Transport in Latvia
If you live in Latvia less than a year, you can use driver’s license issued in your country under the following conditions:
- The categories indicated in the driver’s license correspond to the categories established in Latvia,
- If the driver’s license does not indicate the categories corresponding to the categories established in Latvia, you can only drive vehicles that correspond to category B,
- If the driver’s license doesn’t have Latin alphabet letters, you must submit a notarized translation into Latvian along with your driver’s license.
If you live in Latvia for more than a year, you need to change the driver’s license issued in your country for a driver’s license issued in Latvia, which will be valid for 10 years (for category B) or 5 years (driver’s license of higher categories). To do this, you need to pass the driving test. The procedure can be completed in CSDD by submitting the following documents:
- passport or residence permit (id card with personal code)
- driver’s license to be replaced
- a valid medical certificate confirming that your state of health allows you to drive a vehicle. You can get a medical certificate from a family doctor or from medical commissions set up in medical institutions (you need to take a passport or personal identification card, driver’s license).
The procedure for replacing a certificate can last from 1 day to 2 months (if additional information is needed from the country that issued your driver’s license, about the fact of issuing a certificate) and cost from 90 – 105 EUR:
- the cost of medical examination to obtain a medical certificate (approximately EUR 25-40, depending on who issues the certificate – a family doctor or a medical commission),
- CSDD fee for passing the driving test 42.58 EUR (the amount of the fee does not change, no matter on what language the test is),
- CSDD fee for issuing a driver’s license 22.05 EUR.
If you want to get a driver’s license for the first time, the same rules apply to you as to any new driver.
Information available on the CSDD website
Basic traffic rules
- Driving is on the right side of the road;
- Headlights must be turned on at any time of the day;
- Pedestrians at a pedestrian crossing must be given way;
- It is not allowed to make a right turn at a red traffic light;
- Never cross the solid white line;
- Some lanes are designed exclusively for public transport;
- On roads where the maximum permitted speed is 50 km/h, you should give way to buses that change lanes and show the corresponding flashing turn signal;
- Driving into a circle, you should give way to cars moving down from the circle;
- You should give way to vehicles moving on the right side (“right hand rule”, “give way to the right”), unless otherwise established by the rules/road signs.
- The minimum age for driving is 18 years;
- The blood alcohol content of drivers should be zero;
- The driver and all passengers must wear a seatbelt, incl. passengers on the rear seats;
- When transporting a child, it is necessary to use an appropriate special seat that corresponds to the height and weight of the child. The seat must be installed against the movement of the car.
- No more passengers may be carried in a vehicle than indicated in the vehicle registration certificate;
- In the car you need to have a first aid kit, a triangle-shaped emergency stop sign, a fire extinguisher, a reflective vest;
- Do not use your mobile phone while driving. You can use the hands-free headset;
- Winter tires must be used from December 1 to March 1, and studded tires can be used from October 15 to March 30;
- Pedestrians must wear light reflectors in autumn and winter so that drivers can see them in the dark.
If you buy a car from a private person, a change of ownership of the car must be registered at the CSDD branch.
After all the necessary documents have been submitted, the corresponding CSDD will issue you a new registration card for the car and a number plate.
When you sell your car, a change of ownership must be registered with CSDD.
Every car in Latvia must pass an annual technical inspection to get permission to participate in road traffic for one year.
If you use the car, which did not pass the technical inspection in the prescribed period, you make yourself liable to a fine of 55-120 EUR.
- Generally, parking fees are charged in the city center. The signs indicate the cost for different times of the day and parking areas. Parking tickets can be purchased at street parking meters.
- Parking fines are placed under the wipers or otherwise mounted on the windshield.
- Mobilly Mobile Parking is the most convenient way to pay for parking. https://mobilly.lv/en/oplata-parkovki/
- Parking garages are equipped with a blue sign with a large white letter “P”.
Buses, trolleybuses and trams run regularly from 5:00 to 24:00.
A detailed schedule of public transport can be found on the website – https://www.rigassatiksme.lv/ru/
To use public transport in Riga, it is necessary to purchase e-talons – a travel card that allows you to use public transport. E-talons can be purchased for a certain number of trips.
You can also purchase a ticket from the driver of public transport. It should be remembered that a ticket purchased from a driver costs a little more than a trip with e-talons.
Taxis can be ordered by phone, and you can also take a taxi at the parking lots located at major intersections and in front of large hotels and shopping centers.
Prices are indicated on the passenger side. Be sure to pay attention to the landing cost and the cost of one kilometer before taking a taxi.
The total cost can be monitored on a taximeter. Credit cards are usually accepted, but it is better to use cash. All taxi drivers must give you a check at your request. To call a taxi, you can use the application for smartphones Taxify and Yandex taxi.