All persons present in Slovakia are subject to its laws and regulations. Rules for EU citizens are not the same as those for Americans and other non-EU citizens. Even unintended or unknown violation of Slovak laws may result in detention, arrest or fine.
All persons physically present in Slovakia, including American visitors, are required by law to carry a passport at all times. It is not sufficient to carry a photocopy of the passport instead of the real one, although it is recommended that you keep a photocopy of passport in a safe place. The police have right to ask Americans for identification, and only a passport showing legal entry and/or legal residency status is adequate evidence. A document other than a passport may not be considered a sufficient proof of identity and legal status in Slovakia. If you are asked for your passport with residency permit and you do not have it, you risk a spot fine and/or detention by the police until your identity can be confirmed.
Please be aware that Slovak law imposes a duty on holders of Slovak-issued personal IDs and official documents to safeguard them from theft or loss, otherwise a fine of EUR 165 is charged as a penalty regardless of fault. This applies in general to all documents issued by the Slovak authorities, such as personal IDs, passports, residency permits.
Taking photographs of military establishments or any object of security interest may also result in conflict with the authorities.
Smuggling, possession, and use of drugs even in small amounts is a crime and may result in severe penalties and arrest.
Some towns may have adopted their own regulations for which penalties may be imposed; for example, under the regulations of the Old Town of Bratislava it is an offence to drink alcohol in the street. (with the exception of officially organized markets and outside seating at licensed restaurants and bars). Local laws may restrict undue noise between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am can be in place in residential areas and some parts of towns. Noisy and unruly behavior in the streets may also attract attention of the police and may result in fines or detention for causing a public nuisance.
Driving in the Schengen Area, including Slovakia, is possible with a U.S. state driver’s license only when the driver also carries an international driver’s license. International driver’s licenses can be obtained from AAA. Some countries impose fines of up to equivalent of 70 USD for not having a valid the internationals driver’s license. Residents of Slovakia are obliged to apply for exchange of their state Driver’s license for a Slovak driver’s license of the EU format within 60 days after elapsing of the 185 days following issuance of their residency permit.
Highway decals are compulsory on all highways in Slovakia. Special police checks of the valid decals are common.