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Latvia Offers Free Trips and Vehicle Registration for Ukrainian Refugees


Panorama of Riga city. Latvia

Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Latvia are provided with free travel on regional buses and trains. Requirements for receiving postal items, using vehicles registered in Ukraine and registering in the Register of Taxi Drivers, as well as the opportunity to visit the Railway Museum free of charge have also been eased.

Free trips in regional traffic

Travel in regional traffic – buses and trains – is provided free of charge to Ukrainian refugees upon presentation of an identity document. According to the information provided by the Road Transport Directorate (CSDD), from 12 to 31 March 2022, this opportunity was used 17.6 thousand times – 7.1 thousand times on buses and 10.5 thousand times on trains.

The only exception to regional traffic, where fare reductions do not apply, are commercial bus routes marked with a capital letter ‘K’ in the timetables. On the other hand, the municipalities themselves determine fare reductions for Ukrainian citizens in the public transport of large city municipalities.

Simplified receipt of postal items

For Ukrainian citizens, Latvijas Pasts (Latvian Post) has a simplified procedure for receiving postal items with personal belongings. No customs declarations or payments are required to receive the consignment. You must present a passport or other valid ID to receive an order.

Vehicles registered in Ukraine do not need to be registered

A vehicle registered in Ukraine can participate in road traffic in Latvia for three months from the moment of entry without re-registering the vehicle in the register of the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD).

Vehicle registration can be performed at any of the 26 CSDD Customer Service Centres, regardless of the vehicle owner’s place of residence or the vehicle’s previous registration. Upon registration of a vehicle, it shall be assigned and issued a state number plate and a vehicle registration certificate, which is both the document certifying the technical data of the vehicle registration and the ownership.

Driving licenses issued in Ukraine are also valid in Latvia for driving all categories of vehicles indicated therein. When staying in Latvia for more than one year, the driving license must be changed in accordance with the established procedure, passing the driving test at the Road Traffic Safety Directorate. If the term of the driving license has already expired, it must be replaced in accordance with the established procedure by passing the driving test at the Road Traffic Safety Directorate.

Opportunities to work in the transport sector

Ukrainian refugees have reduced registration requirements in the Taxi Driver Register (TDR), that is, there is no requirement for knowledge of the official language and proof of non-existence of driving disqualification, which is a requirement if the driving license is issued abroad.

For Ukrainian civilians to register with the TDR, a copy of a residence permit or long-stay visa with the right to employment without restrictions for up to one year, a copy of a driving license and a photograph of the driver must be submitted in addition.

According to the data provided by RTD, 16 Ukrainian citizens have registered with the TDR by 22 April 2022.

Free access to the Railway Museum

Ukrainian civilians can visit the Railway Museum free of charge upon presentation of an identity or refugee status document. More than 60 Ukrainian civilians, half of them children, have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

Air Canada’s Boeing 767-300 freighter aircraft departed last night from Toronto to Frankfurt, transporting humanitarian and medical aid to Ukrainian refugees on behalf of Airlink, Flexport.org and GlobalMedic. 

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