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Visas - Do I need them?

edited August 2012 in - Eastern Europe
Hi anyone who is kind enough to a help and advise me.

I am going to be driving from the UK, through France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and finally into Russia.

I am UK Citizen with British passport. I will have a visa for Russia and an international driving permit, and the valid insurance.

What I would like to know is do I need any other visas to enter the above countries, I am ok through to Germany but just wondered after that, I know Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are in the European Union does this mean I can travel to and through them with just my passport?

I thank you in advance for your help.



  • Hi, if you wish to cross Ukraine to get to Russia you do not need a Ukrainian visa. EU citizens do not need visas to come or to cross Ukraine. They can stay in Ukraine without avisa for 90 days from the date of entry.

    For more info and expat assistance (work and residence permit in Ukraine) visit
  • edited 5:37PM
    Thank you for your message, I was looking at going through Latvia etc because I am heading to St Petersburg but I will keep Ukraine as an alternative to get to Moscow so thank you.
  • edited 5:37PM
    Hi Robbo,

    You will just need your passport as you probably felt since these countries are in the EU. Just make sure that you have adequate proof of insurance when entering Russia. The insurance document is commonly referred to as a "green card" for the vehicle and reputable insurance companies will know what this is. If by chance your insurance company does not provide such insurance then I would ask them for a reference. It all has to do with the liability limits that are required in Russia so just make sure that the insurance covers what they want and have all documents in order so no "issues" can arise. I would also take all the documents from your vehicle at night (registration, insurance, etc.) just to be safe. I am sure that much has changed since I lived in Moscow (20 years ago) but it is a good move to have an international drivers license. I haven't seen the UK version but the US version has many languages, including Russian as well as your photo. If you do get stopped for some reason try giving them just this unless they specifically ask for your passport. In Bulgaria where I have a business the trick would be to hold your passport and send it to the police station for you to pay your "fine" unless you can settle this on the roadside. Enjoy your trip.
  • edited 5:37PM
    Hi Plova. Thank you very much for your advise, very useful, I was planning on getting the International Driving Permit just in case. Thanks again. Robbo
  • edited 5:37PM
    Hi, am driving through to Romania next year from UK and wondered how I get hold of an international driving permit, as mentioned in the post above? Thanks Mandy
  • edited 5:37PM
    Hi Doglady04,

    International Drivers Permits are fairly easy to obtain, however you need to do so three months in advance of travel. You need to have a full (not provisional) UK drivers licence and be over 18 years old. The permit will be valid for one year. However, there are two different kinds of IDPs: 1926 Convention and 1949 Convention. Which IDP you need is dependent on which countries you're visiting, however you can check against the list here:

    You can apply for a permit via mail or at selected post offices, or at AA shops.
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