Driving in Latvia

Please note: The U.S. Embassy in Riga assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Tourists and other short term visitors holding valid U.S. Driver’s Licenses may drive in Latvia. Often they do not need to be in possesion of International Driving Permits (IDP) if the class of their license matches the classification defined in the 1968 Convention of Road Traffic. Some states have different classification system, and you may need to obtain the IDP from one of the two automobile associations authorized by the U.S. Department of State. Click on this link for more information.

If you reside in Latvia for longer than a year, you need to apply for a local driver’s license. Please consult the Latvian Road Traffic Safety Department (CSDD) for information about Latvian driver’s licenses.

Latvian law requires that you surrender your U.S. driver’s license to the CSDD upon receipt of a Latvian driver’s license. The CSDD sends the U.S. driver’s license to the issuing authority in the United States, for example, the holder of a Texas driver’s license would have his license sent back directly to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

A driver’s license would be returned to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Riga only if is confiscated by the police as the result of a traffic violation.