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How to Validate Your Foreign Driver’s License

If you are a legal resident and have a foreign driver's license, you can complete the procedure to homologate or validate this document at any of the 13 offices of the General Directorate of Road

If you are a legal resident and have a foreign driver’s license, you can complete the procedure to homologate or validate this document at any of the 13 offices of the General Directorate of Road Education (MOPT): Heredia, Cartago, Nicoya, Liberia, Río Claro, Puntarenas, San Carlos, Alajuela, San Ramón, Pérez Zeledón, Guápiles, Limón, and La Uruca (San José). This process will allow you to drive in our country the same vehicles approved in your foreign driver’s license, and it will have the same expiration date.

MOPT announced an extension for Temporary and Permanent Residents because of the COVID crisis, the due date to request the homologation is January 11, 2021.

At this time, MOPT is releasing appointments for homologation on Thursdays at 8 a.m. through its website at the following link. Bear in mind that appointments run out very quickly, so it is vital to complete this step well in advance. The accreditation division attends these appointments Tuesdays and Wednesdays only, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

These are the requirements to complete the foreign driver’s license homologation process:

  • Prove your legal stay in Costa Rica through your DIMEX or work permit, valid, and in good condition.

  • Bring your foreign driver’s license, valid and in good condition, and its official translation.

  • A valid passport in good condition.

  • Having stayed in Costa Rica for a period greater than three months and one consecutive day since your last entry, demonstrable by passport.

  • If the foreign driver’s license does NOT correspond to your place of birth or citizenship, you must legally prove your stay in that country (residence, identity card, work permit, refugee application, social security, or passport).

  • Provide a Medical Opinion for a valid license, which has a validity of 180 days from their issuance.

  • The corresponding payment, which can be done only after the head office approves the validation process.

  • A copy of each document.

It is relevant to mention that people under 18 years of age cannot carry out this procedure. Also, consider that if there is a different surname on your documents because of marriage, you must present the original marriage certificate.

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8 COMMENTS
  • Lani Daniels January 7, 2021

    I have been trying for weeks to make an online appointment, I log on every Thursday before 8am & try multiple times until 8:05 or 8:10 but there are never any appointments posted. Any idea what is going on? Thank you.

    • Rafael Valverde January 13, 2021

      Lani

      It seems that appointments run out very quickly. You need to check on a regular basis.

  • Ilias January 10, 2021

    “Provide a Medical Opinion for a valid license, which has a validity of 180 days from their issuance.” Does it have to be done with a specific type of doctor? Can it be a foreign doctor stating the medical opinion in Spanish, by any chance?

    • Rafael Valverde January 13, 2021

      Ilias,

      The document must be issued by a license physician. They are registered with the department of transportation and upload the medical certificate online. So yes, it is an specific doctor.

  • Karen June 25, 2021

    When making the appointment it asks for the License Type. If I have a US Class C license which option, C1 or C2, is the correct equivalent? Thank you!

    • Stacey Jennings June 28, 2021

      You may be able to find the answer here

  • Justin March 20, 2022

    Can you tell me if you need to give up your license? Or does Costa Rica allow you to keep your foreign license and in addition provide you a valid local license?

    • Stacey Jennings March 21, 2022

      You can read more about that here

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