Driving licence exchange is easier now: 2024 updates at the driving licence registry

2024 brings an important update to the law regarding driving licences. It brings several changes, 2 of which are relevant to expats as well:

1] Exchanging of driving licence for Non-EU citizens

Up until 2024, the law was quite strict. Unless you had an EU driving licence (“DL”) or your DL followed the EU standard to the smallest detail, you had to undergo full driving training at a driving school in order to be allowed to apply for a Czech DL. This rule has been loosened.

Newly, the law says that if you can provide the driving licence registry office with your A) national driving licence and (in most cases) B) an international driving licence following either Vienna or Geneva convention, you no longer have to undergo (and pay) all driving lessons and can skip straight to the driving exams called Přezkoušení z odborné způsobilosti k řízení motorových vozidel.

It is true that you still have to pass both driving and theory exams in full scope and you need a certified interpreter for it at most driving schools, but now you can spare yourself those 5 hours of theory and 28 hours of driving practice. You just take the test. It must be pointed out though that driving schools are entitled to ask you to take a few driving lessons to verify that you indeed can drive.

Please, bear in mind that you equally have to undergo 1] a medical check-up at your doctor to confirm your fitness to drive a car, and 2] you also have to deliver either your Permanent Residence permit or a few documents proving 185 days of continuous stay in the Czech Republic in a calendar year.

If you want a more thorough overview of needed documents and a description of the administrative procedure for acquiring a Czech driving licence, check our full guide in our library.

Japanese, Korean and SAE’s licence

Special treatment is provided to holders of Japanese, Korean and SAE’s driving licence. These people don’t need to pass the driving exams at all. They only need an international driving licence or a certified translation of their national driving licence, a medical check-up, and either a Permanent Residence permit or a few documents proving 185 days of continuous stay in the Czech Republic in a calendar year and they can apply straight away.

2] Underage driving with a “driving mentor”

17-year-olds can now legally drive, too.

After attending the driving school and passing the standard exams, they have to spend their first year of driving in the presence of their selected driving mentor.

A driving mentor is a person who was granted a driving permit more than 10 years ago, has currently been a holder of a valid driving licence for at least 5 years, and has no record of a driving offence at the registry. Their task is to sit in the front seat at any time the 17-year-old is driving, constantly monitor the situation, and provide driving tips and feedback.

This mentor doesn’t have to be Czech. Any international with a residence permit can fill this position.

One 17-year-old can select up to 4 mentors. Each of them has to sign a written proclamation of meeting the conditions and accepting the suggested role. If you want to know how exactly to become a mentor, write us an inquiry and we will tell you more.


Picture courtesy of Canva.com


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