Starting this year, drivers in the Czech Republic over 65 must carry a doctor’s certification of fitness to drive. While it is no longer mandatory to carry a driver’s license all the time, older drivers should not forget to have their doctor’s certification at hand. Drivers without a valid certification could face penalties and reduction in insurance compensation if they cause an accident.
“Drivers undergo their first mandatory medical examination at the age of 65, then another at 68, and thereafter every two years. This should be done at the latest on their birthday, or at the earliest, six months before,” said František Jemelka, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport. He pointed out that the doctor has various options to set appropriate driving rules for seniors according to their health capabilities. The doctor can indicate various restrictions on driving distance in the fitness certification.
The missing medical examination does not affect compulsory insurance – the insurance company can claim damage on the client only if they do not have a driver’s license. “The conditions for accident insurance may be different, it always depends on the specific content of the insurance contract,” said Tomáš Pavlík, spokesperson for the Czech Insurance Association.
Some doctors remind seniors of the examination date by SMS or email, but drivers primarily have to keep track of it themselves. In the event of non-submission to a medical examination, the rules have been somewhat mitigated this year as part of changes to the point system and fines. Administrative proceedings now only threaten a half penalty of up to 5000 crowns, up to 1500 CZK on the spot, or just a warning.
At present, the driver presents the original certificate of fitness to drive issued by a doctor during a road check. The Ministry of Transport has long advocated a solution for the Ministry of Health to provide data on the driver’s fitness in the driver’s register. This would be the same as with driver’s licenses, which the control can verify in the database, so drivers do not have to carry them with them.