Getting a driver’s license or exchanging a foreign driver’s license in Ukraine
This is one of the most common questions we receive to the inbox at ExpatUA. So, here is the most current information according to the law as it is now in the year 2020.
If you have a driver’s license from outside Ukraine, some nationalities are required to exchange it for a Ukrainian version. The rules around driving in Ukraine can be complicated, especially when it comes to licensing, with different agreements in place for different countries.
In this article, We will explain how driving licences works as an expat in Ukraine.
Driving license as non-resident in Ukraine
In accordance with the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, your driving license may be valid to drive or rent a car within Ukraine as a tourist for no more than 60 days if your country is in the following list:
Austria, Azerbaijan, Albania, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Venezuela, Vietnam, Armenia, Guyana, Ghana, Greece, Denmark, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Estonia, Zimbabwe, Israel, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Spain Italy, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liberia, Luxemburg, Morocco, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Nigeria, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Unit Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Poland, Portugal, Cape Verde, South Korea, Moldova, Russia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, U.K, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Uruguay, Philippines, Finland, France, Croatia, Central African Republic, Czech Republic, Chile, Montenegro, Switzerland and Sweden.
Driving licenses as resident in Ukraine.
You should know that in Ukraine at the moment there are 2 types of driving permits: national and international. According to the regulations, foreigners have the right to drive vehicles on the territory of Ukraine using an international driving license but after legal registration as a resident they must obtain a Ukrainian driver’s license, if you already have a driving license you can exchange it for a Ukrainian one within 60 days after registration and for this you need to get the certificate 083 (Medical Examination) and pass the examinations in the ДАІ (without passing the training in a driving school).
If you are a foreigner registered and resident in the territory of Ukraine but do not have a driver’s license, you also can obtain it by the same procedure as Ukrainian citizen
How to get a driver’s license for the first time (step by step guide)
In 2020 this requires four mandatory steps. The first step is to enroll in a driving school and passing a theoretical and practical exam. It is important to know that starting from 2020, preparation for driving licenses is allowed individually. Drivers can obtain another category license through individual training.
Step 1. Study in a driving school
The quality of theoretical knowledge and practical driving skills will depend on the choice of driving school, in Kyiv there are schools wherein some teachers are speaking English. Make sure you have a МОН license and a МВС accreditation certificate.
The terms and cost of driving courses depend on the vehicle category you have selected. To enroll in a driving school you must submit the following documents:
Statement indicating the place of residence and the category of your vehicle,
passport (presented in person) + copy of resident permit,
4 photos 3.5×4.5 size, medical certification.
After completing the course you’ll be tested (test can be taken in English). With a passing score you’ll receive a certificate of completion is valid for 2 years from the date of finishing the training.
Driving schools that provide lessons in English (Kyiv):
“Intensive” – Hr 900 for two hours 4A Krymskoho St., Mon. – Sun. 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., +380 67 5642 334
“Virtuoz” – Hr 1,200-1,450 for 90 minutes 23 Bandery Av., Mon. – Fr. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., +380 67 4424 804
“Indycar” – Hr 4,900 for a standard course (includes theoretical and practical lessons) 52A Artema St., Mon. – Sun. 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Indycar@ukr.net
Step 2. Passing a medical examination
The medical examination includes: general examination by medical specialists and a laboratory (blood test and urine analysis, blood sugar test (WTF?) and eye exam. A medical certificate issued stating the illness in accordance with the “List of diseases and defects for which a person cannot be admitted to drive a vehicle” Failing this is hypothetically grounds for license refusal.
Step 3. Passing exams at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Service Center
THE TEST CAN BE IN ENGLISH!!
The service center of the Interior Ministry now publishes a list of the questions asked in the written part of the driver’s exam and have been translated into English. It’s available in booklet form at the Ministry. This driving theory section of the test covers road rules and regulations – there is also a practical test. Both tests have been offered in English since March 2017.
The exam unit for obtaining a driver’s license consists of two parts: a theoretical (20 minute computer test on 20 questions) and a practical part of the exam (driving test). If you have not met the test time or made more than two errors, the exam you’ve failed. The written exam can be taken an unlimited number of times but the driving portion has a limit of 3 attempts.
The rules for registering to take the exam are the same for Ukrainian citizens and foreigners. One has to provide:
ID (passport) (translation and notarium sign) + Resident Permit;
a copy of one’s tax reference number;
a 086/o health certificate;
a completion certificate from a driving school;
a fee of 227 UAH.
Step 4. Obtain a driver’s license
The license is issued within 5 working days after after passing exams. The certificate is issued personally to the driver, subject to presentation of your passport or ID.
In reality, we all know those guys that have lived here for 5, 10 or 15 years and driving with a British, US or Irish license with no problems but times are changing. Ukraine is becoming much more European in nature and along with this comes regulations.
It’s a fairly simple process and (like most things in Ukraine) inexpensive compared to basically any country outside Africa. Get legal and be done with it.