got Czech Driving License?

When we left the States 4 years ago, I knew my driving license would soon expire. “That’s okay, I’ll either get an international driving license or get a local license if I need to.
I didn’t know it, but I was in for a surprise.

Backstory

For our first year or two here in Prague, found little need for driving. we
In fact, my job position offered a company car and I declined it. (the alternative being ~$500/month additional salary)
In any case, the city transportation is just that good. Buses, trams, the underground metro – schedules are all integrated online. Smart, user-friendly system.

The Need for a License

By our third year, we have flown a lot throughout Europe, but haven’t seen much of the Czech Republic itself. Options are train or renting a car. We enjoy trains, but a car offers more much more freedom to explore. I thought “Time to get that driving license!”

Seeking Help

I called up a few driving schools and got friendly with their managers. My immediate goal was to see “How much schooling can I avoid?” (hey, I’m 20 years older than the average driving school student.)

My logic was, I can save them instruction costs if I can prove how capable a driver I already am.

The Offer…

The “winning school” offered me this: I bypass all in-house classes AND my mandatory on-road practice is cut from 20 hours to 4 (of course, depending on my ability). SOLD.

Legally, of course, they had to document that I completed it all.
Oh, and they’ll throw in a translator for free. (tests are in Czech)  Scared?  No worries- read on.

Practice driving turned out to be a great idea. I learned “right of way” the Czech/European way.  The difference is, for American drivers at an intersection, the car on the right has “right of way” or priority.

That’s not so in Europe. Priority is declared by signs. You learn (quickly) to watch for signs.  After a few hours of practice, it became second nature to me.

Three Exams (Written, Oral & Practical)

Yeah, there are three.

After 4 hours spent over 3 days of driving with a Prague city policeman as my co-pilot, I got the green light to take the tests. Yes, tests – a written test and an oral test.

For an actual test question regarding “right of way” — check out the picture of a one of my driving test questions. (first answer is correct)

grngrnorg

Written Exam

First came the computerized written exam. All Czech. Remember, my Czech is ‘rough’.
How we did it was this: the translator read and translated all 25 questions and their multiple choice answers to me. Took us just under 30 minutes to do so. We missed none. Proved a great team effort. (wink, wink)

Oral Exam

Then came the dreaded oral exam. This means the district’s magistrate comes to visit and asks each student a few questions, ranging from car maintenance knowledge, first aid, to road regulations.

Again, I relied on the translator for the meeting with the local official. Smart idea.

The magistrate’s asked “What are the 7 mandatory items to be found in every car?”

I responded (unintelligible garbage) and the Translator rattled off “Spare bulbs, spare fuses, spare tire, tire wrench, a jack, first aid kit and a road triangle!” The magistrate replied with a firm nod and an even firmer rubber stamp to my paper. I love Translator guy now.

By the way, I tipped Translator guy a 500 crown note (~$30) at the conclusion of our meeting.

Point of the Post:

Nothing in this world is unobtainable without a little corruptible influence.
And I can drive again.

Good luck to you.  If you want to learn more about Czech driving (tips & tricks) and me – put your name and e-mail address in the top of the page.

Published by

Jeff

An American who likes to move around. I now live on the eastern Canadian seaboard. My job? A stay-at-home dad for two cute but demanding bosses. My wife? Also cute; not so demanding. My wife and I both love travel. We met in South Korea, travelled across Australia, India, Europe and beyond. We lived in Czech Republic for four years. Many stories to tell and experience to share. If you let me, I will help you travel as we do. Enjoy.

52 thoughts on “got Czech Driving License?”

  1. Hi Jeff,
    I am a non EU Citizen and have student visa in Germany. Because of the cost, I want to make a driving license in Czech? Is it possible? I have friend address in Prague, in which I can stay.
    Cheers,
    Thinh.

    1. Thinh, is the process for a German driving license so expensive?
      You can use your friends address, but there is a 99% chance they will ask to see your passport (and residency visa). If you only have a student visa, I’m not confident you can get an EU driving license.
      If you’re sure you can get one in Germany, then I recommend doing that, there.

  2. Hi jeff,

    I just want start the process for get my drive license in CZ (I have temporal residence). I understand the first step is get some medical paper, do you know if is necessary some special doctor? can be my normal doctor? and I guess this is not cover by insurance, have idea about how much can cost?
    thanks

    1. Hi Hedel,

      No specialist needed. Just got to your GP (general practitioner).

      Cost? That depends more on your insurance coverage, or your co-pay, if any.

      Good luck on the tests!
      -Jeff

  3. Hi Jeff,
    Is it possible to give me the contact for that translator? My last one (provided by the school) caused me big problem, he was very slow, I knew at that moment I’d fail:)

    Thank you so much

  4. hi Jeff,

    I am a Master’s student in Germany and I am looking to obtain a driving license from Prague .Could you please email me the contact of the driving school and the translator which helped you get your drivers license. It would be a huge help if you could. thank you

  5. Dear Mr. Jeff,
    Kindly advise me to get the helpful driving school and Translator contact detail. Hope your help dear.

    Regards,
    Ali
    +420777299975

    1. Hi Ali,

      And this is for all folks reading through the comments.

      The driving school is in Žižkov (praha 3), very near the Jiřího z Poděbrad metro stop (& park). You leave the metro stop and walk 1, maybe 2 blocks opposite direction from Vinohradska street.

      Good luck, Ali!

      1. Do you have the specific name of the school?

        I actually live at that Metro station, but couldn’t find the school for the life of me…

        Hopefully it is still in business…

  6. Hey Jeff, could you please send me a contact for this driving school you are talking about. Thank you very much!

    Adele

  7. Hey Jeff thanks for this article. I just moved to Brno and was thinking of getting a scooter of some sort. Do you know anything about licenses/laws for scooters in the Czech Republic?

    1. Great question Robyn. Scooters seem pretty popular enough to assume there are licensing requirements. I’m not sure of the license you’d need in Brno (more accurately Czech Republic in general).
      Best advice I could give is throw the question on expats.cz and hope for a local, recent expat to answer correctly.

      Congrats on your move!

      Best,
      -Jeff

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