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GETTING A DRIVERS LICENSE IN ECUADOR 2016 (updated information)

EcuaAssist, Thanks for the effort to provide a link where driver's license test questions are translated.  Unfortunately, the link is "under review", i.e. not available.  Is there a link that is "live" ie. active, available, useful.  But yeah, thanks for the effort.

Having the state (in my case, it was Pennsylvania) certify the driving record and then having that certification apostilled can be tricky if you’re trying to get all that done from Ecuador.  And  the apostille may not be necessary in some cases.

I ending up arranging for these two steps to be done in the Keystone State via a notary’s office there while I was in Quito last year (2015) and the whole thing cost $310. 

At ANT late last year, the Jefa de Licencias -- Ecuador’s highest-ranking drivers license official -- told me that some states' driving records do not require the apostille.

Which states would those be?  La Jefa said an Expat should contact her office at ANT national headquarters in Quito to find out if a particular state is exempted from the apostille requirement.

cccmedia

lois2b :

EcuaAssist, Thanks for the effort to provide a link where driver's license test questions are translated.  Unfortunately, the link is "under review", i.e. not available.  Is there a link that is "live" ie. active (and) available ?

Try www(dot)ant(dot)gob(dot)ec

I spell this pre-verified website this way to get around a robotic gate-keeper who is giving Lois a hard time. ;)

cccmedia

I hope it worked, you can send me private message if it didn´t

cccmedia :

Part 1.

1.  Have your state’s motor vehicles division pull up your driving record and provide you with a copy.

2.  Get it apostilled by your state government, usually through the secretary of state’s office in the state capital.  Obtain the apostilled record.

----------

It is far easier and far less expensive to do this before moving to Ecuador.  I didn’t have time to get it done before I left the U.S. and ended up paying $310 to a notary office in Pennsylvania to obtain the certificate and the apostille and express-send it to me in Quito.

cccmedia

This would not be relevant for you anymore ccc, but if you are in Ecuador, and did not get a copy of your driving record apostilled before moving, there is an easy option. Would need a couple things. If you still have a valid U.S. address, and a trusted family member, or friend, then you can call, or go online and get a copy sent to your home address, and a family member or friend can take it to get apostilled. Am certain of this, as just did it for my sister today with no problems. She changed her address to my parents house before moving to Ecuador. Had her driving record sent to there address. I picked it up, and took it to get apostilled. Piece of cake. Now all that needs to be done is for me to mail it off to Ecuador, which I suppose could be an adventure in and of itself. Will use DHL, so hopefully not many problems.

This is good straight forward information to have.  Thanks.

Another question.  My husband and I are learning to speak Spanish now - we are definitely beginners! Can the Ecuadorian Driver's licenses (written part) be taken in English?  I saw some say on the blogs that there is a box to check so you can and other say it has to be read in Spanish?

What do you know about this?

Thanks,
Robin

j600rr :

Now all that needs to be done is for me to mail it off to Ecuador, which I suppose could be an adventure in and of itself. Will use DHL, so hopefully not many problems.

Slightly off topic, but for anyone possibly needing something important shipped into Ecuador, I sent off my sisters document last Friday, and she picked it up on Monday. Was an outrageous price, but got there in a couple days with no problems.

RobinJoel :

some say on the blogs that there is a box to check so you can (take the test in English).

What do you know about this?

Seems to me like a cross between a rumor and an urban legend.

Makes no sense.  Ecuador wants drivers -- and that includes Gringos -- to be able to read road signs in Spanish and communicate with traffic cops in Spanish.  Ipso facto, to take the off-road test in Spanish.

I notice that it has been a week and nobody else responded to your question.  “Some say on the blogs” is a pretty vague source.

I’d forget about this apparent myth that there is a supposed English-language “box to check.”

If you’re planning to drive in Ecuador, it really should be a priority to learn enough Spanish to pass the drivers test.

cccmedia in Quito

Put this in the category of things that sometimes happen in Ecuador, and many developing countries. My sister went through the whole process. Had all the paperwork, and everything else in order. Went to take the test, and not 100% sure the exact details, but they could not pull up whatever it was they needed for her to take the test. Not sure if her info. wasn't showing up, or exactly what it was. Anyway after 20 minutes of not being able to get what they needed, they just gave her the license. My sister, being my sister, was upset that she didn't get to take the test, because she studied for it, and wanted to ace it.

Isn't it terrific when you work successfully to achieve a goal, and the goal is given to you on the honour system.  Congrats to your sister on her Ec Dr. Lic.

What does "apostilled" mean, actually?   Is it the stamping of what we would call a "driver's abstract" (i.e. driver's record) by the government body which has the jurisdiction to grant driver's licenses? I'm in Canada, and moving to Ecuador.  Is there a specific window of time during which the driving record must be issued relative to the application for drivers' license in Ec.

lois2b :

What does "apostilled" mean, actually?...

Is there a specific window of time during which the driving record must be issued relative to the application for drivers' license in Ec.

An apostille is the endorsing of a document for international use -- whether that document is a drivers license, a birth certificate or something else.

The apostille is typically issued by the same agency of state, federal or provincial government that issued the original document.

Since the time-sensitive rule(s) are subject to change, figure on getting the relevant documents apostilled within 90 days of submitting your application for a drivers license, a residency visa or whatever.

cccmedia

My Spanish is very poor and limited but I took the sample test in Spanish online a year or two ago now and passed it easily. Check it out.

I took my notarized documents to the county clerk in Alameda Count, Oakland, California where they apostilled the lot. They told me it was just to verify that the notarizing was legitimate. The whole system seems weird to me but it was easy enough and cost little.

In Otavalo my mate went to take the written test. The examiner gave her all the answers then the clerk praised her for getting 100%. heh heh

My husband and I went to driving school in Cuenca to get our driver's licenses.  He did not have a valid license because we had already been in Ecuador for 4 years and mine was soon to expire.  We also wanted to practice driving in Cuenca with an instructor so we would be sure to know how to handle things like the traffic circles.  It was tedious because it was all in Spanish and they talk so fast but we managed just fine and we both passed.  We then went to the licensing place and took the examination.  They make you take the eye exam again and you have to have your blood type card.  But it was easy and we both got our licenses.

kashbrook :

We also wanted to practice driving in Cuenca with an instructor so we would be sure to know how to handle things like the traffic circles.  It was tedious because it was all in Spanish and they talk so fast but we managed just fine and we both passed.

There are a lot more traffic circles in Quito than I ever encountered in the United States.  They’re tricky to deal with, but the main rule is the same in both places -- yield to drivers already in the circle if you’re attempting to enter the circle.

The tediousness of potentially spending so many hours in an all-Spanish class ‘learning’ driving skills I have known for decades was the primary motivator for me to deal with bureaucracies in two countries and do the canje or license exchange instead.

cccmedia, licensed to drive in Ecuador since September 2015

I finally bought the questionnaire booklet for $1 (Test Preguntas De Actualizado) from a comedian on a bus, who cracked a few jokes about me to the amusement of other passengers. All in good fun, a nice guy who I conversed with later on as we both got off the same stop.

Anyway, the booket includes questions for all types of licenses (types A-G), and for type  A, private car, there are in total 303 questions. The booklet is in color and for $1 a great value.

A correction, the number of questions is 303 for all types, and type B, not (A) is for private car which has an additional 50 questions, so essentially one has to be familiar with about 353 questions in order pass.

vsimple :

I finally bought the questionnaire booklet for $1 (Test Preguntas De Actualizado) from a comedian on a bus, who cracked a few jokes about me to the amusement of other passengers. All in good fun, a nice guy who I conversed with later on as we both got off the same stop.

Anyway, the booket includes questions for all types of licenses (types A-G), and for type  A, private car, there are in total 303 questions. The booklet is in color and for $1 a great value.

Ouch !  Type B Ecuadorian license is the one for private / passenger cars.  Type A is for motorcycles.  Check the list and vehicle images in the Agencia chart of the various licenses .. at the link below.

Thanks to the "comedian on a bus" having cracked wise instead of providing you this information, you may have been studying the wrong questions for your exam.

cccmedia in Quito

www.ant.gob.ec/index.php/licencias

Update:  I see you discovered the correct license type and already posted the correction. 

Good catch.  By the way, congratulations on your new title as Advisor on the Ecuador forum. :top:

Haha! No the dude is truly a cómico and did a 30 minute show on the bus and collected money from passengers afterwards, I think selling driver's license questions' booklets (and Ecuadorean lollipops) is secondary business to him, and probably doesn’t know much about the questions.

The getting it wrong was my fault, the booklet has pictures of vehicles for each type of license before each section.

Edit just saw your update, thanks.

Great! You will make a good advisor for the Ecuadorian Forum.  You have already shared so much information and I look forward to reading your posts!
How do I get a booklet to study or website to study for the type B license - private car?
Thanks for all you are doing for everyone!

joelrobin :

Great! You will make a good advisor for the Ecuadorian Forum.  You have already shared so much information and I look forward to reading your posts!
How do I get a booklet to study or website to study for the type B license - private car?
Thanks for all you are doing for everyone!

Thanks, I bought my copy by chance on a bus, but I hear they sell them in front ANT, (Agencia Nacional de Tránsito) this is the agency that issues drivers licenses. Find one nearest you and outside of it should be vendors selling the booklet.

In the meantime you can practice online using the link below, simply click on licencia tipo B and begin your test.

http://www.ant.gob.ec/simulador2/

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