- +Driving licence
If you are staying in Latvia for a period that does not exceed one year, you may use the driving licence issued by your country on the following conditions:
· the categories indicated on the driving licence correspond to the categories valid in Latvia,
· if the categories that correspond to the categories valid in Latvia are not indicated on the driving licence, you may only drive vehicles that correspond to category B,
· if the entries on the driving licence are not made with the letters of Latin alphabet, you have to present a notarised Latvian translation together with the driving licence.
If you are staying in Latvia for a period that exceeds one year, you are not allowed to use the driving licence issued by your country. To avoid such problems you have to exchange your driving licence issued by your country for a driving licence issued in Latvia, which is valid for 10 years (for category B) or 5 years (for driving licences of higher categories). To do it, you will have to pass a driving examination (driving in city conditions), which can be taken in Latvian. Russian or English. The procedure may be applied for and passed in the following divisions of the RTSD, by submitting the following documents:
- A passport or personal identification card (you must have a personal identification number allocated in Latvia and a place of residence declared in Latvia),
- The driving licence to be replaced (before the examination the RTSD will contact the issuer country to verify whether your licence is valid and is not forged),
- A valid medical statement that confirms that your health condition permits driving of a vehicle. The medical statement may be obtained at the general practitioner or commissions of physicians established at healthcare institutions (you should have your passport of personal identification card and the driving licence with you).
The procedure of exchanging of the driving licence may last from 1 day to 2 months (if additional information is required from your licence issuer country regarding the fact of issuing of your licence) and it may cost from 90 – 105 EUR:
· the costs of the medical examination to obtain the medical statement (approximately LVL 25- 40 EUR depending on whether the statement is provided by the general practitioner or the commission of physicians),
· the RTSD fee for the driving examination 42.58 EUR (the fee does not change, regardless of the language of the examination),
· the RTSD fee for issuing of the driving licence is 22.05 EUR.
If you wish to obtain the driving licence for the first time, the same rules that apply to any new driver apply to you, too. The information is available on the RTSD homepage.
- +Use of a car registered abroad, in Latvia
If you are staying in Latvia with a visa you may use in Latvia a passenger car permanently registered abroad for the maximum of 3 months after arrival in Latvia. However, if you hold a permanent or temporary residence permit issued in Latvia you are not allowed to use a passenger car permanently registered abroad, except in the following cases:
· the car has been hired from a foreign company whose business is car rentals,
· the car is being driven in the presence of its owner who is not a Latvian citizen or non-citizen or a person holding a Latvian permanent or temporary residence permit,
· a special permit has been obtained.
Such permit may be obtained if it is necessary for you to regularly use a passenger car permanently registered abroad both in Latvia and abroad, for example, you are studying or employed abroad, or you have ongoing business abroad as a sole trader or a self-employed, or you are an official of a company that is registered abroad. More information<<
If a passenger car that is permanently registered abroad is temporarily registered in Latvia, the car will be allocated a certificate of a vehicle registered in Latvia and Latvian number plates, while the RTSD keeps the car certificate and the number plate issued in the foreign country. When the owner intends to leave Latvia with the car, the original registration certificate and the number plates issued in the foreign country are returned to them, for example, if a Russian national temporarily registers a vehicle in Latvia, he will receive the vehicle documents and number plates originally issued by Russia when leaving Latvia. This means that there will be no need to repeatedly register the vehicle in the particular foreign country. However, if a person permanently re-registers in Latvia a vehicle that is permanently registered abroad, they would have to register the vehicle repeatedly if they wanted to return to their country of origin with their car. For example, if a Russian national permanently re-registers his vehicle in Latvia, he will have to register the vehicle anew when returning to Russia.
The information regarding the documents necessary for permanent registration of a vehicle in Latvia is available on the RTSD homepage.
If you own a vehicle that is registered in Latvia and you have planned to stay with it outside Latvia for a longer term, you should check whether the term of the mandatory roadworthiness test does not fall within the period of staying abroad. If it is the case it is better to undergo the roadworthiness test before the expiry date indicated on the roadworthiness proof. If the expiry date is already past and you are abroad with a vehicle registered in Latvia you should check the regulations of the particular country regarding use of such vehicle in road traffic:
· it is possible that you will have to register the vehicle in that country, pay the fees, the insurance and pass the roadworthiness test in that country,
· it is possible that you can undergo your vehicle’s roadworthiness test in the foreign country to receive the permission to participate in the road traffic. However, when returning to Latvia you will have to undergo the vehicle’s roadworthiness test in Latvia, since a foreign roadworthiness test is not considered valid,
· it is possible that in several countries that you will be crossing you will have to undergo additional procedures to bring the vehicle back to Latvia and to undergo the roadworthiness test. In such case it is also necessary for the owner of the vehicle to obtain a day permit allowing to participate in road traffic in Latvia to go to the technical inspection station. Detailed information regarding the day permits is available on the RTSD homepage.
The fine for driving a vehicle that has not undergone the roadworthiness test before the specified deadline is EUR 55-120.