How to drive somebody else's car

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Nov. 2, 2000, 3 p.m. | About Kyiv — by Anna Kozmina
Unlike in some Western countries, in Ukraine you cannot just drive somebody else's vehicle without a certain document. Recently, the rules have changed regarding the document that must be carried by a driver who does not own the vehicle they are driving.

In the past, a secondary driver needed to carry a proxy (dovirynist), an official document signed by the primary owner and the traffic bureau that allowed him or her to drive the car of the primary owner. But now secondary drivers must carry a different document - a temporary permit (tymchasovy talon) - that serves essentially the same purpose.

Those who haven't exchanged their proxies for the permit may be fined if caught.

Officially, the law went into effect Oct. 1. However, the bureau stopped issuing fines because the city of Kyiv had so many people driving with proxies that the local registration offices could not service them all before the deadline. The office of the local traffic police - known as the DAI - have not announced a new deadline, but unofficially say that traffic cops will begin fining people on Dec. 1.

What to do to exchange your proxy for a temporary permit? First, make a copy of the proxy and notarize it. Then go to the MREV (registration department) where the car was registered or which is in charge of the district where you live - and bring the car.

At the MREV you must do two things before turning in your documents. One, you must have the car inspected.

The officer compares the registration number on the car's engine with the one typed in the documents and signs a document stating that the numbers correspond. Two, you must pay a road tax and get a receipt.

The final step is submitting the copy of the proxy, the car inspection document and the tax receipt to the registration official. You will receive a temporary permit within about an hour. The permit is valid for the same term as your proxy.

The procedure sounds simple, but in reality it can turn into a nightmare if there are lines at MREV. If the crowd is large, the whole process may take up to two days. It is recommended to go to the MREV on a weekday.

Officially, re-registration costs Hr 15, but the various expenses bring the tally up to Hr 150.

There is an alternative procedure if the car owner and the driver are close relatives.

Then the alternative driver's name can be written down in the car's "technical passport." This is a better way to go, especially considering that most drivers expect that eventually the DAI will issue another decree on changing the temporary permits into something more permanent, and the whole procedure will repeat.

Getting a relative permission to drive is easier. The car owner must go to the MREV and fill out an application.

The alternative driver (the relative in this case) does not need to appear, but the owner must bring the alternative driver's license and passport. If you have different last names, you must also present a document that testifies you are relatives, such as a marriage certificate or a birth certificate.
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