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Do you need a "road driving permit" to drive in Czech Republic?

Do you need a "road driving permit" to drive in Czech Republic?

Jan 13th, 2009, 01:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 99
Do you need a "road driving permit" to drive in Czech Republic?

We plan to do some driving outside of Prague. We will be driving to Kutna Hora, Trebon and Cesky Krumlov before returning to Prague.
Did you need a "road driving permit"? If so, where did you purchase it? Any tips about driving?
Would renting a car with a GPS be beneficial?
Thanks much.
MnJ is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,522
An IDP or International Driving Permit is always a good idea outside of your
home country. 15 dollars or so from an auto club.

GPS... very useful. You might
want to buy your own for 2 reasons... you'll have time to
get used to how to works and it might end up costing less than the rental cost.

ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,762
In the US, AAA should be able to help you out with the permit. Also, if using the highways, be sure to read up on the required window permit which you can get at a gas station if your rental company does not provide one. They are in lieu of tolls.
seafox is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 03:01 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 338
The driving vignette is available at most gas stations on the major highways. I don't know if you can get away with not having one like you can Austria if you stay off Autobahns.

We were driving from Dresden to Prague last Christmas and I started worrying about getting the vignette the second we crossed the newly non-existent border. We were almost 20 miles inside the Czech Republic before we came to a gas station where I hoped to fuel-up and get the vignette. No one in the station spoke English but using pigeon German they directed me to a both behind the gas station where a little old lady sat selling the stickers. We didn't try to speak but instead just held up ten fingers indicating we wanted a ten day pass. I think we paid 150 Koruny (Around $10) for it. The toughest part of the transaction was figuring out how to attach the blasted thing to the windshield. We used duct tape.
Otzi is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
The trouble with not having the road tax sticker that cars in the Cz.R. have to display to be driven on major roads is that they get you when you show up at the border to leave the country. If you have no sticker, it's too late to buy one. Slam bam thank you Ma'm.

(I'm not talking about the IDP - International Driving Permit - you get that from the AAA and only from the AAA back home)
DalaiLlama is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 987
When we picked up our hire car in Prague it came with the permit. It also came with all other relevant documentation needed for Hungary, Slovakia and Poland as they knew that was where we intended to travel. So perhaps you don't need to worry about it as it sounds as though you are hiring your car in Prague too. I would check with the hire company.

We had a GPS and must say that it was a real bonus. It certainly does make things simpler, especially when you forced to detour because of road works etc.
shandy is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,742
I've been 3 or 4 times, when GPS wasn't available. If I were to go now, I'd definitely get it.

Don't ASSUME rental company will provide. If they don't, gas stations or convenience stores at the first exit of an expressway past the border will have them.

I think the Czech word for vignette is "drobnomalba". Even tho it looks like it's an easy pronunciation, write it out: your phonetics are phonetical to a Czech.
tomboy is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,160
What are you asking here?

Do you need an International Driving Permit? If you've got a valid driving licence from most developed countries that incorporates a photograph, no. For the Czech Republic, it's not a "good idea": it's a complete waste of time and money - unless your licence doesn't include a photograph, in which case it's essential.

Do you need a vignette? Yes, but it's almost certain the car will have one if you've hired it. As others have said, though, check at the time of hire.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
The laws of the Czech Republic require an International Driving Permit. The car rental agency is unlikely to ask for it; they just want your credit card!

If you should get stopped, an individual policeman might not ask for it; but one might and you would be subject to a fine if you don't have it.

If a foreign tourist driver gets into an accident in the Czech Republic and doesn't have an IDP, the insurance company can, at its discretion, invalidate coverage.

Note that the IDP is not a license itself, it must be accompanied by your regular license.

From the Czech Embassy:
"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."
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,098
Oops, I should have pointed out that my response above concerning IDPs is especially aimed at USA drivers (not all "foreign tourist drivers" as we don't have a national driving license in the USA.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,742
Well, Flanner, we respect your "authority" and "knowledge", but did you ever experience a traffic accident in the Czech or Slovak Republic? No? Well, I have.
The Slovak cops came,asked,"[email protected] weo&ioi#d licensi". I figured that meant license, so I handed them my state driver's license. He kept looking at me, so I handed him my International Driving Permit. His look of disdain and impatience immediately gave way to a look of helpfulness. We couldn't communicate at all, but while waiting for the cops to come, I had taken the time to draw THE most explanatory accident diagram ever created. In my case, at least, I am 100% certain the $10 IDP was money well spent.

Incidentally, MNJ, the driving is remarkably "normal", perhaps even more peaceful than many places due to less traffic. The Czechs do seem to have a lot of trucks that drive slowly on the clogged roads (one can't build 60 years of neglected infrastructure in 15 years). Some Czechs seem to think it's OK to pass in no-passing zones, on hills, blind curves, etc. and, when faced with oncoming traffic, simply edge the passed car onto the shoulder. Should this occur, give it up...it's not worth the wait.
tomboy is offline  
Jan 14th, 2009, 06:34 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 99
Thanks for the very helpful replies. We will get the IDP from AAA and will make sure that the car comes with a vignette "drobnomalba". We plan to drive out of Prague to Kutna Hora, then to Telc, then to Cesky Krumlov and return the car to the Prague airport. GPS sounds like it is the way to go. I have to find out if we can purchase Czech Republic map chip for our Garmin Nuvi 350. If not, we will rent a car with GPS.
MnJ is offline  

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