Driving in Romania

Driving in Romania
Updated 2020-03-04 08:58

Whether you are coming for a short stay or moving to Romania for a period of time, it is a pity not to take advantage of the beautiful local roads. Do you need another license? Which are the driving rules in Romania? Let's find out! 

With medieval architecture and stunning views, Romania is more than just a crossroads of Europe. If you are going to hit the Romanian roads and rent a car, there are over 200,000 km of roads here to enjoy. Although there are very few highways, and the roads are not always in the best condition, there are some tips to follow, in order to make the driving here a real joy. 

Road conditions in Romania

The quality of roads in Romania varies throughout the country. While the major streets in the big cities and the inter-city roads are in very good condition, the rest of them might have some issues. For instance, the crossroads into the villages of Romania can be poorly lit, often without marked lanes and narrow. 

If you are driving through the urban roads, they will be in fair condition, but the rural roads might give you some obstacles.

 Good to know:

Many roads, like the rural ones, are also used by people on bicycles, horse-drawn carts and pedestrians, therefore, you should pay attention, especially while driving at night. The best advice is to always have caution while driving on rural roads. 

Exchanging the driver's license in Romania

Generally speaking, foreigners can drive with their national driver's license, or with any international driving license, only if they are staying for a maximum of 90 days in the country. Beyond that, they will need to obtain a Romanian driver's license

For this exchange of license, expats will have to go to the police station that is the nearest to their place of residence. The fees are around 90 euros, and it will last one or two weeks to get the driver's license. 

You will need the following documents:

  • The original driving license and a copy of it;
  • An authentication certificate that was sworn before a public notary;
  • The resident card;
  • An authorised translation of the national driver's license from the home country;
  • A dull application form all signed and filled;
  • Medical certificate proving the ability of driving;
  • A copy of a clean criminal record;
  • Two passport-size identity photos.

Applying for a local driver's license in Romania

First of all, you need to be 18 years old. You can apply for a Romanian driver's license once you are a resident in the country, or you are a student that has been living in Romania for at least six months. The process of getting the license includes theoretical and practical courses and exams. Expats need to enrol in driving schools. 

Before the exams, they will have to register to the nearest police station, with the proof of residence or the university registration certificate. As for the language of examination, the exams are available in English, so make sure to choose this option. 

Romanian traffic laws

The traffic laws in Romania are quite strict. For instance, the Traffic Police can confiscate the driver's license or permit for over three months for infractions such as:

  • Not stopping to the red light or stop sign;
  • Not yielding the right way;
  • Crossing the double line; 
  • Not yielding to the pedestrians at crossroads.

In case of driving under the influence of alcohol, level over 0.1% limit or even causing an accident because of that, Police can send you in prison for 1 to 5 years. 

 Good to know:

You will always need a “Rovinieta”, which is actually the tax you pay for using the roads in Romania. You can pick it from the most petrol stations or at the border of the country. If you don't buy it and leave Romania, you can get a penalty of over 4,000 euros. 

Speed limits in Romania

The speed limits depend on the road types:

  • In a residential area, the limit is 50 km/h;
  • In the built-up area, the limit is also 50 km/h;
  • Dual carriageways, 100 km/h;
  • Outside built-up area, 90 km/h;
  • Highways, 130 km/h.

The limit reduces by 10 km/h if towing and by 20 km/h if you got the license for less than one year. 

 Useful links:

Romanian National Company of Motorways and National Roads
Romanian Police
RAC ' Driving in Romania
Getting a driver license in Europe
General Directorate For Driving Licenses and Car Registration 

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.