What if I don’t have a driving license yet but would like to get one in the Czech Republic?

In this case, Czech driving school is definitely for you. However, to be accepted to a driving school in the Czech Republic, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Reside in the Czech Republic longer than six months
  • Have no current legal ban on driving motor vehicles
  • Have no medical condition that prevents you driving

Below you can find some of the driving schools in Prague, Brno and Ostrava providing lessons in English, but there are many others across the Czech Republic.

Prague:

Brno:

Ostrava:

The average price for a standard course to learn to drive a B-category vehicle ranges from CZK 12,000 ($577, €472) to CZK 25,000 ($1201, €982). However, the price could be higher or lower depending on the duration of the course, number of lessons and intensity.

After you are accepted to the driving school, you need to undergo:

  • 36 hours of theoretical classroom training
  • 28 hours of practical driving with your driving instructor

These hours are sufficient to apply for a driving exam.

Although lessons at a driving school can be provided in English, it is only possible to take the exam in Czech. Foreigners with an insufficient level of Czech can use the service of a certified translator to accompany them at the exam.

The exam consists of two parts: a theory test and a practical driving test. To qualify for a license, you must pass both parts. The practical part of the exam can be taken only after passing the theory test, in which you will complete 25 multiple-choice questions. The driving test is usually around 25 minutes long, but this depends on your examiner.

As soon as you pass your test, you are ready to apply for your driving license. To do so you should submit your application at the municipal office with extended powers, with the following documents:

  • Valid proof of identity
  • Medical certificate
  • Proof of professional competence to drive motor vehicles no older than six months
  • Proof of residency in the Czech Republic

In addition you must pay an administrative fee of CZK 200, then just wait 20 days and the driving license is yours.

When you need to apply to exchange your driving license or obtain a new one, we recommend consulting the Ministry of Transport webpage, where you can find instructions on what to do in your situation. We wish you luck on your way to getting a Czech driving license, and safe driving!

Useful links:
Ministry of Transport: Exchanging driving license issued by an EU state for a Czech one
Ministry of Transport: Exchanging driving license issued by a non-EU state for a Czech one
Ministry of Transport: Issuance of Czech driving license

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