In this part you will learn information about driving motor vehicles in the Czech Republic, driving licences and vehicle registration.
Motor Vehicle Driving in the CR and Driving Licences
To drive a motor vehicle in the CR you need a driving licence, which serves as a proof of your entitlement to drive. You can get a driving licence if you successfully complete a driving school and pass the exam. Usually, it is possible to do the exam in English, German or Russian. However, you have to arrange an interpreter. As a foreigner, you need to have permanent or temporary residence in the CR, so that you could get a Czech driving licence. As for the temporary residence, you have to have spent at least 185 days of the calendar year in the CR
Driving licences are issued by municipal offices with extended powers.
The responsible office in Prague is the register of drivers of the Prague City Hall. When driving a car, drivers are obliged to have their driving licence, ID and vehicle documents, which all have to be presented if there is an inspection.
Driving licences issued in the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein
If you have a driving licence issued in an EU country or Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein, you are entitled to drive a car in the Czech Republic. If you have normal residence in the Czech Republic (permanent residence or a stay over 185 days in a year), you may but do not have to exchange your driving licence for a Czech one.
Driving licences from third countries (other than stated above)
If you have a driving licence issued in another country, you need to find out whether it meets the conditions of international conventions – the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. These conventions stipulate the essential elements of driving permits.
Tip: If you come to the CR based on a short-term or long-term visa or a permanent residence permit for up to 1 year, you may (but do not have to) replace your driving licence for a Czech one, if your normal residence is in the CR.
International Driving Licence
International Driving Licence holders are allowed to drive a car in the Czech Republic. International Driving Licences issued by foreign states under the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic are usually valid for three years from the date of their issuance.
International Driving Licences issued by foreign states under the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic are usually valid for one year from the date of their issuance.
If you are a member of the staff of a foreign diplomatic mission with a valid driving licence, you are also allowed to drive a car in the CR.
Holders of the following driving licences can drive a motor vehicle in the CR:
- – A valid driving licence of the Czech Republic,
- – A valid driving licence issued by another EU member state,
- – A valid driving licence issued by a foreign state under the Convention on Road Traffic (Vienna 1968) and the Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva 1949),
- – A valid international driving licence issued by a foreign state under the Convention on Road Traffic (Vienna 1968) – in the territory of the CR it is valid for three years from the day of its issuance,
- – A valid international driving licence issued by a foreign state under the Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva 1949) – in the territory of the CR it is valid for one year from the day of issue,
- – A valid driving licence of a member of diplomatic staff of a representative body of a foreign state.
Driving Licence Exchange
All migrants who are not citizens of an EU member state and who do not have permanent residence in the CR or temporary residence based on a long-term visa for more than 1 year have to apply for an exchange of their foreign driving licence (issued by a non-EU country) for a Czech one. Migrants have to submit the application within 3 months from the day when their permanent residence permit or the temporary residence permit based on a long-term visa came into legal force.
You can exchange a valid foreign driving licence for a Czech one only if it was issued by a foreign state under the Convention on Road Traffic (Vienna 1968) or the Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva 1949) or if it is a valid European driving licence. It is necessary to ask at the register of drivers of the Prague City Hall, whether it is possible to exchange your driving licence for a Czech one or whether it is necessary for you to pass another driving test.
If you apply for exchange of a driving licence, you are obliged to submit at the office the following documents in person (representation is not possible):
- – An application for the issue of a driving licence – you will receive a form with pre-printed personal data at the check-in counter of the register of drivers (the application is a unique form created with a personal registration number and a barcode, therefore it cannot be copied or downloaded from the website; it becomes an official application only after personal and other data have been printed by computer at the register of drivers and the driver has signed the form, which serves as confirmation of the accuracy of the printed data)
- – A valid identity document of the applicant (migrants also have to present their residence permit and other documents proving their habitual residence in the territory of the CR. Habitual residence is the place of permanent residence of an individual in the territory of the Czech Republic or a place where they usually reside.
- – One photograph sized 35 × 45mm
- – A foreign driving licence
- You will be issued a new driving licence within 20 days.
You may use on-line registration to collect your driving licence. Do not waste your time waiting at the office, make an appointment in advance.
Register of Vehicles
Cars in the CR have to be registered at a relevant municipality office. Registration has to be arranged for newly purchased cars and cars whose owners have changed has to be re-registered.
On 1 June 2017 an amendment of the Act on Conditions of the Road Traffic Operation entered into effect. This means it is now possible to go to any municipal office with extended powers to arrange the change of the owner or the operator of a registered vehicle, to register a new or an imported vehicle, to take a vehicle out of operation (“deposit”), to report the disposal of a vehicle, to apply for a personalised number on a registration plate, a registration plate for a bike carrier or registration of coupling devices and trailers.
The Ministry of Transport has created a simple map for motorists which includes all municipal offices with extended powers, their addresses and contacts. On the Ministry website you can easily look up the closest register of vehicles and plan your visit. The map is available here.
To arrange the re-registration of a used car to a new owner, the previous owner and the new owner have to come to the office in person and submit an application for a change of the owner in a single application form together with:
- – A log book and a vehicle registration ID,
- – A certificate of vehicle identity check no older than 30 days,
- – A green card (proof of insurance).
If one of the persons is represented by someone else based on written power of attorney, the power of attorney has to be signed by officially verified signatures.
The change of the operator or the owner will be stated in part II of the vehicle registration ID (log book) and a new part I of the vehicle registration ID will be issued for the vehicle.
You can make an appointment at the register of vehicles of the Prague City Hall in advance by making an online reservation for a particular date and time at the relevant department.
Offices of the register of vehicles of the Prague City Hall: