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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

some tips for driving in moscow

... Motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road -- or at least that's the rule. Be prepared, especially on wide boulevards such as Kutuzovsky Prospekt, for cars passing on both the left and the right, although passing on the right is illegal.

... For six months an international driving license is acceptable. People who stay longer should obtain a Russian license. According to GAI officials, foreigners are to pass an oral exam on traffic rules in Russian and all but diplomats should also have a medical exam. The cost is just 21 rubles, but some foreign drivers just make sure they always have an international license that is not older than 6 months.

All issues connected with foreign drivers, including registration of vehicles, drivers' licenses and investigation of traffic violations are handled by the foreign department of the city GAI. It is located at 8 Stary Tolmachevsky Pereulok (nearest metro: Novokuznetskaya), tel. 951-0864/3262.

... When driving, you must carry a license; a tekhpasport, the document stating your car's license plate numbers and your name; a tekhosmotr certificate, which indicates that your car is in good condition; and, if the car does not belong to you, a doverennost, a document signed by the owner confirming your right to drive the car.

... In the United States, you may turn right at most red lights after stopping at the intersection. You may not do so in Russia.

... Do not drink before driving. A driver can be asked to blow into a pipe of a special device, showing a level of intoxication, when stopped. If the driver contests the finding, he can demand a test at a clinic by medical specialists. Drunk driving is punished by fines ranging from 660 to 1,180 rubles ($107 to $192).

... If you are stopped by the GAI, you should hand over your documents. Although you are not required to get out of the car, it is considered polite to do so, especially if you hope not to irritate the officer. Sometimes he will invite you to his car for the conversation.

... If you disagree with an officer's assessment, you can appeal it. The officer draws up a report on the violation and the driver should sign it and write whether or note he is in agreement. A copy of this document should be taken then to a special GAI department (for foreigners it is the one mentioned above). If the driver manages to prove his case, he gets the license back without paying a fine.

... Parking in Moscow is not as much of a problem as in many European cities. In the city center, charges run about 5 rubles to 15 rubles for 30 minutes. The fine for a parking violation is 83 rubles.