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Thread: Foreign drive licenses in Russia

  1. #16
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    Thanks for the fast and various answers... So if I understood right, I have three possibilities:
    - Ignore possible laws and drive with my german license (with translation and notarius maybe) and see what will happen
    - Get a russian drive license with re-registering each 6 months
    - Start an official way with registering my driver license (which seems to be difficult)

    Very interesting points

    @Equalizer: Yes, it is with photo, but it may be difficult to translate because it is one of these nice European Union drive licenses which just own numbers and names, but no real words for translate

    By the way... what kind of papers I need to carry with me in a car?
    Last edited by Ace0107; 03-06-2005 at 16:48.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace0107

    By the way... what kind of papers I need to carry with me in a car?
    you need the passport for the car (or + a power of attorney from the owner if the car doesn't belong to you),
    tech osmotr
    driving license

    But they can also check not only docs, but emergency box, fire extinguisher and the emergency triangle sign… but only in case they don't like you and are desperately in the need of money
    Be yourself, no matter what they say.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace0107
    Thanks for the fast and various answers... So if I understood right, I have three possibilities:
    - Ignore possible laws and drive with my German license (with translation and notarius maybe) and see what will happen
    - Get a Russian drive license with re-registering each 6 months
    - Start an official way with registering my driver license (which seems to be difficult)

    Very interesting points

    @Equalizer: Yes, it is with photo, but it may be difficult to translate because it is one of these nice European Union drive licenses which just own numbers and names, but no real words for translate

    By the way... what kind of papers I need to carry with me in a car?
    this is not difficult at all,so dont worry
    your German licence is fine ,go to the German consulate they will translate it for you .make sure its on letter headed embassy paper and stamped.
    before i go into the rest are you driving a Russian plated car or a foreign plated car

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledka
    you need the passport for the car (or + a power of attorney from the owner if the car doesn't belong to you),
    tech osmotr
    driving license

    But they can also check not only docs, but emergency box, fire extinguisher and the emergency triangle sign… but only in case they don't like you and are desperately in the need of money
    i was going to say ,you really need to be rude to get them to that,happened one time as my passenger was drunk and verbal so they took the car apart looking for drugs,under the seats under the carpet,pockets, shoes ,you name it they looked.
    always be polite as they have to stand there all night

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace0107
    Thanks for the fast and various answers... So if I understood right, I have three possibilities:
    - Ignore possible laws and drive with my german license (with translation and notarius maybe) and see what will happen
    - Get a russian drive license with re-registering each 6 months
    - Start an official way with registering my driver license (which seems to be difficult)

    Very interesting points

    @Equalizer: Yes, it is with photo, but it may be difficult to translate because it is one of these nice European Union drive licenses which just own numbers and names, but no real words for translate

    By the way... what kind of papers I need to carry with me in a car?
    just checked your licence on the German site ,its the same as mine so no problems
    as long as you have a photo its ok,and your not breaking any laws driving on it with a translation.
    spot checks are usually for stolen cars,drunks etc
    to put your mind at ease phone your German consul,and they can advice you
    dont try to sit any test here as its a waste of time and unnecessary

  6. #21
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    I am Russian, and when I came back from the US, my California DL was the only one I had. I asked many of my friends: can I drive with it here? - nobody had a definitive answer. It all got resolved in an unpleasant situation when I thought the cop was trying to pull over the car behind me. I got stopped a few hundred meters down the road. When they saw a DL in English, one of the cops went: Hello

    A couple of hours later, they finally showed me a book (something GIBDD internal) where it said: a driving permit of foreign origin must carry 'Permit de conduire' wording according to some convention on driving. There are countries who have signed this convention and those who haven't (the US haven't).

    If you're have a US diriving license, you need to get an Int'l Drivign Permit which has the necessary wording. But you must be a non-Russian citizen to be able to use those driving documents. As I learned, being a Russian with a US DL means nothing. I need to get a Russian DL.

    I don't know about EU DLs but I think most EU states have signed that convention (on Int'l Transportation or something like that).

    My information is about one year old. I think translations and GIBDD registration is just a step to cover your a$$. But then again, if he is really short on money after a three day weekend, he will get it from you one way or another.



    Cheers,
    rdv
    Last edited by RDV; 03-06-2005 at 18:22.
    "Where there is a will, there is a way."

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by equalizer
    this is not difficult at all,so dont worry
    your German licence is fine ,go to the German consulate they will translate it for you .make sure its on letter headed embassy paper and stamped.
    before i go into the rest are you driving a Russian plated car or a foreign plated car
    I wanted to get a russian plated car and drive it. As I started to live in Moscow it could become difficult to get a german license plate And I don't want to talk about german rules with cars (tax, assurances, ...) which are quite more expensive than here the russian equals. Even if I can't make it to my name, then I will register it to my wife's name who is native Russian.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace0107
    I wanted to get a Russian plated car and drive it. As I started to live in Moscow it could become difficult to get a German license plate And I don't want to talk about German rules with cars (tax, assurances, ...) which are quite more expensive than here the Russian equals. Even if I can't make it to my name, then I will register it to my wife's name who is native Russian.
    put it in your wife's name it will save a bit of paperwork,she then gives you a power of attorney to drive,insurance is a must now ,but still cheap,i use a company called reso or peco in Russian for my cars. As for the car plates a few expats drive their own foreign cars here but its a pain in the arse.dont buy anything here (expat site) as from what i have seen they are pricey compared to the equivalents in the Russian auto mags

  9. #24
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    i am driving here with so called International driving license issued in my country, in several languages (including russian actually), also named in french as mentioned above "Permit de conduire". i had been stopped by GAI several times (both in Moscow and in the countryside) and nobody made ever any mentions about it. I had the impression some of the GAI guys have never seen such document before :-]

    however, it is a paper, folding russian-style document, maybe that's why they like it ;-]

  10. #25
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    I got a Russian driving license about 5 years ago, during the short period when they refused to accept international licenses. It's valid for 10 years, and I am confident that it should be no problem to renew it in 2010 when it expires. I have never had to re-register it, and no one has ever questioned its registration. It's plastic coated, like all Russian driving licenses, so I don't even see how you could put a registration stamp on it.

    There was only a short period when international driving licenses were not accepted, because it was pointed out to the Russians that if they refused to accept international driving licenses, other countries would refuse to accept Russian-issued international driving licenses, and so no Russian would be allowed to rent a car outside Russia. There is an international convention to which Russia is a signatory. However, the same convention says that if you are in a country for more than a certain period of time (I believe it's six months) you have to get a local license. Many countries do this just by swapping your license from your country of origin for one of theirs. This is what I did in the UK - just swapped it for my NZ license. This is a rule that many people don't bother observing, and no one gets too upset. This is generally true in Russia - I know many people who can get away with their home driving license, or an international one, which is really little more than an official-looking translation. But by convention, you should convert your home driving license. This is basically not difficult, but you have to pass a Russian theoretical test - it's do-able, but it takes a lot of work.

    Now, of course all this will mean very little to the GAI on the street, depending on why he is stopping you. I'm happy having a Russian license, because it's one fewer thing for them to hassle you about, and I think they give you some brownie points for having bothered to get the thing. I would certainly recommend driving here - life is a lot better when you have a car!

  11. #26
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    Certified translation

    This is a really easy one - it costs around $10 for a certified translation - there are probably hundreds of agencies who can do the translation in a day or 2. I use one in Gostinitsa Zentralni (on Tverskaya near to Elisevsky, 2nd floor).

    I've also been driving on my UK plastic license for years. I often tease the GAI and ask if they don't understand English if they need a translation...Don't go down the Russian DL route - you fall into the (slippery) hands of the GAI with their queues, ever-changing half-baked rules, bribes etc. If they really hasstle you and say you live here long term, as foreign licenses are only a temp thing, tell them you travel a lot and would have to give up your foreign license and no-one would understand what the Russian one is - that perplexes them (although in reality the Russian ones are ok, just cheaply made)

  12. #27
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    driving docs.

    ditto Frank...

    I drive on my UK license, numerous stops, zero hassles - for now.

    Even being stopped with a wooden rocking chair tied precariously to the roof of my car (don't ask) resulted only in a wry smile and an apology (!) for the inconcenience of a random document check....
    Pay me when you see me Josey Wales, pay me when you see me.

  13. #28
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    I drive here for more than two years and use my internatinal driving licence. Never faced any problem with my licence.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dagar
    the date of validity of intl driving licence in Russia is as long as your visa expiry date. Also it should be translated into russian by Notary.
    NO need for translation - it has a Russian language page in the license when you get it - along with Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian and several others.

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