In order to drive in the Czech Republic, you must have reached the minimum age of 18 years old required to drive/ride a vehicle and hold a valid driving licence.
When driving in the Czech Republic the following documents should be carried:
- Full, valid driving licence
- ID or a passport
- Vehicle registration certificate (so-called small technical license)
- Proof of Insurance (so-called green card)
Can I use my driving license?
In case your driving license was issued by a Member State of the EU, or in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, your driving license will be valid in the territory of the Czech Republic and there is no need to exchange it for a Czech driving license.
Short term visitors to the Czech Republic who hold a driving license issued in a country outside of the EU may retain and use their driving license as long as it complies with the conditions of road traffic in the Czech Republic. To drive in the Czech Republic, both long-term residents who intend to stay in the country for more than 1 year and permanent residents are required to obtain a Czech driving license. This must be done within 3 months from when you receive your long-term stay or permanent residence. Czech driving licences are valid for 10 years.
If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and your driving license does not meet the conditions of road traffic in the Czech Republic, you may drive in the Czech Republic under the condition that you obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to accompany your license. Please note that an IDP does not replace the driving license. You must carry your current driving license together with IDP with you all the time when driving in the Czech Republic.
Essential rules you need to know
- When driving in the Czech Republic, you have to drive on the right side of the road and can overtake on the left side of the road.
- Since 2006, all vehicles have to drive with the driving lights on.
- You must have a warning triangle, High Vis vest and a first-aid kit in your car at all times. Remember to check the expiry date of the kit regularly.
- Zero alcohol concentration in blood is tolerated – if you drive under the influence, you can be imprisoned up to 3 years!
- You and the other passengers must wear a fastened seatbelt at all times.
- You cannot use your mobile phone while driving.
- When travelling with children, you have to install a suitable restraint system if the child is under 150 cm and 36 kg. Children under 12 years cannot sit in front of the car (with an exception of babies in a front-facing baby seat.
How fast can I drive?
Urban areas: 50 km/h
Outside town: 90 km/h
Expressways: 110 km/h
Highways: 130 km/h
Be careful, a different speed limit may be indicated by road signs.
In the Czech Republic, the tolled section is practically every Czech motorway. In 2021, Czech motorways will finally be tolled using electronic motorway stamps. The stamps will continue to be available in stone shops, in so-called self-service kiosks, especially in border areas and at the entrance to the tolled section of the motorway. However, it will primarily be possible to purchase them via the Internet.
Upon payment, you will receive a physical or e-mail confirmation of purchase with the validity of the purchased stamp. This determines the beginning of its validity, the day and the time of payment, with the fact that at the end of the validity of the electronic motorway sign, it always applies that it is at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds on that day. However, if you purchase the stamp online via bank transfer, you can hit the road only after receiving a receipt for the payment.
You can buy the annual motorway stamp in the Czech Republic for CZK 1,500 for passenger cars up to 3.5 tonnes, the 30-day stamp costs CZK 440 and the ten-day stamp costs CZK 310.
There is a new category of so-called eco-cars that can get a half-priced stamp. This price applies to vehicles powered by natural gas or biomethane. Electric cars with a special license plate are completely exempt from motorway tolls. Likewise, special historic vehicles and vehicles transporting holders of a severe health disability card (ZTP or ZTP/P) are automatically exempt from the fee.
Of course, the validity of motorway stamps will continue to be checked by the Police or the Customs Administration. If you drive on the highway without a paid stamp, you can face a fine of up to CZK 20,000.
Basic traffic rules in the Czech Republic
See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs infographics or the Driving licence exchange and recognition in the EU – Czechia section on the European Union websites for further information