Home Costa Rica Legal TopicsDriving in Costa Rica Legal Residents have an additional six months to get their foreign license validated

Legal Residents have an additional six months to get their foreign license validated

by rpetersen

If you are in Costa Rica and have a legal residency status but did not get the opportunity to have your foreign driver’s license recognized to get a Costa Rica driver’s license you now have an additional six months to do so.  

The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) reported that it will grant a grace period for six more months, so that foreigners that are legally residing in the country, whose foreign license has expired, can continue to use the document to drive in Costa Rica. This extension is for six months and expires in September of 2021. In this way, foreigners who have approved legal residency under the categories of refugees, permanent residents, temporary residency, special categories or Costa Ricans whose licenses issued abroad have expired, or who have not been able to obtain their Costa Rican driver’s license, will have this grace period so that during this time they can complete the approval process to validate the foreign license and obtain a Costa Rican one.

It is important to clarify that the grace period will be extended to people in the residency categories mentioned and whose license should have been approved or expired as of March 20, 2020, so that they can continue driving with their foreign license and can carry out the license recognition process, during the next six months, even if the foreign license is expired. As long as this grace period is in force, the Traffic Police will not issue citations to those protected under this extension, as long as the person carries their foreign license as well as their passport. It is important to point out that this does not apply to tourists.

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