Registration

In the last few years in Latvia, especially in Riga and Riga region inland water transport is getting a dynamic development. The amount of private water transport, including speedboats, motor boats and water scooters keeps growing. Alongside with that the issue of water traffic safety is becoming more relevant. Up till now technical condition, use and driving the water transport has been disregarded, however, as long as the amount of inland water transport keeps growing in Latvia, the issue of water traffic safety is getting more topical. More serious legal changes related to this question have to do with certifying the drivers and issuing licences permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles to the drivers, which means that starting with 2006 licence shall be necessary to drive all types of small-sized water vehicles, just like people need a licence to drive a car.

On 29 December, 2005 the regulations of Cabinet of Ministers No. 994 have entered into force that are defining the order in which proceeds certification and instruction of the drivers of small-sized water vehicles (water scooters, motor boats and speedboats whose length does not exceed 12 metres).

OBTAINING A DRIVER’S LICENCE:

  • A licence permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles is a document attesting the right to drive a water scooter and a speedboat whose length does not exceed 12 metres in the inland waters in Latvia, within the distance of 10 km from the sea-shore.
  • A licence permitting to drive water vehicles is issued at the same day after the exam has been passed in the CSDD (Road Traffic Safety Directorate) department:
    • the exam consists of the theoretical part (the exam does not include the practical part);
    • drivers of small-sized water vehicles shall be taking the computer-based qualification exam in the Latvian and Russian languages;
    • when applying for the exam the applicants shall submit their passports and the road transport driver’s medical reference, or medical reference testifying their health status;
    • the exam comprises the test that shall consist of 10 questions about 1) use of vessels for recreation, 2) safe speed of the water traffic, 3) shipping movement under the bridges or in their vicinity, 4) marine lighting, signs and signals, 5) incident avoidance, 6) measures undertaken in case of water traffic accident, 7) drivers’ qualification of vessels for recreation, 8) navigation signs, naval lights and their installation, as well as 9) other questions related to inland water transport;
    • the exam shall be passed provided that not more than 2 mistakes were committed.
    • the applicants can get prepared for exams by themselves, or, attending the course;
    • the applicant who has not passed the exam shall have an opportunity to take it again not earlier than in seven days;
    • http://www.csdd.lv/?pageID=1074852280 (electronic version of the testing exam). 
  • Licence is valid 10 years
  • A water scooter and a motor boat licence can be obtained at the age of 14, whereas a yacht licence can be obtained at the age of 16.
  • According to the information provided by CSDD (Road Traffic Safety Directorate), courses are held by the companies “Jūrniecības tehniskais centrs” Ltd. and driving school "Fortūna" Ltd.
  • The previously issued licences permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles shall be valid until 1 October, 2006. The previously issued licences permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles, as well as motor yachts and yachts licences shall be exchanged for the new-pattern licences and the exam shall not be taken again. 
  • Price:  theoretical exam - 5.43 Ls;  licence - 11.68Ls
  • A licence permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles can be changed and/or obtained in:
  • CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Department)in Riga – Bauskas Street 86
    • The town of Ventspils – Ganibu Street 154a
    • The town of Talsi –Laidzes Street 9
    • The town of Liepaya – Bribibas Street 148
    • The town of Yelgava – Satiksmes Street 2a
    • The town of Valmiera – Rigas Street 101
    • The town of Yekabpils – Liliyas Street 20
    • The town of Daugavpils – Krauyas Street 3
    • The town of Gulbene – Parka Street 2
    • The town of Rezekne – Yupatovkas Street 1a
  • Special licences are required for water vehicles leaving the borders of Latvia (further than 10 km from the sea-shore), as well as for water vehicles whose length exceeds 12 m, and they are issued in Latvia by the association “Zēģelētāju savienība”.

 
According to the information provided to the portal SeaClub.lv by the Public Relations specialist of CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate) Ilze Berzina, the statistics related to obtaining licences permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles testifies to the fact that only 50-60% of the total amount of applicants are passing their exam successfully, which consists of 10 questions, and are obtaining a licence. This testifies to the fact that the majority of those who are interested in obtaining a licence possess very minimal knowledge about technical aspects, as well as their water traffic rules knowledge is fairly weak too, and also they would not devote enough time for preparing for the exam; thereby, the applicants shall have an opportunity to visit the training course and learn about regulations elaborated by CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate), as well as test their knowledge by carrying out a preliminary computer-based test - http://www.csdd.lv/?pageID=1074852280

Today CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate) have issued 802 licences permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles; however, according to the information provided to the portal SeaClub.lv by CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate) specialist I. Berzina, as long as control over water vehicle drivers keeps growing, demand for licences permitting to drive water vehicles shall be increasing too, as at the present moment the need for licences for the Latvian owners of yachts, water scooters and motor boats is still being the novelty. CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate) is not planning a special campaign for introducing licences permitting to drive small-sized water vehicles; however, special informative leaflets have been elaborated, as well as presentational exhibition “Baltshow” has been held, and informative publications and press releases are planned in the future. According to the information provided by I. Berzina, the popularization mechanism of CSDD strategy of issuing licences permitting to drive water vehicles is the following: Law - control - campaign - information.    

Law: Notwithstanding the fact that the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers concerning driving the small-sized vehicles have entered into force, the existing code of administrative violations does not impose serious penalties in relation to water vehicles. Now in Latvia the penalty in the amount of 50-80Ls is envisaged against the persons who are using the water transport vehicle without having a proper licence. However, according to the information provided to the portal SeaClub.lv by CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate) specialist Andris Golubevs, amendments are being elaborated in relation to driving small-sized water vehicles without having a proper licence, as well as in relation to other violations, and until the next year the penalty toughening is expected against water transport drivers. Control: Control of the small-sized water transport is effected by the state and local police. Already now, the police are performing water patrolling on high-speed boats. Starting with the next year the independent department of the “water police” shall be created, which will be engaged in performing check-ups of the drivers of speedboat, motor boats and water scooters in the inland waters of Latvia. Campaign: the campaigns carried out by CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate), leaflets and press releases. Information: Further information related to water transport safety shall be published in CSDD (Road Safety Traffic Directorate) press releases and on the portal SeaClub.lv

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