Extension of Driving Privileges for Tourists

Important note. We are not asking for donations for this petition, we only need signatures. Any donations made will go to

We have received a lot of questions regarding the driver’s license for tourists who are currently in Costa Rica.

The travel restrictions enacted worldwide to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus, resulted in thousands of people being stranded worldwide. In the case of Costa Rica, many tourists decided to remain in Costa Rica as it appeared to be safer than returning home where perhaps the virus spread more aggressively.

The Costa Rican Government issued an extension to the tourist visa for foreign nationals to remain the country during the crisis. Many of these people cannot drive as their driving privileges expires 90 days upon arrival to the country. Unfortunately, there is misinformation around in the web indicating that the visa extension automatically extends the driving privileges while that is not the case. Until the government issues an official decree indicating that driving privileges are extended, people will be exposed to fines if driving over their 90 day allowed period.

On March 24, our Managing Attorney Irene Brenes Akerman reached the Department of Transportation (COSEVI) to no avail. On April 14th the department of transportation replied stating that the current laws and regulations regarding driver’s licenses for foreigners remain the same. You can find the COSEVI response here.

We have created a petition in to ask the president to please extend the driving privileges to the tourist who are currently in the country.  In the past, we made a similar petition for people with residency applications pending. Unfortunately, we did not succeed that time.

This time, we will try once again the petition but we will forward it directly to President Carlos Alvarado. While we cannot guarantee success on this matter, we know that the more people who sign the petition, the better case we will have for the President.

Please bear in mind, that even if you are a tourist, you are protected under the Costa Rican Constitution, which is the reason why the government extended the tourist visas. The Immigration Department and President Alvarado would not have extended the tourist visas if foreigners would not have some level of protections and guarantees under the Constitution. Signing this petition as a tourist will not jeopardize your legal status in Costa Rica. If you are under the process to obtain residency in Costa Rica, signing this petition will not jeopardize your application for residency. The worst scenario would be for the President to just ignore the petition it or reject the petition. We gotta give it a shot.

The petition is drafted in Spanish, as it is the official language, and it has been created in Below you can find the version in English for your review.

We will appreciate your support with signing the petition. You can do so by clicking here. 


Thank you.

Rafael Valverde


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  1. Avatar
    Elizabeth Birmingham
    April 27, 2020 at 11:39 pm — Reply

    I’m a tourist who has been here for more than 90 days due to the Corona virus. I’m 65 and need to be able to drive to get groceries and go to the pharmacy. It’s too hot and too far to walk. Please extend the driving privileges till I am able to exit the country.
    Thank you

  2. Avatar
    April 28, 2020 at 3:04 pm — Reply

    Thank you for doing this. Do you have any information on Temporary Import Permits for vehicles as well? I am living in my vehicle during this time and need to be able to extend my permit or I will be forced to leave the country.

  3. Avatar
    April 28, 2020 at 10:08 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the fast reply Jeffrey, I have signed the petition. Is there an official directive that has been released for the latest tourist visa extension? I have the old directive and per that the TIP can be extended to the same date as the tourist visa but right now Aduana are saying thy can only extend until May 17th because there is no new directive.

  4. Avatar
    Erick vargas
    April 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm — Reply

    Driving is necessary for today’s who are caught in Costa Rica. Please extend Driving right during the crisis.

    • Jeffrey Zamora
      April 30, 2020 at 12:06 am — Reply


      We agree, we hope this is resolved soon.


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