Road Conditions and Safety: Though Romanian traffic laws are very strict, road accidents are a real and dangerous threat for U.S. citizens visiting Romania. According to the European Union Road Federation, Romania has the highest per-vehicle rate of road fatalities of any country in the EU.
If you chose to drive in Romania, practice defensive driving techniques.
While major streets in larger cities and major inter-city roads are generally in fair to good condition, many secondary roads are in poor repair, unpaved, poorly lit, narrow, and lacking marked lanes.
- Mountain roads are particularly dangerous when wet or covered with snow or ice. Winter snow removal is intermittent.
- It is common for pedestrians, animals, cyclists, and horse-drawn carts to share a road with motor vehicles, especially in rural areas.
- Parked vehicles often block sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk in the streets.
- Cross only at crosswalks and exercise vigilance as crosswalks are generally poorly marked.
- Local drivers often ignore traffic lights and crosswalk signs.
Maintain vigilance when driving to avoid hitting pedestrians in the streets.
Traffic Laws: Romanian traffic laws are very strict.
- The traffic police can confiscate any form of a driver’s license or permit for 1-3 months and request payment of fines at the time of the infraction.
- Police are required to give all drivers involved in an accident a breathalyzer test on the scene.
- Refusal to take a breathalyzer test may result in criminal penalties regardless of whether or not alcohol was involved.
- Wearing a seat belt is mandatory.
- Children under 12 years of age may not be transported in the front seat.
- Use of mobile phones while driving is banned, with exception of hands free systems.
U.S. citizens arriving in Romania for stays up to 90 days may use their U.S. state drivers? licenses (DL) along with an International Driving Permit. The U.S. Department of State has authorized two organizations to issue international permits to those who hold valid U.S. driver?s licenses: the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance. U.S. citizens who obtain temporary or permanent residency permits in Romania can exchange their U.S. driver?s license for a Romanian driver?s license, which will be valid for driving in Romania as well as in other countries of the EU.?
For current traffic regulations and speed limits in Romania please visit the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If entering Romania by vehicle you need to purchase a road tax badge known as ?rovinieta? at the border crossing point. Proof of insurance and a car registration document are required when purchasing the "rovinieta." Drivers of vehicles registered abroad who are not in possession of a valid international insurance document must buy short-term insurance at the border.
Roadside help, vehicle assistance, towing services: Dial 9271
Ambulance, fire brigade, police: Dial 112.
Public transportation in Romania is inexpensive and reliable. Inter-city travel options include a variety of buses, trams, trolleybuses, and ?maxitaxis? (shared taxis).
- You can purchase bus or tram tickets at newsstands or street kiosks before boarding and validate the ticket once aboard.
- For ?maxitaxis? you may buy a ticket directly from the driver.
- Bucharest is the only Romanian city with an underground metro.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Romania?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Romania?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Romania should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at http://www.marad.dot.gov/msci. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website (https:homeport.uscg.mil), and the NGA broadcast warnings website https://msi.nga.mil/NGAPortal/MSI.portal select ?broadcast warnings?.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Romania and with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure the medication is legal in Romania. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor?s prescription.
- Basic medical supplies are limited in Romania, especially outside of major cities.
- Hospitals often lack nursing care and assistance for the elderly.
- Most prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications are available in Romania but are often sold under different names.
- Response times for emergency services vary widely depending on the region of the country and nature of emergency.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Romania. For further information, please consult the CDC’s information on TB.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Local laws and Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
- Romania is situated in a seismically active region and has a history of devastating earthquakes, with the greatest risk occurring in Bucharest.
- Mountainous areas of the country can be subject to torrential rains and flash floods, especially in the spring and summer months.
- Streets and sidewalks are often icy and hazardous during winter.
- Avoid contact with stray dogs.
- Travelers? checks are of limited use, but ATMs (?bancomats? in Romanian) are widely available.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report? see country reports
- Human Rights Report ? see country reports
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBT Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Romania. However, the annual gay pride parades in Bucharest have been the scene of violent protests in past years.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Romanian laws and regulations require public places, the outdoor environment, transportation, and housing to be accessible for persons with mobility issues. Although there has been progress, accessibility varies greatly. While large cultural institutions and supermarkets are generally properly equipped for persons with mobility issues, accessibility on sidewalks, hotels, and public transportation remains problematic.
- Sidewalks and streets are uneven, even in major cities.
- Small hotels and tourist sites often do not have elevators or ramps.
- Access to public transportation is not adequately marked for people with visual impairments and other disabilities.
- Platforms at subway stations may be narrow, steep and slippery.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Safety and Security
Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Europe. All European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
Check the U.S. Embassy webpage for the latest Travel Alerts and Messages.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules [with regards to best practices and safety inspections] are regularly enforced, though some tourism-related activities (such as rock climbing and extreme sports) are less regulated than in the U.S. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available in near major cities. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. Medical treatment in Romania is not up to western standards. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Crime: Reported types of crime include:
- Robbery, pick pocketing, internet scams, and credit card fraud are the most commonly reported crimes.
- Organized groups of criminals, sometimes including minors, operate in train stations, trains, subways, and busses.
- Money exchange schemes often involve individuals posing as plainclothes policemen who approach you, flash a badge, and ask for your passport and wallet. Insist on the presence of a uniformed police officer and request that any issues be resolved at the police station.
- If traveling on an overnight train, travel with a companion and in the highest class available.
- Do not leave your personal belongings unattended; stow them securely out of sight.
- Use ATMs located inside banks. You should check ATM machines for any evidence of tampering before use.
- Be extra cautious of your surroundings if using an internet caf?.
- Use cash wherever possible in lieu of credit cards.
Be cautious about entering into contracts with Romanian businesses and/or organizations without legal assistance. Both official and societal corruption remains problematic in Romania. The Romanian legal system is difficult for foreigners to navigate, making the assistance of a local attorney nearly essential.
Victims of Crime:
U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy. Report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (40) 21 200-3300.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends (with your written consent)
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and help you arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules are regularly enforced, though some tourism-related activities (such as rock climbing and extreme sports) are less regulated than in the United States. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available in major cities. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. Medical treatment in Romania does not meet U.S. standards. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Entry exit Requirementsh
Visit the Embassy of Romania website for most current entry and visa information.
- You must have a U.S. passport that is valid for at least three months beyond your departure date from Romania.
- U.S. citizens may enter and remain in Romania without a visa for up to 90 days total in any 180-day period. Departing Romania and attempting to re-enter Romania does not ?restart the clock?. U.S. citizens who depart Romania and return after spending less than 90 days in the 180-day period prior to their return will be admitted for the remainder of the 90 days. U.S. citizens attempting to re-enter Romania after having already spent 90 days in Romania in the 180-day period prior to return may be denied re-entry to Romania.
- U.S. citizens who wish to stay longer than 90 days must obtain an extension from Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- U.S.-Romanian dual nationals should consult the Romanian Border Police website for information on exit requirements.
- If you have a temporary or permanent Romanian residence permit, be ready to present it upon request from local competent authorities.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Romania.
See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on U.S.-Romania relations for information on U.S. ? Romania relations.