In the latest issue of La Gaceta #80, dated May 7th, 2024, a notable amendment to Article 91 of the Transit Law has been introduced, aimed at streamlining the process for foreign drivers to use and homologate their driver’s licenses in Costa Rica.

The amendment brings forth a simplified procedure for tourists or individuals in transit who possess a valid driver’s license from their home country. Under this new provision, these individuals are permitted to operate vehicles in Costa Rica using their existing foreign driver’s license for the duration approved by the General Directorate of Immigration for their stay in the country. For example, tourists granted a 90-day visa can now lawfully drive throughout their entire visit, while those from countries with 180 days of authorized stay enjoy the same privilege.

However, for foreign nationals holding approved residency status or those in the process of legalizing their status in Costa Rica (such as undergoing residency procedures), it is now mandatory to homologate their foreign driver’s licenses.

While the essential requirements for the homologation process remain unchanged, a notable enhancement has been made by the government. Previously, there was a prerequisite for a minimum uninterrupted 90-day stay in the country for homologation. This requirement has now been eliminated, presenting an added benefit to individuals seeking to homologate their licenses.

These comprehensive updates signify an advance in Costa Rica’s driver’s license recognition process, emphasizing convenience and clarity for foreign drivers, including both tourists and residents. By aligning recognition periods with legal permanence, this amendment aims to facilitate smoother transitions and enhanced accessibility for foreign individuals navigating the country’s roadways.

Note: This publication’s goal is to provide basic information about changes to immigration laws in Costa Rica; it is not meant to be legal advice in the traditional sense.






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