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   Information Center Costa Rica
Costa Rica General Information
Costa Rica Expatriates Handbook
Costa Rica and Foreign Government
Costa Rica General Listings
Costa Rica Useful Tips
Housing in Costa Rica
Pets to bring into Costa Rica
Bringing your car to Costa Rica
Costa Rica driving license
Maids in Costa Rica
Travel and holiday tips
Costa Rica Education & Medical
Costa Rica Travel & Tourism Info
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Costa Rica Driving License

If you are visiting Costa Rica, you may drive on the driver's licence issued by your home country so long as your visa has not expired.

Depending on the country you are from, your tourist visa may be as long as ninety days or as short as thirty days. Once it expires, you cannot drive legally in Costa Rica unless you have applied for and received your Costa Rica licence.

If you renew your tourist visa by leaving the country for 72 hours, your non-Costa Rican driver's licence will be good for another period of time equal to your visa. If you intend to remain in Costa Rica, it is an excellent idea to get your Costa Rican drivers licence.

While the process is simple enough, the time to do it may be a bit daunting. You will need to go to the nearest MOPT (Ministry of Public Transport) office. For most people, this will be the MOPT in San José. You will need your current unexpired drivers licence, your passport with a current entry stamp, a doctors examination certificate and cash.

In front of the MOPT building, (as in front of many government offices in Costa Rica) you will find a group of people who want to be your guide through this process. Many speak some form of understandable English. If you have come alone and speak little or no Spanish, and feel a bit daunted by all the movement and seeming disorganisation, consider using one of these guys to sort of tell you what is going on and get you started. A couple of bucks goes a long way, and you'll catch on pretty quick.

You will need to take a physical. Testing includes eyes, blood pressure and several other things. There are a few doctors' offices surrounding the MOPT building where you can just go into one to get the physical done. The cost for the physical is about 5,000 colones.

Then, take the items above and the results of your physical to the MOPT building where you will present your current drivers licence, your passport with a current entry stamp, and the doctors examination certificate. Dollars are not accepted for payment. You will go through at least three separate lines. Expect an hour of queuing up, but in reality, expect 2-3 hours. Get used to these lines. If you live here, you will be in plenty of them!

When all the procedure is done, you will have your first Costa Rican driver's licence. It will be valid for two years, but when you renew it, it will be for seven years.





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