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Driving & Public Transport

Moscow - Driving & Public Transport

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When you relocate to Moscow, you are permitted to drive for a period of six months using your driver license from your home county, provided you have obtained a certified translation of the license. After the six month period, if you intend to drive a car in Moscow, you will be required to obtain a Russian driver license.

If you have a current, valid driver license from your home country, you will need to do the following to obtain a Russian driver license:

1) Provide a passport from your home country and a Russian visa obtained at your local OVIR (Office of visas and regulations).

2) Provide a current medical certificate, obtained from a medical clinic in Moscow.

3) Provide a certificate from a doctor and a psychiatrist, stating that you are not receiving, nor ever have received, treatment for substance abuse or a mental disorder.

4) Provide your home country driver license, along with a photocopy and a translation of the license. Your driver license from your home country will be returned to you.

You will also have to take a written Russian driving test to obtain your new license. This can be completed at the Department for Non-Residents, located at 6-aya Radialnaya ulitsa, house 1, near the Tsaritsyno metro station.

Keep in mind that the written driving exam is entirely in Russian, and translators are not permitted. The test consists of 20 questions, which are pulled from a bank of 300 stock questions. You can purchase CDs that contain the entire bank of questions at various shops and kiosks around the city.

You can also test your driving knowledge before taking the exam at www.gai.ru. The website does not have an English version, so you'll be able to test your knowledge of Russian, as well.

If you would rather not drive in Moscow, there are numerous public transportation systems available to help you get around the city. The most efficient means of public transportation is the metro system. You can spot the metro stations by the large red "M" signs, and once you learn the color coded lines, finding your way around can be done even if your Russian is not perfect.

The metro is relatively inexpensive, particularly when you buy tickets for multiple rides. While a ticket for a single ride will cost about $0.80, a ticket for 20 rides costs about $8.50, or about $0.43 per ride. The tickets do not expire, so you can use them whenever you need.

There is also a bus system that operates in Moscow, as well as a network of trolleys and trams. Tickets for buses, trams, and trolleys cost $0.60 if you purchase them from the driver, and $0.50 if you purchase them from a kiosk beforehand.

Finally, you can hire a taxi. Public taxis (yellow cars with the familiar checkered pattern) are difficult to find outside of the airport areas and a few of the city's busier areas. Private cars may also be hired as taxis, but hiring a private car when you are traveling alone, or at night, is a dangerous proposition.

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