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Foreigners Driver’s Licenses Will Not Be Extended

The question regarding the driver's license extension has been answered. In July 2020, MOPT issued a Circular confirming that if you entered the country as a tourist after December 17, 2019, you can legally drive

The question regarding the driver’s license extension has been answered. In July 2020, MOPT issued a Circular confirming that if you entered the country as a tourist after December 17, 2019, you can legally drive using a foreign driver’s license until November 18, 2020.

Just nine days before the due date and after filing a request to extend the privilege to legally drive until March 2, 2020, to match Immigration’s entry stamp extension, MOPT has stated that since our air borders are now open and our Immigration Department is also taking applications, they will not extend driving privileges anymore. This information was confirmed via email by the Authentications Department (in charge of approving foreign driver’s licenses).

This means that people who entered the country after December 17, 2019, as tourists and who wish to drive, will be able to do so until November 18, 2020. After November 18, 2020, you must have a legal entry stamp in your passport and a valid foreign drivers’ license to drive in the country during the 90 days, or the time approved upon entrance. If you will depart and re-enter, make sure you keep these considerations in mind. We are doing what we can to see if this can be settled.

The fine to the driver who circulates with a foreign license for more than three months after having entered the country is ₡54.636 (around USD$89) and they can take your plates.

We have received news that Transportation is considering a new extension on the driver’s licenses. We will provide more information as it becomes available. Please wait before making further arrangements to depart the country as it may be unnecessary.



Attorney with more than 10 years of experience in customer service, team management and team building at an international level. Has worked immigration cases in various countries, including Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama.

Review overview
  • Amanda November 9, 2020

    Beyond the fine, is impounding of the vehicle likely?

  • Jennifer Pikor November 9, 2020

    Can you get an international drivers license here in Costa Rica as an American, and would that be valid?

  • Irina Ryjikh November 9, 2020

    So, if we, expats, could not legally drive after 10 days from now and, as you said, air border is open it means for MANY OF US, than we must buy expensive ticket to our country and maybe it will be ONE WAY ticket. We are taking all money with us, no food shopping, no hiring for gardener, cleaning services, oh, checking and fixing our cars, gas and restaurants…Each expats household is spending at least $1000 US a month and many of us has much bigger budget. You are saying go away expats, we do not want you! Nice of you Costa Rica!

  • Christine November 10, 2020


    Thank you very much for keeping us up to date with the legal information in Costa Rica! Your work is very helpful.

    I tried to find the information on Cosevi Educación Vial about tourist’s licences and that it will not be extended until March 2, 2021, but I wasn’t able to find it. Can you please provides us the link?

    Again, thank you and keeping on the good work!

    Location Auto Costa Rica
    Rent a Car

  • Ollie Bass November 10, 2020

    I have a Costa Rican drivers license and i am on tourist visa with residency in process. Can I drive?

  • Angela November 10, 2020

    That means that if I arrived here September 30th and have a 90 day stamp, I can drive until December 30th. But, I can stay in the country until March 2nd, so I would need to get a Costa Rica driver’s license by December 30th to continue driving?

  • Ashlee November 10, 2020

    Hi, so what happens though when there are no appointment available to be able to get a driver’s license? Is anyone else experiencing this problem?