Updated by RGB Avocats – Lawyers in Peru
If you plan on living in Peru for an extended period of time, you may decide to buy a car and drive yourself rather than depend on public transportation. In this case, you’ll need to obtain a Peruvian driver’s license. Why?Your foreign (home) drivers’ license can be used legally for up to 6 months, and it’s best when used in conjunction with an International Drivers Permit (While driving, you should carry your passport or a copy showing the date of entry into Peru, to avoid any problems). There’s often confusion on this, because the IDP states that it is valid for one year. While it’s true that the document is valid for one year, it does not, on its own, give you any driving privileges – it is only a translation of your valid license. To continue driving legally in Peru after being here six months, you will need to obtain a Peruvian drivers’ license.
There are 3 basic steps to obtaining a Peruvian driver’s license – a medical exam, a written test, and a driving test. In the past, foreigners were exempt from the driving test if they had a current driver’s license from their home country. However, the rules have recently changed and this method is only possible if you also have a certified official document from the location from which you received your license, attesting that it is true and valid.
Medical Exam: There are several clinics in Lima that provide the exams. The exam includes a written psychological test plus hearing, vision, and general health exams. You can pay in advance at most banks, or pay at the clinic. When you go for the exam, take your original Carné de Extranjeria plus one photocopy.
Written Exam: To prepare for the written exam, you can check the list of questions and answers published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. You can also take practice tests online by visiting https://sierdgtt.mtc.gob.pe/ and clicking on the relevant type of driver’s license you want to obtain (A1).
There are two locations in Lima where you can apply for and take the written exams. Touring in Lince, Av. Cesar Vallejo N° 651 or at the Center in Conchan, Panamericana Sur, Km 21.50
You’ll need to pay PEN 57.12 at ScotiaBank or BIF for the ‘examen de reglas’ .
Go to the testing location and present the following documentation:
- Carné de Extranjeria and a photocopy
- Bank receipt from ScotiaBank or BIF
- Health Certificate for Driver’s License – issued by and registered at the National System of Drivers.
- If you have a Foreign License exemption, you’ll need your current international driver’s license and your current license from your home country, plus the document from the issuing office – and photocopies of each.
- Driving Exam: If you do not have the Foreign License exemption, you’ll then be required to go to the center in Conchan (at KM21.5 on the Panamerica Sur, Lima) for the driving exam. You’ll have to pay PEN 24.50 at the Banco de la Nacion in advance.
Near KM19, there is are many practice courses where you can practice for the driving exam for a fee. It’s highly recommended that you do so, as the practice course is laid out just like the test course and it’s a very good way to find out what sorts of things they’re looking at when you take the actual test. It also gives you an opportunity to practice diagonal and parallel parking. The parking spaces are very small, and you are only allowed one attempt during the actual test. TIP: Expat forum members have suggested borrowing or renting a small car for doing the driving exam, considering the very small spaces allowed for the parking tests.
When you arrive at the Test Course, you’ll be required to show all your paper work. You’ll also have to show it again once you’re inside. It’s recommended that you arrive as early in the morning as possible as the lines get very long. Once you finish the course, you’ll wait there for the results and they’ll call you over to let you know if you passed or failed.
You can take the written test and the driving test up to three times if necessary. If you fail three times, you’ll have to wait three months then start all over.
You’ll be given a time to return to MTC (Ministry of Transport and Communication) next to Touring in Lince in order to pick up your license, usually the next day. It’s best to be there when they open at 9, as the wait can be long and the office does close down for lunch. Remember to bring all your documentation, including photos, with you.
The following is a list of Touring office locations for people who are located in provinces outside of Lima:
- Piura: Av. Sánchez Cerro Nº 1237
- Chiclayo: Miguel Grau 407 – B, Urb. Santa Victoria
- Trujillo: Argentina Nº 258, Urb. El recreo
- Ica: Camino a la Huacachina s/n
- Arequipa: Av. Goyeneche Nº 313 – Cercado
- Tacna: Miraflores 365, Urb. Los Granados
Have you had a recent experience getting your license? Let us know about it on our forum post about getting a driver’s license in Peru!