Obtaining a Czech driving license
A few tips from intercultural workers
We’re often asked for guidelines on how to apply for a Czech driving license, but the thing is we can’t give you specific rules for every single situation. What we can give you though, are a few tips from our experience.
First of all, there are two ways of obtaining a driving license: you can either go to a driving school and take the exam, or you can exchange the license you’ve got from another country, if it meets the requirements. We won’t go into details here, but basically it needs to be issued in accordance with the Vienna convention or Geneva conventon, with data on the license being in Latin alphabet (i.e. if your Name or the issuing authority is in Arabic, Cyrillic or any other alphabet, that’s not acceptable), and following a specific order (1. surname, 2. name, 3. date of birth, place of birth, 4a. date of issue, 4b. date of expiry, 4c. issuing authority, etc.).
It’s all about the documentation
Naturally, you’d take your driving license or all the paperwork from the driving school (including your doctor’s certificate) and your residence permit/ID with you. And you’d think you’re good to go, but hold your horses. Unless you’ve got a Czech permanent residence permit or you’re obligated to exchange your driving license for a Czech one (which only happens in one case: if you’re a non-EU citizen with a residence permit issued for a period of over 1year), you’ll need to prove your habitual residence in the Czech Republic for 6 months in a calednar year. That means that if it’s currently the first half of the year, you’ll be proving your stay in CR for 6 month within the last calendar year. And if it’s after July 1, it’ll be just the last 6 months.
Since the law (act no. 361/2000 § 2 subsection hh specifically, in case you wondered) defines habitual residence as that determined primarily by family ties, renting or owning property, and employment/ business activity, these are the three things you’d mainly need to prove.
What works from our experience:
Take your work contract with you, and if it’s relatively old or doesn’t have an end date, ask your HR for a confirmation that you’re still employed with them (potvrzení od zaměstnavatele, že pracovní poměr trvá, a že místo výkonu je Praha/ČR). If you’ve changed jobs within the last 6 months, don’t forget your previous contract as well. If one of your family members is also employed here, you’ll need to provide the same documents from their employer, as well as documents proving your relationship (e.g. marriage certificate, common rent agreement, etc.)
Your rental contract should be at least 6 months old, but still valid. If the contract has been signed within the past 6 months, bring your previous rental contract as well. If it is older than that (e.g. signed over a year ago), ask your landlord for a confirmation that the contract is still valid.
If you’ve got family members living with you, take some documents of theirs with you, such as residence permits, insurance cards, confirmations from your kids’ schools etc. And it’s always a good idea to have everyone listed in the rental contract.
Obviously, you don’t have to both be employed and have a family in order to get a license, but do take additional documents proving your stay, especially if for example you’re not employed. These can be:
- confirmation that you’re on aparental leave receiving parental allowance
- bank statements for the past 6 months, if you have a Czech bank account
- bank account contract
- various proofs of payment (house utility bills, phone plan, internet bills and/or other)
- insurance card
- Lítačka transportation card, etc. You’ve got the idea.
Oh, and by the way, if you’ve renewed your residence permit within the last 6 months, you might need to bring the so-called history of residence to prove that all this time you were here legally.
In general, we recommend bringing as many documents as you can, since some of the officials ask for more of those. This way, you can avoid having to visit the office again.
We are here for you
You can book an appointment online if you like. And do remember that you can only communicate in Czech at the City Hall, so if you don’t speak Czech just yet, give one of our intercultural workers a call, and we’ll be happy to accompany you to the driving license office.