Information on Driving Motor Vehicles in the Czech Republic
17.06.2014 / 19:48
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.
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 Czech Republic only recognizes international driver's licenses that fit the requirements prescribed in the following international agreements:
• Agreement on Road Transportation signed in Geneva on September 19, 1949 (enclosure No. 10)
• Agreement on Road Traffic signed in Vienna on November 8, 1968 (enclosure No. 6)
• The EU Committee's Guidelines No. 91/439 of July 29, 1991, on driver's licenses
Since the U.S. is a contracting party only to the Geneva Agreement on Road Transportation from 1949, we suggest that before leaving for the Czech Republic, individuals get an international driver's license in accordance with this agreement. Do not forget to also bring your home state driver's license. American Automobile Auto club (AAA) has the authority to issue international driver's licenses in the U.S.
New Rules of the Road Came into Force in the Czech Republic on July 1, 2006
Law No. 411/2005 Sb. governing the rules of the road came into force on July 1, 2006. The main aim of the new law is to increase road safety in the Czech Republic and to bring Czech law in line with that of the rest of the EU . The law contains further preventative measures, introduces a new points system, increases fines for traffic offences and gives the Police broader powers.
The Points System and New Police Powers
As in other EU countries (Germany, France, Great Britain, Poland, Italy etc), 2006, a new points system was introduced beginning on July 1, 2006. Based on a system of fixed penalties, Czech drivers will lose their license for up to a year if they acquire 12 points or more.
The new law also gives the national and municipal police new powers. National police officers can prevent a driver from continuing on his or her journey if they have good reason (i.e. the driver has caused an accident or has refused to take a breathalyzer test) and can confiscate his or her license on the spot. The municipal police forces have been given the same powers. Police officers may not collect fines. However, if there is suspicion that a driver has committed an offence, the police now have the power to set bail in the amount of up to 50,000 CZE. The bail shall serve as motivation for motorists to attend court hearings and also as payment of the fine itself. Yet, the bail will be refunded in full should the driver not be found guilty of the offence.
Motorway Tolls and Other Charges
There is a charge for using certain motorways and main roads in the Czech Republic ( http://www.uamk.cz/e-infoservis-ti.htm). Proof of payment is a two-part decal that is valid for one year, two months or 15 days. Lorries weighing more than 12t must obtain special decals that are valid for 1 day. A fine of up to 15,000 CZE can be imposed for using the fore mentioned roads without a valid coupon. Motorcycles do not need a motorway decal for the use of motorways and dual carriageways. Decals can be purchased on the borders of the Czech Republic and at all branch offices of ÚAMK, post offices and some gas stations.
The Main Road Regulations
• The speed limits are as follow:
- highways and motorways: 130 km/h (aprox. 80 mph)
- roads: 90 km/h (aprox. 56 mph)
- residential areas: 50 km/h (aprox. 30 mph)
The above mentioned are general limits; otherwise, the highest permitted speed at a traffic sign prevails.
• Radar detectors are illegal. One shall incur a fine of up to 100,000 CZE for using such a device.
• The technical condition of the vehicle must be in accordance with traffic regulations.
• Excluding small motorcycles (cylinder volume up to 50 cm3) which may be driven by persons of 15 years of age and older, only persons 18 years of age and older can drive motor vehicles in the CR.
• The driver and front seat passengers must buckle up their safety belts. The passenger in the front seat must not be younger than 12 years of age.
• All motor vehicles must keep their road headlights on at night and day, year round.
• Driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs (i.e. drugs and medicines) constitutes a crime with a possible punishment of up to one year in prison, a fine or a ban. Municipal police officers now have the power require breathalyzer tests of drivers suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.
• The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited. However, the use of hands free sets is permitted.
• While driving on every type of road, each child (under 150cm and weighing less than 36kg) must sit in a specially designed child's seat.
• When passing and turning, it is necessary to use a turn signal. Passing is permitted on the left side only. If there is a red light at a traffic stop, drivers are forbidden to make any turns (even when turning right). Further, drivers must also signal when passing a cyclist.
• During traffic jams on motorways and other major roads, drivers must leave the shoulder lane free for use by the emergency services.
• Parallel curb parking and parking at an angle facing towards the curb are permitted, even if there is no traffic sign informing drivers they may do same. However, when parked, at least one 3m-wide lane must remain free in both directions.
• When overtaking into a free lane on a road with two or more lanes, the right-hand rule applies. When there is a slip road onto a road with two or more lanes, drivers must use it.
• The driver must signal only when changing lanes left and right on the roundabout and when leaving the roundabout.
• Lorries weighing more than 3.5t with a trailer must not pass while traveling on a road with two or more lanes, unless they are traveling at a substantially greater speed than the vehicle they wish to pass. Except for weekdays and Saturdays beginning on 1st of July and continuing through the 31st of August between 07.00 and 13.00, lorries weighting more than 7.5t can use motorways and main roads. However, they are not permitted to use motorways and main roads on Fridays from 17.00 and continuing until 21.00 or on Sundays.
• When riding a motorcycle (faster than 40 km/h, aprox. 25 mph), both the driver and passenger must wear safety helmets.
• Cyclists less than 18 years of age must now wear an approved cycling helmet at all times when traveling on the road.
You can find detailed information regarding rules and regulations for driving motor vehicles in the CR on either our Ministry of Interior's ( http://www.mvcr.cz/) website or any other website providing tourist information about the Czech Republic.