Driving Licence Exchange: New Rules For Third-Country Nationals

#LifeInCzechia Foreigners residents in the Czech Republic with an EU driving licence can exchange it for a Czech one. But the rules for third-country nationals are a bit different. They are legally obliged to carry a Czech driving licence to drive a motor vehicle in the Czech Republic and to apply for a replacement within three months of being issued with a permanent or long-term residence permit. What changes are there in 2024?


Discover the new rules for 2024.


Previous Rules

Until 2024, if a foreigner did not have a driving licence issued by another EU state or one that met all the conditions for driving in the EU, he or she had to complete the entire driving school training, including theoretical and practical classes. Only after passing the final test could they apply for a Czech driving licence


New Rules

From 2024, if an expat wants to hold a driving licence valid in the Czech Republic, all they need to do is to present either their national driving licence or an international driving licence that complies with:

  • 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic
  • 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic

to the relevant municipal authority – the driving licence department.

There is no need to pay and spend hours preparing for driving school training. You can proceed straight to the test – more precisely: the Driving Proficiency Test.


Driving Proficiency Test

To pass the test, you must successfully complete both the theoretical test (min. 43 points) and the practical driving test (parking skills and driving in traffic) like Czech nationals. The presence of an interpreter is legally required.

Be aware that the driving school is entitled to arrange several driving tests to prove that the person concerned can really drive BUT not every driving school is obliged to carry out this examination.


Special Rules For Drivers From Japan, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates

Are you a driving licence holder from Japan, Korea, or UAE? Then the process is even easier. You don’t even have to take the driving test. The only thing Czech legislation requires you to do is to have:

  • an international driving licence or a certified copy,
  • a medical examination to prove medical eligibility,
  • and a permanent/long-term residence permit or documents confirming at least 185 days of uninterrupted residence in the Czech Republic in a given calendar year


Safety First

With the new regulations, even inexperienced drivers who are not aware of the rules of Czech traffic can now drive the roads. That can lead to dangerous situations.

We strongly recommend all foreigners, even if not required by law, arrange a few rides with a professional driving instructor and only then apply for a final test or an exchange of their driving licence.


Check out our category Practical tips for expats and Living for more information and tips to make your life in Czechia easier. Do you prefer professional assistance? Do not hesitate to contact us and let us guide you through the driving licence process. We are here to help!

Image source: unsplash

Monika Tužinská

Hey, my name is Monika. I love exploring the world and learning new languages. I worked in the USA for several months and moved to Brno a year ago, so I know how it feels to live in a different country. Let's discover Czech Republic together.

3 thoughts on “Driving Licence Exchange: New Rules For Third-Country Nationals

  1. Hi
    if you have a USA or Canadian driver’s license and get residency, do you have to take the Driving Proficiency test or can you just exchange it?

    1. Thank you for your inquiry. You will need to go to the “Municipal Office – Department of Transportation” in Czech Magistrate – Odbor dopravy, with your current driver’s license. There, they must personally assess whether your license meets all the necessary parameters and will either recognize it and issue a new one or you will have to retake the exam. If you need assistance at the office, do not hesitate to contact us at +420 533 533 787

  2. Hi Guys,
    I have permanent residence in Czech. Stupidly I let my British driving license expire last week. It was an EU license as Britain was in the EU when it was issued. Is there any way to exchange it for a Czech license? If not, what are my options? I live in Vizovice.


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