Driving license in Uruguay

Hi all,

Can a foreigner take the driving test in Uruguay?

What are the formalities to get a driver's licence in Uruguay?

Do you need special or extra documents being an expatriate?

How much does it cost?

Thank you for participating ;).


Oui, on peut conduire avec son permis national pendant trois mois. Ensuite il faut demander un permis local. C'est une simple formalité qui s'effectue auprès de l'automobile club d'Uruguay.

Bonjour ventdusud!

Merci bien pour votre aide.


I know enough French to beg to differ with ventdusud as to how easy it is to get the license, or that you only have three months to do so.  Maybe if you lived in France first. But coming from North America, other than the fact that I could use my You Ess passport as long as it was valid, I found it to be quite an ordeal.  I could have saved myself a lot of trouble had I simply moved to Maldonado departamento first, for the exclusive purpose of getting a driver's license.  Fortunately I wised up, after going through two other departamentos, three driving tests, two medical exams, and a particularly hard time in Canelones departamento, who claimed that, though I passed their written exam in Spanish without an interpreter, they thought I was too "nervous" to be allowed to pass the practical exam.  I finally got my license in Maldonado two days before the one I had in the States was due to expire, which would have caused even bigger problems.  The only thing I found harder or more time consuming than getting the driver's license, was getting permanent residence.

Here is the translation of the text in French on how to legalize driver's license in Uruguay you will find on the page of the Embassy of France in Uruguay (http://www.ambafranceuruguay.org/Formalites-d-entree -and-d).:

"5. Driving license:
The International Driving Permit is recognized for foreign nationals visiting Uruguay.
For residents, a permit valid for 10 years may be issued by local authorities on presentation of French driving license and after a routine doctor's visit. "

So for 3 months, renewable once,  you can drive with your national license. Then you need to pass the medical examination and obtain a permit within days  with Uruguayan uruguayan club. Of course it's easier if you speak Spanish.

sorry: with Uruguayan uruguayan club read: with uruguayan automobil club

Thank you gringagirl & ventdusud for your input! :)


I have just done this and it is easiest in Montevideo.  Here are the steps I took.

First you have to have a temporary or permanent cedula. ( You have to have applied for residency)
Our lawyers told me that it is illegal to drive on a foreign drivers license for more than six months once you have your temporary cedula.
You go to the Intendencia in Montevideo and head downstairs to the main area for drivers licenses. You will immediately come to the information desk. Show them your valid overseas drivers license, your cedula, your passport with an entry stamp not more than a year old.
They will direct you to an office across the street where you take a very simple health check and you get a form. Take this back to the Intendencia information office.
They will give you a form to pay for your license. Take this upstairs and pay. Then go back downstairs to the back of the room and take a ticket at the second ticket machine. This is for people with more complex issues - the front area is for regular renewals I think.
Wait for your number, answer a few questions and show your paperwork again and have your picture taken. Head to the very back of the room and wait till your name is called and pick up your license.
Make sure you have cash, take $2000 pesos. I speak little Spanish but was able to manage. The folk there were very nice.
It is quite crowded early in the morning but I found if you go closer to midday it is not as busy. Expect to spend a couple of hours in total.
If you are from a country that does not use the same type of letters as Spanish - Japanese, Russian etc, you need your license translated before it can be accepted. There is detailed information in Spanish on the government web site giving more details.


Thank you Janet for your input! ;)