If you intend to drive during your stay in Peru, here is what you know on the required driver's license and related conditions before proceeding.
On moving to Peru, you will probably want to move around more independently. It might be wise to rent or buy a car, provided you have a valid driver's license. In general, driving in Peru is rather simple. Hence, you can use your international driver's license for a maximum of three months during a temporary stay in the country. This also applies to non-residents. Residents, on the other hand, have to obtain a local driver's license. The request has to be made to local authorities.
Good to know:
To date, only the Spanish driver's license is recognized in Peru. Hence, it does not have to be exchanged.
Exchanging your driver's license
If your national driver's license is still valid during your stay in Peru, you are allowed to exchange it against a local driver's license. The following documents have to be produced during application:
- a medical certificate proving that you are psychologically able to drive
- a certificate justifying that your driver's license was legally issued in your home country, indicating the type of vehicle you are allowed to drive
- a highway code examination certificate
- a certified copy of the approval of the driving center where you passed the initial driving tests
- a copy of your passport.
Administrative fees of some 24.50 Peruvian new soles apply. Online application is also possible on the Ministry of Transport's website.
On the other hand, you can request for the exchange at the Touring y Automovil Club del Peru head office in Lince. Transitory driving tests and the psychological ability to drive tests can also be undertaken there.
Obtain a local driver's license
If you do not yet have a driver's license, you can apply for a local driver's license in the A-I category for individuals. Examinations are monitored by the Touring y Automovil Club del Peru. To apply for a driver's license, the following documents have to be produced (for the oral and practical examinations):
- your original foreign resident card
- your medical certificate supporting your psychological ability to drive
- your secondary or higher education certificates (stamped originals photocopies).
Fees of 51.65 Peruvian new soles apply for the oral examinations and of 24.50 Peruvian new soles apply to the practical driving examinations. Additional fees may apply for car rental during the practical examinations.
Payment of administrative and examination fees has to be made to the Banco de la Nación bearing the reference 01600. A receipt will then be issued. The bank transfer can also be made to the Scotiabank, BIF, or via a bank card, or in cash at the examination center.
In Peru, you will be driving on the left.
Some roads are in a better condition like other, like the Panamericana which goes from the North to the South and the Psico-Ayacucho, Arequipa-Puno and Cuzco-Puno roads. The rest is rather poor in terms of infrastructure and signs.
Indeed, Peruvian road signs are either too small or confusing.
You are strongly advised to inquire on your travel route before starting a long journey. Note that distances are measured according to the number of hours traveled rather than in kilometers.
Finally, it can be quite dangerous to drive at night, especially due to poorly lit buses and trucks.
Useful links :
Ministry of Transport – Applying for a driver's license www.mtc.gob.pe
Ministry of Transport – Public desk licencias.mtc.gob.pe
Ministry of Transport – Approved Driving schools www.mtc.gob.pe/tramitesenlinea
Touring y Automovil Club del Peru www.touringescuela.pe
Touring y Automovil Club del Peru – Driver's license monitored by the Touring y Automovil Club del Peru www.touringperu.com.pe/centro_examenes_obtencion.html