Driving in Romania

Road conditions and laws

Driving in Romania


If driving, expect urban roads to be in a fair condition, but rural roads will be worse. If an accident happens roadside assistance is not known to be great, so use caution while driving.

Romania has safe and efficient public transportation; it is the recommended mode of transportation.

Road conditions

The quality of roads varies greatly throughout Romania. While major streets in larger cities and major inter-city roads are in fair to good condition, most other roads are not. They can be being poorly lit, narrow, and often without marked lanes. Many roads, particularly in rural areas, are also used by pedestrians, animals, people on bicycles, and horse drawn carts that are extremely difficult to see, especially at night. Road travel can be particularly dangerous when roads are wet or covered with snow or ice. This is especially the case for mountain roads.

Romanian traffic laws

Traffic laws are very strict. The Traffic Police can confiscate any form of driver’s license or permit for 1-3 months and issue a fine at the time of an infraction. Some examples of infractions are:

  • failure to yield the right of way
  • failure to yield to pedestrians at crossroads
  • not stopping at a red light or stop sign

Romanian traffic law allows for the confiscation of licenses and possible imprisonment for 1 to 5 years for driving under the influence (alcohol level over 0.1% limit) or for causing an accident resulting in injury or death. In spite of these strict rules, however, many drivers in Romania often do not follow traffic laws or yield the right of way. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that defensive driving be the rule of thumb while driving throughout Romania.

U.S. driver's licenses

One is able to drive in Romania with a valid US drivers license for up to 90 days. After the 90-day period has expired, U.S. citizens must either obtain an international driving permit in addition to their U.S. driver's license or a Romanian driver's license.

International Driver's Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP ) allows an individual to drive a private motor vehicle  in another nation  when accompanied by a valid license from their home country. The document is slightly larger than a standard passport  and is essentially a multiple language translation of one's own existing driver's license, complete with photograph and vital statistics. It is not a license to operate a motor vehicle on its own. Within the European Union , an EU-format license of one member state is recognized in all other member states without the need for an IDP. In Romania, the Romanian Automobile Association (Automobil Clubul Roman) offers this service at its branches throughout Romania. These are valid for one year from the date of issue.

Further reading

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Other comments

  • John White, 28 September 2008 Reply

    You wrote dumb

    In Bucharest all you need to know as a pedestrian that you have no rights, even if you have a green light, always but always keep an eye out for any car driven by a woman that could hit you while she is talking over the phone, or keep an eye out for any driver in a Logan(they think they have cool and fast cars)

    • DS 06 Oct 2008, 04:49

      mobile phone use while driving

      I live in Bucharest. It's far more common to see men talking on the phone while driving than women.