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If you are relocating to Peru as an expat, you may choose to rent or buy a car, giving you more flexibility and freedom to travel around the city you settle in, and to explore the country further. Here’s what you need to know about driving licences in Peru: how long you can drive on a foreign driving licence, and how to obtain a Peruvian driving licence.

Driving in Peru with a foreign driving licence

When you arrive in Peru, driving on a foreign licence is allowed for only 6 months. There’s no paperwork involved, and you’re free to drive rental or privately-owned vehicles, as long as you’re covered by insurance. In addition to your driving licence, it’s a good idea to keep your passport on you, to show the entry stamp that proves how long you’ve been in the country. The six-month cut-off point is designed to align with the maximum stay as a visitor. After six months you need a residence permit, and will also have to exchange your driver’s licence for a Peruvian-issued licence or take the test to obtain one.

 Good to know:

Spanish driving licences are recognised in Peru and do not need to be exchanged. Spain is the only country with driving licences acceptable in Peru.

Exchanging your driver's licence

The most straightforward way of obtaining a Peruvian driving licence is to exchange your foreign licence, as long as it is still valid. The following documents must be produced in order to do so:

  • a medical certificate proving that you are psychologically able to drive
  • a certificate confirming that your driver's licence 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 centre where you passed the initial driving tests
  • a copy of your passport

There is an administrative fee of 24.50 New Peruvian Soles (PEN). An online application is also possible on the Ministry of Transport's website. The process above means giving up your foreign driving licence, which many people are unwilling to do. Also, the document confirming the validity of your licence must be issued from the location where it was issued, which is often difficult to obtain. For these reasons, many expats go through the process below to obtain a Peruvian driver’s licence.

Obtain a local driver's licence

If you do not yet have a driver's licence or do not want to give up your foreign licence from your home country, you can apply for a local driver's licence in the A-I category for individuals. There are three stages to the process:

  • A medical examination which includes a written psychological test, hearing and vision tests, and general medical exam
  • Written driving test – you can study the rules online and also take practice tests. Note that this must be done in Spanish
  • Practical driving test

Fees of 51.65 PEN apply for the oral examinations and of 24.50 PEN for the practical driving examinations. These need to be paid in advance at the Banco de la Nación. Additional fees may apply for car rentals for the practical examinations.

Driving tips

In Peru, people drive on the right side of the road (just like in the United States and much of Europe).

Some roads are in better condition than others, like the Panamerican Highway which follows the coast from north to south, along much of the country. Others are in poor condition in terms of infrastructure and signage. Sat Navs and online maps work well in populated areas, but less so in rural areas due to lack of signal and outdated routes. It’s best to research your route in advance and have a fairly good idea of where you’re going.

 Useful links :

Ministry of Transport – Applying for a driver's licence
Ministry of Transport – Public desk
Ministry of Transport – Approved Driving schools
Touring y Automovil Club del Peru
Touring y Automovil Club del Peru – Driver's licences

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.