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Why carry an IDP while driving in Latvia?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.

It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Latvia highly recommends an International Driving Permit.

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Top Destinations in Latvia

Located in Eastern Europe, Latvia is a Baltic State abundant in dense woods, wide beaches, stunning nature views, and majestic castles. Its towns and villages are very fairytale-like, and the cities ooze of rich history. All of these make Latvia an exciting country to travel on. Here are some of the top tourist destinations you can reach by car for a fun and adventure-filled trip in the country.

Cēsis Castle

The Cēsis Castle is a majestic structure that dates back to the 13th century. Guests can explore the ruins by touring the towers and dungeons and strolling the outside grounds. Visiting the Cēsis castle would be a treat for kids too. The castle has multiple exhibits, and there are even medieval activities held on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays by the Medieval Activity Center.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of the castle along with its gardens, the best time to drop by the Cēsis castle would be during summer from June to September. Not only can you learn more about the history of the place without the biting cold, but you can also enjoy the vibrant gardens that surround the ruins of Cēsis Castle.

Driving Directions:

  • From Riga International Airport, head south toward Tehnikas iela and continue onto P133.
  • Use the right lane to take the ramp to Centrs.
  • Keep left, then continue merging onto Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve/A10.
  • Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Lielirbes iela.
  • Continue onto Kalnciema Iela and Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela.
  • Turn right onto Stabu iela.
  • Turn left onto Brīvības iela and continue onto Brīvības gatve/A2.
  • Take the P20 exit toward Cēsis/Valmiera and continue onto P20.
  • Turn left.
  • Continue driving onto Rīgas iela and Gaujas iela.
  • Turn right onto Palasta iela/P14.
  • Turn right onto Lenču iela.
  • Turn right onto Podnieku iela.
  • Turn right onto Pils iela.
  • Pils iela turns left and becomes Torņa iela.

Carrying an international driver’s license in Latvia gives drivers the reassurance of a smooth trip. With an IDP, officials can finally understand a driver’s license issued in a foreign language, and car rental companies will grant customers their rental applications. You can learn more about international driver’s licenses for Latvia online by visiting the IDA website’s FAQs page.

If you don’t have an IDP yet, you can get one by applying from IDA. Your international driver’s license for Latvia will serve as an English translation if your license can’t be understood in the country. You’d also need the IDP if your license doesn’t have Latin alphabet characters. To get an International Driver's Permit in Latvia, visit the website’s application page.

In cases that you lose your IDP, the International Driver’s Association will send you a new copy. Contact customer service and give your name and IDP number to get your brand new International Driver's Permit in Latvia. Zip Codes or postal codes must also be provided together with your address. Lastly, remember that ordering a new copy of an international driver’s license in Latvia won’t require extra fees besides the shipping costs.

Gauja National Park

One of the top tourist destinations in Latvia is Gauja National Park. The park was established in 1973 and is known for its rich biological diversity. Tourists who love the great outdoors can do many activities in Gauja National Park, ranging from hiking, mountain biking, camping, and canoeing. Many of its attractions aren’t limited to nature, too, since guests can drop by historical monuments and cultural sites.

If you want to drop by the park, make sure to visit it at its peak. This is usually during autumn (September to December) or spring (end of February/late April to the beginning of June). Visiting during these seasons ensures the perfect weather and scenery, as the fauna will have bold and vibrant colors, captivating anyone who’ll lay their eyes on it.

Driving Directions:

  • From Riga International Airport, head northwest toward Muzeju iela and continue onto P133.
  • Use the right lane to take the ramp to Centrs.
  • Keep left, then continue merging onto Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve/A10.
  • Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Lielirbes iela.
  • Continue onto Kalnciema Iela and Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela.
  • Turn right onto Elizabetes iela.
  • Turn left onto Brīvības iela and continue on A2 to Krimuldas pagasts.
  • Continue onto Brīvības gatve/A2.
  • Use the right lane, then take the ramp to continue onto A3.
  • Turn right onto P7.
  • Turn right onto Turaidas iela/P8.
  • Turn left onto Turaidas iela.

If your IDP expires, note that you will have to get a new one. Visit the FAQs page to know all the requirements you’ll need for an international driver’s license for Latvia. The application process is easy, and you can even choose the validity of your IDP. If you want your international driver’s license shipped to Latvia, provide your complete address in the country to receive your order quickly.

Remember that foreigners can’t apply for an international driver’s license in any agency and their associated branches in Latvia. Tourists must apply for an IDP in their country of origin or online from companies like IDA. Remember that only Latvians can get an international driver’s license issued in Latvia.

Are you still hesitant to get an IDP? Visit the IDA website’s “Why Do I Need an IDP” page to know why you’ll need an international driver’s license in Latvia. You can read the FAQs and other important details that’ll help you decide why you should get an IDP. Just remember that you will need an International Driver's Permit in Latvia. Whether it be the city or the province, as long as you’ll be navigating the country’s roads, obtaining an IDP is necessary.

House of the Blackheads

The House of the Blackheads is a lavish house that was built in the 1300s for unmarried German merchants. After experiencing some damage during World War II, the house was rebuilt by the Soviets and had eventually become a top tourist attraction in Latvia. Guests can roam the area and marvel at the paintings and chandeliers decorating the rooms.

Most tourists visit the House of Blackheads on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12 to 1 pm. So if you want a more peaceful tour around the house, make sure to avoid these times.

Driving Directions:

  • From Riga International Airport, head northwest toward Muzeju iela and continue onto P133.
  • Use the right lane to take the ramp to Centrs.
  • Keep left and continue merging onto Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve/A10.
  • Continue onto Salu Tilts/A8, then take the exit toward Centrs.
  • Merge onto Krasta iela/A6.
  • Keep left to continue on Krasta iela.
  • Continue onto Ģenerāļa Radziņa krastmala and 11. novembra krastmala.
  • Make a slight right, then turn right toward Grēcinieku iela.
  • Turn left onto Latviešu strēlnieku laukums.

IDA gives you the option of ordering a physical or pdf copy of your international driver’s license for Latvia. A digital copy may come in handy if you carry most of your documents on your gadgets, but it’s best to carry a physical copy as well. If you plan to drive, visit the IDA website’s FAQs page to learn more about the international driver’s license for Latvia.

Don’t forget that aside from Latvia, other countries will also require an IDP to drive. So choosing the validity of your IDP is very important. Note that the fees of your international driver’s license for Latvia may vary depending on the validity you’ll pick. So be decisive and practical when choosing.

If you’re not in a hurry to drive, you can have your International Driver's Permit sent to Latvia. Your address must be accurate and complete as you’ll be receiving your IDP in a foreign country. Lastly, if you lose your International Driver's Permit in Latvia, your IDP number and name must be submitted to customer service for a replacement. The only fees you’ll be paying are the shipping costs, so you won’t have to worry about paying for your IDP again.

Jūrmala

Jūrmala is the biggest resort city on the shores of the Baltic Sea. It has stunning beaches and nature trails that attract outdoor people and spas and pools for relaxation. Visitors can also visit national parks, concert halls, and waterparks as the city has a lot to offer. Make sure to drop by Jūrmala during the summer from June to September to enjoy the sites and other areas within the city you are yet to explore.

Driving Directions:

  • From Riga International Airport, head northwest toward Muzeju iela and continue onto P133.
  • Use the right lane to take the ramp to A10/E22/Jūrmala/Ventspils/A9/Liepāja.
  • Use the left lane to take the ramp onto Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve/A10/E22.
  • Merge onto Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve/A10/E22.
  • Keep left to continue on Perkona iela.
  • Continue onto Rīgas iela.
  • Merge onto Meža prospekts.
  • Continue onto Lienes iela and Jomas iela.
  • Turn right onto Emelīnas iela.
  • Turn left.
  • Turn right.

Do note that you’ll need your International Driver's Permit in Latvia’s provinces and cities. You might encounter authorities or personnel who would require an IDP, so bringing the permit with you everywhere is a good idea. Suppose you lose your International Driver's Permit in Latvia. Give your IDP number and name to IDA customer service, then provide your current address to have your replacement shipped to you.

If you haven’t applied for an International Driver's Permit for Latvia, the IDA website lists the requirements you’d need, along with other essential information. Remember that the requirements you’ll need are minimal, and you can even choose whether to get a physical copy or a pdf of your international driver’s license for Latvia.

Note that foreign travelers should have their IDPs issued from their home country or agencies like IDA. Suppose you apply for an International Driver's Permit in Latvia, and the companies and their branches that issue these IDPs are native to the country. Then the IDP you’ll get will be invalid.

For travelers that don’t have an IDP yet, make sure to get your International Driver's Permit for Latvia online from the International Driver’s Association. IDA offers various deals that would fit your budget, so check them out on this page. Carrying an International Driver's Permit through Latvia’s provinces or cities gives a sense of security when driving, so make sure to get yours now.

Kuldīga

If you want to escape the busy city life, then Kuldīga is the place for you. It’s a quaint little town that is a UNESCO candidate in Latvia. The structures and buildings of old Latvia have been preserved, and not an ounce of plastic can be seen in its streets. Visitors can walk around the peaceful streets of Kuldīga, immerse themselves in its stunning landscapes, or visit cultural and historical sites.

Another way to fully experience Kuldīga is by attending its festivals. If you want to explore the town and participate in its festivals, make sure to stop by during summer (June to September), as most of them are held during the summer solstice.

Driving Directions:

  • From Riga International Airport, head northwest toward Muzeju iela and continue onto P133.
  • Use the right lane to take the ramp to A10/E22/Jūrmala/Ventspils/A9/Liepāja.
  • Use the left lane to take the ramp onto Kārļa Ulmaņa gatve/A10/E22.
  • Take the A10/E22 exit toward Priedaine/Ventspils.
  • Continue onto A10/E22.
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto A10.
  • At the next roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto P121.
  • Turn right to stay on P121.
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto P118.
  • At the following roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Ganību iela/P118.
  • Turn right onto P112.
  • At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Aizputes iela/P108.
  • Continue straight onto Liepājas iela.
  • Liepājas iela turns left and becomes Pilsētas laukums.

The convenience of ordering an IDP online is getting to apply anytime and anywhere. If you’re going to apply for an International Driver's Permit in Latvia, your address must be complete and accurate to receive your order fast. If you lose or misplace your international driver’s license in Latvia, give your address, name, and IDP number to customer service in the country, to get your replacement copy.

If you doubt getting an IDP, remember that your international driver’s license will be the English translation of your native license in Latvia. If you don’t have the document with you, authorities may not understand and reject your license. You can order your international driver’s license for Latvia online via the International Driver’s Association. The steps are easy, and the process is quick, so apply now.

Ordering an International Driver's Permit for Latvia has simple requirements that you would most likely have in your home. You won’t be hassled to leave the comfort of your house, and you’ll just have to wait for your IDP to arrive. Also, remember to give your full address to get your international driver’s license for Latvia. Your zip code must also be given for quick and accurate shipment of your IDP.

Rundāle Palace and Museum

The Rundāle Palace is a baroque palace built in the 1700s as a grand residence for the Duke of Courland. Now, it has become a tourist destination, captivating its guests with its history and exquisite architecture. The palace has other attractions, including gardens, an amphitheater, and some fountains. It has also become a popular venue for balls, weddings, and receptions.

If you want to enjoy the Rundāle Palace and Museum along with its beautiful gardens, the ideal time to stop by would be during summer (June to September) or Spring (end of February/late April to the beginning of June). So you can soak in the perfect weather and take in the picture-perfect view the palace has to offer.

Driving Directions:

  • From Riga International Airport, head northwest toward Muzeju iela and continue onto P133.
  • Turn right toward Dzirnieku iela.
  • Continue onto Dzirnieku iela and Ozolkalnu iela.
  • Turn right onto Stīpnieku ceļš.
  • Turn right onto P132.
  • Take the ramp to Salaspils.
  • Merge onto A5.
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto A7.
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto P103.
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Elejas iela/P103
  • Make two left turns.

It’s important to bring an International Driver's Permit in Latvia, especially in a city like Riga. Traveling in major urban areas will guarantee more encounters with officials than in laid-back places far from the cities. Bringing an IDP gives drivers a sense of security, especially if they have run-ins with authorities who have problems with their foreign licenses. And you can get your International Driver's Permit for Latvia online if you don’t have one yet.

Remember that IDPs must always be issued from your home country and never abroad, provided that you’ll get them online. If you applied for an international driver’s license from Latvia, unless you’re Latvian, this document would be considered invalid.

The International Driver’s Association issues IDPs. To get your international driver’s license for Latvia, fill out a form that asks for your name, contact number, and other driver details; and submit a copy of your driver’s license and a passport-sized photo to apply for an IDP successfully.

Most Important Rules of Driving in Latvia

Every country has an important set of road rules to follow, and Latvia is no different, especially since nature can play a role in making driving more challenging. Here are some of the most important road rules in Latvia to ensure a safe drive.

Always Bring Your Native Driver’s License

Your driver’s license is your holy grail if you plan to drive in Latvia. You’ll become an unlicensed driver without it, and you may be fined or prohibited from driving. Do know that your native license is different from an International Driver's Permit, which is not an official document that allows you to drive. However, it serves as a translation of your driver’s license, in case it cannot be understood by Latvian authorities.

Compared to a driver’s license, it’s much easier to obtain an International Driver's Permit for Latvia. The requirements can even be submitted online, especially if you apply from the International Driver’s Association.

Don’t Forget Your IDP

An International Driver's Permit, also informally known as an international driver’s license, is a booklet that will translate your driver’s license into English. If you plan to drive abroad, it is a must to have an IDP, so applying for one before you go overseas is important. However, if you apply from IDA, you can still get your International Driver's Permit in Latvia. Your zip code must be provided along with your address in the country to get your copy quickly.

Applying for an IDP online lessens the burden of applying in person, and it also saves a lot of the applicant’s time. To get an international driver’s license for Latvia, the requirements you’d need to submit are a duly filled-in application form provided by IDA, a copy of your driver’s license, and a passport-sized photograph.

The International Driver’s Association ships worldwide, so you don’t have to worry about receiving your IDP on time. Also, remember that you cannot get an International Driver's Permit from Latvia. Agencies and their branches in the country only issue these permits to locals. So obtaining an IDP from a Latvian company is invalid.

Drunk Driving is Strictly Prohibited

Just like in every country, drunk driving in Latvia is illegal. Although there is an accepted blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novices, it’s better not to drink alcohol at all. Especially since many roads have subpar conditions and plenty of drivers are quite irresponsible. Refraining from drunk driving not only reduces your chances of having violations but lowers the possibility of you getting into accidents too.

If you encounter sobriety checkpoints, make sure BAC falls within the accepted range. Better yet, don’t drink alcohol at all to have a negative result in the alcohol test. Since you’ve encountered a checkpoint, it’s also important to have all your documents with you. And if your driver’s license isn’t in English or doesn’t have Latin alphabet characters, then you must have an IDP.

Remember that foreign drivers must always have an international driver’s license in Latvia in case they encounter authorities or personnel who will require an IDP. If you’ll rent a car, an IDP is also one of the requirements, so make sure to apply for one before arriving in Latvia.

Drive Within the Speed Limits

Since Latvia has its fair share of poor roads and reckless drivers, it’s always important to follow road rules and drive within the speed limits. Latvian streets can get pretty dangerous during winter as well, so driving at low speed is important. If you ever have run-ins with authorities or traffic enforcers, just make sure to bring your documents, and you’ll be fine.

One of the things to carry at all times is your International Driver's Permit. An IDP must be issued by your home country or by companies recognized by the country you’re visiting. If you apply for an international driver’s license from an agency or any one of its branches in Latvia, know that this IDP will be considered invalid.

Be Extra Careful When Driving During Winter

Just like in every other European country, driving in Latvia can get dangerous during the winter. Drivers are warned to drive cautiously and look out for black ice. Although it is quite dangerous to be out and about during winter, many tourists flock during this season since winter is the best time to visit Latvia.

Drivers are warned to drive slowly and always stay alert. And as much as possible, if weather reports are given in advance, don’t schedule trips when it is snowing heavily and when the roads are icy.

Make sure to purchase car insurance since the possibility of experiencing car troubles during winter is high. Also, bring all your important documents like your driver’s license, IDP, passport, and car registration. If you don’t have an IDP yet, visit the IDA website’s application page to apply for an international driver’s license for Latvia. Don’t forget your zip code as well, so you can have your IDP shipped to you quickly.

Wear Your Seatbelts at All Times

Another important rule in Latvia is to wear one's seatbelt at all times. Seat belts can reduce the risk of casualties and major trauma, so wearing one inside a moving vehicle is required. It’s especially important since driving in Latvia can become a challenge due to its roads and drivers.

Aside from wearing seatbelts and following other road rules, foreign drivers must always bring their documents. These documents include the driver’s license, IDP, passport, car registration and insurance, and other related papers. An IDP can be helpful if authorities and enforcers need supplemental documents for your driver’s license.

Get your international driver’s license for Latvia from IDA now; simply fill up the application form with your name, contact number, and other driver details and submit a copy of your driver’s license and a photo. After paying the costs, all you have to do is wait until you finally get your IDP and start driving abroad.

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