Driving in the Czech Republic

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Driving license requirements in the Czech Republic

To be able to legally drive a car in the Czech Republic you must be older than 18 years and you must possess a valid driving license. If you have your driving license issued by another member country of the European Union, it is valid also in the Czech Republic (EU member countries mutually accept their driving licenses).

In other cases you must have your driving license from your home country and in addition you must have an international driving license accepted in the Czech Republic. Having only your home country driving license without the international supplement is not enough.

Besides driving license you also must have a Green Card (evidence of liability insurance).

The Czech system of penalty points

The Czech Republic has adopted a system of fixed penalty points for traffic offence similar to that used in some other EU countries (e.g. Germany or France). For each kind of driving wrongdoing you commit you lose a defined number of points depending on the seriousness of the offence (e.g. you lose more points for speeding in a village than for bad parking). Once a driver collects 12 penalty points, he or she may lose driving license for as long as one year.

Czech police officers

You will most frequently encounter two kinds of police officers when driving in the Czech Republic: officers of National Police (Policie) and Municipal Police (Mestska Policie). Both have the power to confiscate your driving license and prevent you from continuing in driving if you are a potential danger to other traffic participants (e.g. you refuse to take the alcohol breath test or you take part in a crash).

Driving with alcohol

Unlike some other countries, there is zero tolerance to driving with alcohol in the Czech Republic (the maximum permitted level of alcohol in your blood when you are driving is zero). When controlled you may be required to take a breath test.

Speed limits on Czech roads

For common passenger cars up to 3.5 tonnes, as well as motorcycles and buses, the speed limit on Czech roads is 90 km/h. In towns and villages the limit is 50 km/h. Such section of a road is marked with black and white sign with the name of the municipality. This speed limit is the one that is controlled most frequently and the one which would probably cost you the most points if you break it (the amount of points depends on the amount of km/h by which you exceed it). On highways and speedways the speed limit for passenger cars, motorcycles, and buses is 130 km/h. On highways there is also the minimum speed limit of 50 km/h.

For trucks over 3.5 tonnes and vehicles with trailers (including a caravan) the maximum speed limit on roads and highways is reduced to 80 km/h.

Other rules for drivers in the Czech Republic

Every car must have lights on all day long all year.

All passengers in a car, including those on back seats, must have their seatbelts fastened the whole time the vehicle is in motion. Sitting in the front seat of a car next to the driver is permitted for people over 12 years.

Motorcycle driver as well as his passenger must wear helmets.

Pedestrians always have priority when they are on a marked pedestrian crossing (unless there are traffic lights of course). You must stop if you are approaching a pedestrian crossing and see people showing intent to cross the street.

On highways, speedways, and roads with multiple lanes in one direction, you can only overtake from the left side. Overtaking on the right side is only allowed in cities, when cars are going alongside one another.

Using highways and speedways is subject to fee in the Czech Republic and fines for not having paid it are high. See more information on fees on Czech highways.

Emergency phone numbers in the Czech Republic

Universal emergency call: 112

Ambulance: 155

Police: 158

Municipal Police: 156

Fire brigade: 150

Assistance – UAMK, Ustredni Automotoklub: 1230

Assistance – ABA, Autoklub Bohemia Assistance: 1240

Assistance for buses and trucks – Servis 24: 261 104 477

Topics: Driving in Prague, Czech driving rules, Czech highways, Czech Police, Emergency calls, Highway toll