There are many tourists traveling by car from the Baltic countries, Finland, Sweden and some European countries. Russian customs regulations are quite straightforward and the infrastructure on the road is good. If visitors are going to drive in Russia, for their own safety, they should familiarize with Russian road conditions and driving regulations. In Russia, foreign drivers can use their National driving permits as long as they have International translation of their driving permits, but not longer than six months. If visitor is in Russia over six month, he needs to obtain a Russian driver license.

According to the Russian authorities, to drive in Russia you need:

  • Your passport with valid Russian visa.
  • Your National driving Permit and International translation of driving permit.
  • A registration document of your car (techpassport) with all information about the owner.
  • Valid in Russia third-party insurance. You can buy it from the Russian insurer representative office or at the petrol stations before the border or at the border.

A Russian citizen with a foreign driving license has to obtain a temporary driving permit for driving in Russia.
If you drive into Russia with your own car, you will get a temporary permit which gives you right to your vehicle legally. Usually, the temporary permit is valid for 3-6 months; it can’t be extended longer than visitor’s visa registration is valid. If a vehicle is in Russia more than six months, it must be registered at the local customs office and State Inspection of Road Safety office in the region where the vehicle will be used.
If you are going to travel to Russia with a motor home, you should know that along the way there are no special facilities for those tourists.

If you are driving In Russia, you must have in your car:

  • A warning triangle
  • Headlamp converters
  • A first aid kit
  • A fire extinguisher

According to Russian law, traffic police may stop vehicles for any reason. If police officer stops any driver, officer will introduce himself by name and office. He may demand the National and International driver licenses and car’s registration document. Driver must give all these documents; he may remain in his car.

In addition, each foreign driver should know that in Russia:

  • Traffic drives on the right side of the road and passes on the left side.
  • The minimum driving age is 18 years.
  • The double white line in the center of the road can’t be crossed under any conditions. If you want to make a left or U-turn, you must go ahead until you find a broken white line on your side of the road.
  • There are no right turns on a red light; only a green arrow allows you turn to the right.
  • At main intersections, the large white arrows show which way turns are allowed. If there are not arrows, you cannot make the turns.
  • In cities and built-up areas, speed limits are 60 km/h; on highways, speed limit is 110 km/h; and 90 km/h is allowed in other areas. On the city avenues and major motorways, there are speed cameras, and officers of the traffic police can be in unexpected places and will fine you for speed excess.
  • It is absolute banned to drink before driving.
  • Seatbelts for a driver and all passengers and special child seats are required.

If you will travel to Russia in the winter, make sure your car will be able to ride in the snow because the weather could be quite harsh.
If you are going to rent a car in Russia, find a rental car agency that has offices in both cities where you are and where you will go.

Russian Road Vocabolary

Russian Road Traffic Signs

 Driving Overseas - Short Information