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In the case of tourists, they are allowed to use their country driver’s license until the first week of September 2021
- A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -

Published Tuesday, May 18, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Driver Accreditation System statistics records show more than 39,000 local driver's licenses will expire in July, including Costa Rican and international residents.

However, in the case of tourists, they are allowed to use their country driver’s license until the first week of September 2021, the Ministry of Transport said.

All international tourist drivers whose country driver licenses expire in March 2020, can drive using their country's license until the first week of September.

Drivers must always carry their country driver's license and passport to avoid fines.

For international tourists with a driver’s license expired before March 2020 and are in the country under the status of refugees, permanent residents or temporary residents, should validate their foreign license (so-called homologation process) by requesting an appointment on the Road Safety Council website, known as Cosevi.

Locals need to act soon. According to the ministry, the majority of Costa Ricans with expired licenses own cars, small trucks and motorcycles. Authorities call on drivers to renew their licenses to avoid getting a $40 fine.

Those with a license expiring in May, June or July, will be allowed to do the renewal process as early as this month since the Traffic Law allows to renew the license 3 months before its expiration.

To renew the license, the first step is to request an appointment at the Cosevi website, on Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

In case the website is saturated, the renewal can also be requested by calling 9000-626356 during the same time on Thursday.

Another option is requesting the renewal at any branch of the Banco de Costa Rica by calling 800-227-2482.

The requisites to renew the driver's license are:

• Pay ˘10,000 colones, about $16.

• No unpaid fine.

• Have less than 5 penalty points on the driving record.

• Have the code of the medical test which confirms good health to drive.

• Have a legal ID.

• Wear a facemask to enter the Cosevi facilities.

What have you heard of expats' experience with renewing their driving licenses?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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