The Right of Foreign Citizens to Drive Automobiles in the Russian Federation
Senior Lawyer LEVINE Bridge
Foreigners who are visiting or temporarily residing in the Russian Federation are entitled to operate motor vehicles as long as they possess an internationally recognized or foreign national driver’s license that meets the requirements as stipulated by the Convention on Road Traffic of 1968. Entries in a driver’s license must be produced or duplicated with Latin letters. A foreign citizen’s driver’s license that does not meet the requirements of this Convention must have a notarized copy translated into Russian. In order to obtain a notarized translation of a foreign driver’s license it must first be legalized through the Russian consulate in the country in which it was issued or carry an apostille stamp.
If a foreigner in Russia does not possess an internationally recognized or foreign national driver’s license, he or she may obtain a Russian driver’s license. The rules for obtaining a driver’s license in the Russian Federation for foreign citizens are the same as it is for any Russian citizen. A Russian driver’s license that is issued to a foreign citizen is valid for the same period of time as their documents, be it either a visa or permit for temporary residency in the Russian Federation.
To obtain a driver’s license in Russia, a foreign citizen must, in the all the prescribed manners, pass the required examinations and medical tests. Those who are not required to take examinations and or undergo medical tests are foreign diplomats, employees of international organizations, family members of diplomats and those in their employ if they already are in possession of a foreign driver’s license and would like a Russian driver’s license, they may be issued one.
Foreigners who have residency status in the Russian Federation need to know that their foreign national driver’s license is invalid in the Russian Federation after 60 days upon receipt of their residency status or from the date of entry onto the territory of the Russian Federation. So foreigners must exchange their foreign license into a
Russian licence. At the same time they will have to take and successfully pass a theoretical exam and undergo a medical testing.
Foreigners who are visiting or temporarily residing in Russia should note that they will not be able to exchange a foreign driver’s license for a Russian one will not be issued Russian certificates to replace lost foreign certificates.