by Herb DeMars
November 18, 2020
Considering the uncertainty generated around the driver’s license issue, we reached the Department of Transportation (MOPT) to obtain clarification regarding the driver’s licenses.
Yesterday we received (dated November 13th) a response from the Vice Minister of Transportation, Mr. Eduardo Brenes Mata, who under advice by their legal department confirmed that foreign nationals who arrived to Costa Rica between December 17th 2019 and November 30th 2020 will have their driver licenses extended until March 2nd 2021. Tourists need their foreign drivers’ licenses and passports in case they get stopped by police.
Furthermore, we received document number 2020-001307 on November 18, 2020, confirming the extension for tourists and explaining that, in addition, Temporary and Permanent Residents will have until January 11, 2021, to request the homologation of their Costa Rican drivers’ license, meaning taking your foreign driver’s license before Authorities, along with the rest of the requirements, to validate it and receive a Costa Rican license for local use.
The Vice Minister mentioned that tourists will have the legal guarantee for this extension to be respected. We recommend carrying a copy of the letter with you, along with Document number 2020-001307 issued by MOPT that replicates the message in case you get stopped by the road police, known as Policías de Tránsito.
Download the memo from MOPT here.
Download document number 2020-001307 here.
Irene Brenes Akerman
Lead Services Manager
Outlier Legal Services
Office: (506) 2100-6593