Are you planning on moving down to Costa Rica and you’re wondering what the requirements are for you to drive?
Are you spending a few months a year there and have questions about legally driving on Costa Rica’s roads?
Or, like me, do you just want a Costa Rican driver’s license because you think it would be super cool to have as a souvenir, and fun to pull out of your wallet when you’re back in your home country?
No matter the reason you want one, the good news is that as a foreigner, you can get a Costa Rican driver’s license, but you also don’t need one to legally navigate the roads of that country.
Here's what you need to drive legally (and safely) in Costa Rica:
If you are getting a first-time license in Costa Rica, the requirements are as follows:
• Be over age 18
• Have passed a basic course
• Have passed a driving test
• Have a current digital medical record
• You can find out more information at: https://www.csv.go.cr
However, as a visiting foreigner, you are permitted to drive in Costa Rica using a valid license from your home country for the duration of your entry stamp.
If your passport entry stamp reads 90 days, you may legally drive on your foreign license for that time period. After 90 days, you must either leave the country to renew your entry stamp or obtain a Costa Rican driver’s license.
All license-related transactions take place through Cosevi (Council for Road Safety) in San José. Tourists and residents are eligible for a Costa Rican license if you do not have one already.
If you are applying for a first-time license you need:
• Current passport with entry stamp of no more than 90 days OR residency cedula OR any other document that proves legal residency or temporary residence permit
• Current foreign driver’s license and a copy of the same
• Medical exam If a driver presents an expired foreign driver’s license, s/he must comply with the above 1-3 requirements, and must also take a road test.
To renew a Costa Rican drivers license you need:
• Medical exam
• Current passport OR residency cedula OR temporary residence permit OR Peace Corps identification card OR refugee card OR rentista card OR any other document that proves fixed residency status
• Current Costa Rican license
Pretty simple and straightforward, huh? However, I can't promise that actual driving on Costa Rican roads and in traffic will be so easy!
P.S. Don't forget to get your copy of the Official Expat's Moving to Costa Rica Handbook!
Don't miss the #1 resource for moving to Costa Rica and living the dream here.
Download for free here.