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1. Until which date will foreigners be able to drive using their driver's licenses from their home countries? Or, in other words, how long do foreigners have to exchange their foreign driver's licenses for a Russian one?

  • Foreigners must make the swap by April 1, 2025.

2. Does this swap apply to citizens of all countries?

  • Only citizens of countries party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic are able to make the swap, as well as citizens of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic.

3. What status must people have in the Russian Federation to be able to make the swap –a temporary residence card, a permanent resident card, or Russian citizenship?

  • The swap will require the individual to have Russian citizenship or a permanent resident card. The first or second aforementioned statuses must be obtained by April 1, 2024. Having a temporary residence card does not exempt the foreign national from having to take an exam (obtaining a simplified driver's license).

4. If a citizen of the Russian Federation has nothing but a foreign driver's license, can they swap their driver’s license as well?

  • They can if the Russian Federation citizen entered the Russian Federation before April 1, 2024.

5. Will the driver’s license category be the same in the Russian driver’s license? Suppose they have an automobile or a motorcycle license, will they get the same type of automobile or motorcycle license?

  • Yes, the license categories will remain the same.

6. What time period will the Russian license remain valid for?

  • Russian standard driver's licenses will be issued for a period of 10 years.

7. Which documents are required to swap a foreign driver's license? Is the foreign driver’s license all that’s required (is a translation required?)? Will the foreign national have to have their passport translated?

  • See the list of required documents for swapping your foreign driver's license for a Russian one below:
  • the foreign passport and a notarized translation of it (our translation agency can handle this for you);
  • your permanent residence card (if you have one) and a copy of it;
  • your foreign driver's license and a notarized translation of it (our translation agency can handle that for you);
  • a medical conclusion as to whether you have any medical issues, symptoms, or limitations that would impede you from being able to drive a vehicle (if any such exist);
  • individual personal account insurance number (SNILS number). If you haven’t had an SNILS number processed, it can be obtained fairly quickly at any Multifunctional Public Services Center. Be sure to bring your passport and a notarized translation of your passport with you.
  • A notarized translation of your driver's license will only not be required if all of the writing featured (duplicated) in it is in Russian.

8. Will they accept swaps for any driver's license or is there a certain period of time that it must be valid for? For instance, will they swap licenses that have less than a year of validity left on them?

  • Any driver's licenses can be swapped whose validity has not expired as of April 1, 2024.

9. The swap doesn’t mean that they won’t get their foreign driver's license back, does it (although, that’s precisely what the word “swap” means)?

  • No one is going to keep your foreign driver's license. It will be returned to you after you obtain your Russian Federation driver's license.

10. Where exactly will one be able to swap their driver's license, in a territorial traffic police station with jurisdiction over the foreigner's registration address or at a specific department?

  • Swaps are done at the traffic police department in charge of issuing driver's licenses.

11. If a Russian Federation citizen has a foreign driver's license and has no registration (neither temporary nor permanent) in the Russian Federation (and never had one), where can he or she obtain a Russian driver's license?

  • At the same place where all the rest of the foreign citizens get them – at the traffic police department in charge of issuing driver’s licenses. Just having Russian Federation citizenship (if it was obtained by April 1, 2024) is enough to be able to complete the swap.

Still have questions or would you like to obtain help swapping your foreign driver's license? Email us at law@pravoislovo.ru today!

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