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Features of traffic rules in Georgia

You must know and observe the rules of the road if you are going to get behind the wheel in Georgia. Ignorance of the law will not excuse anyone. Even tourists.

Local road rules

Speed limits. Local drivers may be knowns as “dashing daredevils”, but there are speed limits in the country. Up to 37 mph (60 km/h) within towns, 56 mph (90 km/h) outside towns, 68 mph (110 km/h) on expressways. Only one stretch of road is an official expressway: Tbilisi — Batumi, only 70km. All other stretches are regular roads.

There are speed limit signs along the road and radar speed guns measuring the speed of moving vehicles. Speeding ticket is one of the most common penalties in Georgia. That said, the police tend to make concessions to local “daredevils” and forgive their speeding violations up to 14 km/h above the limit.

Low beam. Low beam lights are mandatory only at night time and in bad weather.

Seat belts. All front seat passengers must ride buckled up. Wearing rear seat belts is not compulsory.

Mobile phone. Drivers are not allowed to hold a phone while driving. They may use a phone only with a hands-free set-up.

Alcohol. The blood alcohol limit for a driver is 0.3 permille.

Travelling by car with kids. Children under 12 must ride only in the rear seats. Kids under the age of 3 must travel in a child safety seat or may be seated on an adult’s lap (adult must be at least 16 years of age).

The most common fines

  • Non-use of seat belts – €13
  • Speeding – €18
  • Illegal parking – €9
  • Use of mobile phone without the hands-free system – €4
  • Crossing double lines – €40
  • Drink driving – over €350
  • Throwing litter from a moving vehicle – €105.

If you did not let a pedestrian cross on a zebra crossing or did not stop before a STOP sign, you are likely to get away with it. But you had better not tempt fate.

The most popular cities for car hire in Georgia

How to talk to police

If an officer requests that you stop, you must do so, but you do not need to get out. Stay in the car and keep your hands on the steering wheel. If you are a guest to the country driving a rental vehicle, show the following documents to the police officer:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Vehicle registration certificate.

Do not try to bribe traffic officers. In the course of their duties, they are being monitored via video cameras and will not break the law. If you treat the police respectfully, they can forgive a minor offence.

Where and how to pay the fine

Police-issued penalty notices can be paid at any bank. You had better pay the penalty within 30 days because the amount will increase in 30 days.

What if you don’t pay the fine?

If you commit a driving offence in a hire car, the penalty will be deducted from your deposit when you drop off the vehicle.

If you violate the local road traffic regulations while driving your own vehicle, you can leave the country without paying the fine. There won't be any trouble. But your next visit to Georgia may be less pleasant. Your penalty will remain effective and increase 8 to 10 times. When you enter Georgia next time, your licence will be suspended for six months due to unpaid penalty notice debts. You will need to go to Mtskheta (as a passenger only) to get your driver's license back where you will have to pay the penalty and the driver's license restoration fee (500 lari).

Car hire in Georgia