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Costa Rica's Congress pre-approved foreigners' driver's license benefits



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Published on Monday, September 18, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff



The Special Tourism Commission of Congress pre-approved bill No.23.531, which modifies the Traffic Law to make it easier for foreigners living in Costa Rica to request driver's license homologation.


This homologation is a printed certification that works the same as having a driver's license issued in Costa Rica.


The reform aims to remove the condition that the person has spent three consecutive months in the country to request their driver's license certification.


According to Congress, the condition of having lived in the country for three full months for the majority of foreigners (who do not have resident status) is hard to achieve because the law previously required visitors to stay as a tourist for a maximum of three months.


The bill has now moved on to the stage of scrutiny and vote by the Congress's 57 members.


Currently, foreigners with residency in Costa Rica (known as DIMEX) or tourists with special visa extensions for more than three months, should request their driver's license certification at the Road Safety Council facilities (Cosevi).




However, the system for granting appointments for this type of procedure will only be activated on the last five business days of each month. For example, in September 2023, the appointment request system will be activated from Monday, Sept. 25 to Friday, Sept. 29.


That certification should be first requested at Cosevi, in San Josť or any rural offices. The appointment is requested by filling out a Spanish-language form only available on the Cosevi website.


People can also request an appointment by calling 9000-626-353 or 2227-5158. 


After that procedure is approved, the person must request the printed document at any of the offices of Banco de Costa Rica. This certification fee is about $9 which must be paid at the bank after the driver's license has been issued.


International visitors with a tourist visa are allowed to drive using their own driver's license for a maximum period of three months.


To expand tourism and improve the experience of foreign visitors, the government passed a decree last week that permits tourists from one of the 60 approved countries to automatically be given a 180-day stay in the country.



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What has been your experience with getting a driver's license certification in Costa Rica?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com




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