Entering Latvia from other countries and documents requirements.
Tips for road safety in Latvia
Latvia has land borders with Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. From Sweden and Germany travellers by car can take the ferry, thereby avoiding long road-trips.
Upon entering Latvia from Lithuania and Estonia, there is no border control since, just like Latvia, these Baltic States adhere to the Schengen Agreement. However, upon entering Latvia from Russia and Belarus, you must pass through border control.
Drivers should note that the standard of roads in Latvia varies – streets in cities are asphalted or cobbled, however, unpaved roads are common outside cities and lowering speed when is advisable.
There are no toll roads in Latvia, but drivers do have to pay to enter the resort city of Jurmala.
To stay safe while driving in Latvia to be alert, drive safely, study the map before you set out, and drive in daylight hours.
Use of foreign driving licence in Latvia
An international driver's license is not required. In other words, tourists and other short-term visitors to Latvia can drive using their U.S. license.
Foreign driver may drive a vehicle in Latvia, if in possession of:
Visitors riding or driving in Latvia must have reached the minimum age required to drive/ride a vehicle of equivalent category even if they are qualified to drive at a lower age in their country of residence. You must be 18 or over to drive a private motor vehicle in Latvia.
All EU driving licences are recognised.
Vehicles from the UK may be imported into Latvia for up to 6 months in any period of 12 months. When driving in Latvia the following documents should be carried:
While driving in Latvia you are required by law to carry the following items. Hefty on-the-spot fines can be issued for failing to carry specific items:
Parking cars and trailers
You can park your car at a paid car park, at the side of the road (look for the ticket machine) or the free parking lots often available near sights and attractions. Drivers should check whether the car park has overnight parking.
For trailer or caravan travellers, special campsites and parking lots have been set up where you can spend the night and take a shower.
In towns motorists must take care not to park on tram lines.
Parking at the side of the road against the traffic flow is permitted on roads with only one lane of traffic in each direction and without tram line in the middle.
Theft of cars and visible valuable articles left in cars is common. It is therefore advisable to use guarded car parks whenever possible.
Enforcement of parking regulations
The police can collect fines on the spot.
It is compulsory to wear seat belts on all seats equipped with a belt.
Travelling with children:
Children under 150 cm in height must use a special seat or the lap strap of an adult seat belt.
Availability of fuel
Fuel is quite easily obtainable both in and outside main towns.
The main petrol companies are Neste, Shell, Statoil and Texaco. There are a number of 24-hour petrol stations in Riga.
A special winter diesel fuel with a very high congealing point is available in winter.
Means of payment
Most service stations accept Visa and Mastercard. Cash payment is accepted in local currency only.