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Rules for entering Georgia by private car

Read more about the necessary documents for entry and exit to other countries, as well as the validity period of driver’s rights in the article
Anna Davidson, Founder and Managing Partner of JUST Advisors
December 20, 2022
If you plan to enter Georgia in your own car, you will need an Obligatory insurance of auto-civil liability policy valid on the territory of Georgia. You can drive a car with foreign numbers on the territory of Georgia for 90 days from the moment of crossing the border. Next, you need to either leave or go through one of the customs procedures — clear the car or place it under temporary importation. Read more about the necessary documents for entry and exit to other countries, as well as the validity period of driver’s rights in the article
In Georgia, there are approximately 380 cars per 1000 people (more than 1.4 million vehicles are registered in the country). The road network in the country is sufficiently developed, especially in tourist regions. The roads are quite tolerable, although we would like more dividing lines and reflectors. It is considered that in Georgia there is imprecise driving, but this is more likely a matter of habit. Although the indicators of traffic accidents, including those with a fatal outcome, are among the highest in Europe.

There are quite loyal rules for entering the country and traveling by private car with foreign license plates. You can also buy a car in Georgia, which will handle all the documents and procedures much cheaper than, for example, in Russia. You can rent a car if you plan to travel around the country sporadically and you don’t need a car all the time. In Georgia there are international and local agencies for renting cars, you can use the aggregator for renting ― Local Rent. The average rental price in 2022 was approximately 40 dollars/day.

What documents are needed for entry into Georgia

For the crossing of the border by car, it is necessary to prepare the following documents:
• valid driver’s license;
• valid foreign passport;
• a document confirming the ownership of the car;
• obligatory insurance of auto-civil liability policy, the action of which extends to the territory of Georgia.

If you cross the border by car without an owner from Russia, you will need a notarized power of attorney, where it will be written: "With the right to drive outside the Russian Federation"(literally). It is better to make power of attorney with English translation. STS and driver’s license approach the national model, the international driver’s license is not required.

Mandatory document — civil liability insurance for cars with foreign numbers, planning to stay in Georgia for 15 days (the rule is valid since 2018). Insurance must be made for the entire duration of the trip. If it turns out that it is missing or overdue, the fine will be 100 GEL. When leaving the country, they can check the insurance.

The insurance can be booked directly at the checkpoint or bought in advance through the CIC TPL website (compulsory printing), it is impossible to pay with Russian bank cards. There are packages for 15, 30, 90 days and a year.

How long can a car with foreign numbers be in Georgia

On a car with foreign numbers, you can move around Georgia for up to 90 days. The fine for exceeding the deadline is 50 GEL for each day of delay (the maximum amount of the fine is 1000 GEL, regardless of the delay). If the term has come to an end, there are several options:
  • 1
    Go to a neighboring country for one day (Armenia, Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan) and return, having «zeroed out».
  • 2
    To get temporary Georgian license plates, that is, to arrange temporary import of cars for a period of up to three years (your native number will be stored in the police).
  • 3
    Pay the customs duty and issue the machine for free circulation, that is, make it a full-fledged Georgian vehicle.
The last two options are customs procedures. When temporarily registering and obtaining Georgian numbers, you can return the original ones at any time in order to go abroad to Georgia. You can use this right after the return of "relatives" numbers within 45 days.

When registering, it is necessary to specify the actual address of the temporary residence in Georgia (VNЖ is not required) and provide written permission from the owner of the residential premises to use the address. To obtain Georgian numbers, it is also necessary to provide a bank guarantee to the tax service in the amount equal to the amount of import customs duty on the car.
By the way, the permitted period of stay in the country of a car with foreign license plates, if it is owned by a citizen of Georgia, is not three, but two months from the moment of entry without going through customs procedures.

Validity of a driver's license

A foreign driver's license in Georgia is valid for one year from the moment the owner crosses the Georgian border. If foreign rights belong to a citizen of Georgia, he can use them until the expiration of their validity period without restrictions. A residence permit does not provide such privileges.

If necessary, the rights can be changed to Georgian ones (national certificate of a single sample), provided that the validity of the license has not expired. For replacement your driver's license, you need to pay a fee and provide:

• application;
• passport or residence permit;
• valid driver's license;
• a document confirming the validity of the DL  obtained in the country of issue;
• a document confirming registration or temporary registration in Georgia, or a document confirming the place of residence.

Features of departure to the nearest countries

When leaving Georgia to neighboring countries by car, in general, in addition to documents for the car itself and passports, you will also need insurance. Plus a power of attorney translated into English and certified by a notary if the owner is not with you.

• Georgia does not restrict the travel abroad of either cars with foreign numbers or local cars.
• You can travel outside of Georgia only with «historical» registration numbers. Keep this in mind if your vehicle is placed under temporary importation.
• From the point of view of Georgian legislation, a residence permit does not give any advantages when traveling outside Georgia by car.

It is better to learn about the entry rules in the countries neighboring Georgia from local lawyers and border guards. Below we share some features of entry from Georgia to border countries on cars with Georgian numbers.

Armenia

  • You will need insurance, which you need to purchase already in the territory of Armenia.
  • Only a citizen of Georgia can enter Armenia in a car with Georgian license plates. Georgia is not a member of the Eurasian Customs Union, therefore, a foreign owner of a Georgian car can move around Armenia only after full customs clearance of the car or with a driver who is a citizen of Georgia.

Turkey


• Over the past year, the period of stay of the owner of the car abroad (not in Turkey) must be at least 185 days.
• You must have a driver’s license and a passport (residence permit) from your country of residence.
• You must have car insurance valid in Turkey.
In Turkey, foreigners can use their car with foreign plates for 24 months. At the end of this period, the transport must be exported from Turkey. It is important that according to the rules only the owner can drive his vehicle or he must be in the car if someone else is driving. Otherwise, penalties will apply.

Foreign driving licenses are valid in Turkey for six months. If you wish to stay for more than six months, you must obtain a driver’s license. If you are a citizen of the Russian Federation, then you will not be able to drive a car with Georgian numbers into Russia from Georgia, as is the case with Armenia according to the rules of the Customs Union.

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MARIA GUSEINOVA
Leading Manager of Commercial Department