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Driving license in Latvia
If you live in Latvia for no more than a year, you can use a driver's license issued in your country on the following conditions:
- The categories indicated in the driver's license correspond to the categories established in Latvia.
- If the categories that correspond to the categories established in Latvia are not indicated in the driver’s license, you can only drive vehicles that correspond to category B.
- If the driver’s license is not written in the Latin alphabet, you must present a notarized translation into Latvian along with the driver’s license.
If you live in Latvia for more than a year, you cannot use a driver's license issued in your country. In order to avoid such problems, you need to change the driver’s license issued in your country to a vehicle driver’s license issued in Latvia, which will be valid for 10 years (for category B) or 5 years (driver’s license of higher categories). To do this, you need to pass a driving test (driving in the city), which can be taken in Latvian, Russian and English. The procedure can be completed in these CSDD offices by submitting the following documents:
- passport or personal identification card (you must have a personal identification code issued in Latvia and a declared place of residence in Latvia), a
- driver’s license to be replaced (before passing the CSDD exam, he will contact the issuing country to make sure that your ID is valid and not falsified), a
- valid medical certificate confirming that your health condition allows you to drive a vehicle. A medical certificate can be obtained from a family doctor or from medical commissions established in medical institutions (you need to bring your passport or personal identification card, driver’s license with you).
The procedure for replacing a certificate can last from 1 day to 2 months (if additional information is required from the country that issued your driver’s license, on the fact of issuing a certificate) and cost from 90 - 105 EUR: the
- cost of a medical examination to obtain a medical certificate (approximately 25-40 EUR, depending on who issues a certificate - a family physician or a medical commission),
- the fee for taking the CSDD driving test 42.58 EUR (amount of duty did not change, regardless of which language passes inspection)
- CSDD duty for issuing voditelskog certificates 22.05 EUR.
If you want to get a driver’s license for the first time, the same rules apply to you as any new driver. Information is available on the CSDD website.
Use of a car registered abroad in Latvia
If you live in Latvia on the basis of a visa, you can use a permanently registered car no more than 3 months after entering Latvia. However, if you have obtained a permanent or temporary residence permit in Latvia, you cannot drive a car with a permanent foreign registration, unless: the
- car is rented from a foreign car rental company, the
- car is used in the presence of its owner, who is not a citizen or non-citizen of Latvia, a person who has received a permanent or temporary residence permit in Latvia,
- received a special permit.
Permission can be obtained if you regularly need to use a car that is constantly registered abroad, both in Latvia and abroad, for example, you study abroad, work in hired work, do business as an individual businessman or self-employed person, or are an official registered company abroad.
When registering a car permanently registered abroad in Latvia, a car license registered in Latvia and license plates are issued for it, and CSDD retains the car license and license plates issued abroad. When the owner plans to leave Latvia by car, he will be returned the original registration certificate issued abroad and license plates, for example, if a Russian citizen temporarily registers a car in Latvia, leaving Latvia, he receives documents and car license plates issued in Russia. This means that the car does not have to be re-registered in a specific country.
Information on documents required for the permanent registration of a car in Latvia is available on the CSDD website.
If you own a car registered in Latvia, and you plan to leave Latvia for a long time, you need to check whether the time period for the mandatory vehicle inspection during the trip expires. If the deadline expires during this period, it is best to go through the inspection ahead of the deadline indicated on the inspection sticker. If the deadline has passed and you are with a car registered in Latvia abroad, you need to find out the rules of the respective country about the possibilities to use such a car for traffic: You
- may have to register the vehicle in this country by paying duties, the insurance procedure and having passed a technical inspection there.
- Perhaps the car will be able to pass inspection abroad to obtain permission to participate in the movement. However, after returning to Latvia, the car will have to undergo a technical inspection in Latvia, since the inspection carried out abroad is not considered valid.
- You may have to go through additional procedures in several countries that you will cross in order to get to Latvia and undergo inspection. In this case, the car owner must obtain a one-day permit giving the right to participate in road traffic in Latvia in order to get to the service station. Details of the one-day permit are available on the CSDD website.
For using a car that has not passed the inspection within the prescribed time, a fine of 55-120 EUR is imposed.
How to get a driver's license in Latvia
To get a driver's license in Latvia, you need to go through several procedures that are familiar to everyone who already drives a car. The specifics of precisely the Latvian moments that determine the success of learning to drive a car are presented in detail in this article. Let’s try to figure out where to start, how much training will cost and how long it will last.
If you already had a driver’s license.
When a person receives a residence permit in Latvia, he must not drive a car until he exchanges his previous national driver’s license for a Latvian - European model. At the same time, you do not need to study at a driving school. Similarly, you do not need to pass a theoretical exam. However, the medical board (medical examination) and the driving test can still not be bypassed.
A medical examination in Latvia takes place at the address indicated in the local (municipal) branch of the issuance of a driver’s license - CSDD. Only 35 euros and 20 minutes - and you don’t even need to take the result - it will immediately be entered into a special CSDD database. Then you have to pay another 30 euros and sign up for a driving test. Its successful delivery guarantees the issuance of a Latvian driver's license of a European standard for a period of ten years. True, you will have to pay for the form (card) of the certificate again - about 22 euros. But the category, for example, A is automatically prolonged (if the exam passed on category B). It is very comfortable.
If you get a driver’s license for the first time, of
course, in this case, start with training at a driving school. The cost of theoretical lectures starts from 500 euros. At the same time, classes in a driving school are strictly required. You cannot be late and leave classes earlier. This severity is connected with the fact that sometimes CSDD officials check the attendance of classes at a driving school, and if the number of cadets in reality turns out to be less than the one stated during online registration at the beginning of the lesson, the driving school may be fined and deprived of a license to study. Therefore, you should immediately set yourself up for an indispensable attendance of all classes for usually five weeks or about a month and a half (twice a week).
Also, a driving school for 30 euros provides three printed manuals (with signs, with questions and with the rules). Before starting training, the student concludes a contract for training. Then you need to take a first aid course (without a certificate of completion of these courses, valid for five years, they are not allowed to theoretical classes). In first-aid courses, they teach the algorithm of action in case of accidents and car accidents, talk about the use of the contents of a first-aid kit, etc.
Next, a physical examination is carried out, which was described above. CSDDs issue temporary driver's licenses (they are called white in Latvia). But driving with these rights cannot be taught until all theoretical classes have been completed and a theory exam has been successfully passed. Only after this, you can choose your own instructor and learn the wisdom of driving a car for 20 hours. But if a cadet is stopped by a traffic police officer and does not have white rights with him, the fine will be 60 euros. Yes, and every hour of driving costs 25 euros - therefore, they study to the conscience.
How a practical driving test is taken
When all the lessons with the instructor are passed and a training card with a mark about it is received, they are recorded for a driving test. On the day of the exam, the cadet arrives at the training center. The driving test must be passed on your own through driving a vehicle of the appropriate category. During the exam, the inspector checks whether the cadet complies and complies with the established requirements, moving in the traffic stream.
The instructor who taught the cadet is not allowed to take part in the exam. During the whole time of passing practical driving, video recording is carried out in the passenger compartment.
The driving test consists of two parts, each with a duration of 30 and 90 minutes:
- the first part - the applicant confirms his knowledge of the placement of cargo in a vehicle or ensuring passenger comfort, ergonomic principles and the driver's action in the event of a traffic accident, and also performs figures;
- the second part - the applicant drives a vehicle along a route that includes roads of various complexity in settlements, as well as roads on which the maximum permitted speed is at least 90 km / h.
During a driving test, the receiving inspector evaluates the applicant’s skills and ability to drive a vehicle and participate safely in traffic. The inspector evaluates driving in general and takes into account the general impression of the applicant, which creates confident driving, taking into account road and weather conditions, as well as other road users (especially low-security).
At the driving test, all errors that the cadet who passes them can be fixed:
Dangerous errors almost always threaten road safety. As a result of such errors in a specific situation, a direct threat to road safety is created. If this happens, the inspector stops the exam.
A driving test is not considered passed if the cadet:
1) cannot complete any figure on two attempts;
2) made a dangerous mistake;
3) made more than two medium-sized errors of the same nature or more than three medium-sized errors of a different nature;
4) made more than five minor mistakes.
If the exam is passed, the driver who has successfully completed the training is congratulated and after a few hours they are presented with a European-style driver's license.
With a Latvian driver’s license, of course, it’s very convenient to travel along the Latvian roads and motorways of the European Union. However, there are other continents, and it is necessary to have an international driving license there.
You can always ask your questions on our forum. To do this, find the necessary category and create a topic for your question. Describe your situation in detail. Our experts will give an answer to the questions posed. Depending on the complexity of the question, you will need to wait for an answer from 1 to 5 working days.