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Ukranians Are Driving Taxi Using Fake Documents in Prague

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In Prague, it is not uncommon for a foreigner to drive a taxi when a customer places an order. However, the passenger is often unaware that the driver possesses a fake ID. The streets of Prague are full of foreign drivers with invalid documents.

Since the beginning of this year, Prague police have recorded 136 cases of foreign taxi drivers with forged or altered documents during inspections. Taxi companies such as Bolt, Uber, and others have been implicated, according to Právo.

While this is not a new trend in the Czech Republic, the number of such drivers is increasing. Richard Hrdina, spokesperson for the Prague police, confirmed that they are encountering more cases where drivers from third-world countries providing passenger transportation possess counterfeit foreign driver’s licenses.

A similar issue has been reported in Brno, although nationwide statistics are not maintained by the police.

During random checks, a common pattern emerges: the police discover a driver with a fake ID, and the driver then offers excuses, claiming ignorance about the forgery or alteration. However, the police do not accept these excuses, as evidenced during subsequent pre-trial proceedings.

The police do not keep precise records of the number of taxi drivers suspected of engaging in criminal activities. When a patrol officer finds a taxi driver carrying a false document, the driver is arrested on the spot and handed over to the foreign police.

Criminal proceedings are initiated on suspicion of forgery and alteration of a public document. If the case goes to court, the individual in question may face up to three years in prison or a prohibition on their activities.

Although police officials declined to comment on the nationality of drivers with fake documents, they are often individuals from post-Soviet countries, including Ukrainians, as reported by Právo. It is not uncommon for these drivers to repeatedly present false documents.

Police officials have confirmed that the easiest way to obtain fake documents is through online sources, such as contacts posted on the internet or social networks. However, it is unclear whether drivers obtain these documents in their home countries or within the Czech Republic.

According to Olga P., a Ukrainian resident of the Czech Republic for 18 years, it was common in Ukraine, prior to the outbreak of the war, for people to buy documents, including genuine ones, on the black market.

Ukrainian drivers can possess several types of documents, including a valid international driving license that resembles the one carried by Czech drivers and can be used in the Czech Republic. There is also an older version of the driving license, resembling a paper book, and a provisional document issued to new drivers.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior’s service center website, new drivers in Ukraine receive a two-year license, subject to a speed limit of 70 km/h. After two years, they can obtain a regular license.

The absence of a European driving license for Ukrainian drivers is not an obstacle in the Czech Republic. The police confirm that they can drive with a document that expired after January 1, 2022, as long as it has not been replaced due to the armed conflict in Ukraine.

If a Ukrainian citizen holds a driving license that does not comply with international conventions, they can obtain a Czech license by completing education and training at a driving school and passing a test of professional competence to drive motor vehicles.

Language barriers and financial constraints sometimes lead individuals to opt for purchasing documents instead. However, the driving license test in the Czech Republic is conducted with the presence of an interpreter.

Ukrainians can exchange their documents for Czech licenses, provided they meet the residency requirements and have habitual residence in the country. This means staying in the Czech Republic for 185 days per calendar year due to personal and professional ties. Immediate exchange upon arrival without meeting the required length of stay is not possible.

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