Obtaining Drivers License

What or how do I go about obtaining a drivers license in Colombia?  I would at least, if nothing else, be able to own and ride around on a scooter.  Wonder if they have the drivers test available in English?

You can get a motorcycle licence,there is no test,they check hearing,eyes,and  a color and reaction test,real simple,but you have to have a cedula.

Driving a motorcycle in colombia? Not a good idea.

You must go to an approved driving school.  You will need to pass a medical examination. Several hours of classroom instruction, driving, then pass the examination in Spanish.
This site covers all the details, in Spanish.


dadomite :

You can get a motorcycle licence,there is no test,they check hearing,eyes,and  a color and reaction test,real simple,but you have to have a cedula.

How do you get by without the test?

There is no test.I did not need to take 1,only the test for your eyes,hearing,colors and reaction,very simple.The reaction and color test is similer to a game on a computer.They give you all these test there in the same building.I went to Transito de Envigado.I think it cost me 160,000 col.I paid a man that was upstairs and he and I walked across the street to another building and they printed the licence out.No Spanish needed!!!!

I did not need to attend a driving school. I showed my California license and said I have mucho experience so they waived it. You do take a written test in Spanish but they help you. It took 30 days to get. After 25 days they email you and you have to go back for fingerprint and photo they 2 days lated you have it. I also took a short driving test on a moto very easy. Yes need cedula first. Yes driving moto here is chaotic but not unlike Europe. The worst is motos trying to pass you while you are splitting lanes they come very vast and no horn honk so have to look in mirrors a lot.

Well the eaiest way is contact me and I´ll arrange a license for you...all legal it will be a combo used for car and moto. Very easy . Ken

Thanks everyone for your replies.  I am currently in Medellin, but will be relocating to Rionegro soon.  I am hoping it will be easier to drive a motorcycle there?  It seems that not a day goes by when I am riding in a taxi that I see an accident involving a motorcycle. 

Texas Bred

Well I am interested in getting a license so contact me please!!

I have been to Rionegro many times and I think it is safer to ride a moto there in comparison to Medellin

Contact me too please... i will be coming on more than 3 months in the country driving with my Canadian licence which I have had since I was 16 years old... so I've been driving for many years.   :(

I see the cops setting up road blocks many weekends in Rio Negro(Llanogrande) Only one way through. They're checking paperwork. Also they stop people at the toll booth. I've heard it's easy to get a drivers license here. I don't know how long your other is good for. It's illegal for motorcycles to pass car on the right. Who has the right away on the road? The smaller vehicle? That's to be determined on the road. Of course it's easier to drive with 100,000 people than 3.5 million. Good luck in the chaos everyone!!

Canuckinthesouth :

Contact me too please... i will be coming on more than 3 months in the country driving with my Canadian license....

The offer from Zuzzu on this thread to get y’all a license is over a year old.

So I suggest you send a PM message to Zuzzu via his Expat.com icon to see if such assistance is still available.  Zuzzu may not be paying attention to the latest posts on this thread as he last visited the thread nine months ago.

Let us know if you meet with success via Zuzzu’s assistance.


The easiest way legally to obtain a driver{s license is to take a driver education course which is around 300,000 mil pesos  and go through the process which is very fast...hope this helps you.

Unfortunately, driving in Colombia is a big risk....I refer to the people operating motorcycles as ...Los Salvajes because to survive a day w/o having an accident ..it is the survival of the fittest and most defensive drivers...in my opinion the motorcycles are a plague  for us good drivers. They do not follow the laws of the road ...passing you left and right. I live in Medellin  driving  a car used to be a pleasure now it is not...it is worst at peak times in the a.m. and p.m. So if you want or need to drive ...be attentive and expect aggressive drivers both of cars and motorcycles. And one word of caution do not get into arguments w/ other drivers ...no matter how superficial damage to your car or their car ...if it is your fault they will try to shake you down...best to call the Transit police .

zuzzu juice :

The easiest way legally to obtain a driver{s license is to take a driver education course.

Given a choice, however, some Expats may prefer to skip a drivers-ed class taught completely in Spanish on driving topics they may have mostly mastered in North America decades ago.

Can an Expat with a North American drivers license and the right paperwork get a COL license while avoiding the tedious class, Zuzzu?


zuzzu juice :

The easiest way legally to obtain a drivers license is to take a driver education course which is around 300,000 mil pesos....

300,000 mil pesos is roughly $100,000 US ...

I think we can find a better deal than that, Zuzzu. ;)


Yes, since I had a commercial license in the states I did not have to take the class ...it was waived I just submitted a copy of my cedula and had my fingerprints taken at a Notaria ...and that was it .

zuzzu juice :

Yes, since I had a commercial license in the states I did not have to take the class ...it was waived.  I just submitted a copy of my cedula and had my fingerprints taken at a Notaría ...and that was it.

¡Vaya!  Are you saying you got a COL license without a blood test, a hearing test, a dexterity test or a vision test?!


No, I am saying that I did not have to take a driving course...the other prerequisites such as fingerprinting and others mentioned by you had to be done.

I was just working on getting my drivers license in Rio Negro. Word has it that new laws past in congress here that they are going to make it more difficult to get license. More $$$ and classes. So get your license in 2016 before laws change. I'm not sure if they'll wave you if you have experience. Many people here have no experience on/in a vehicle here. Things are going to change... I figure if they raise the price people won't get a license.

(comment withdrawn by poster to avoid duplication)

Oh, really, Ginger -- "word has it" that it’s harder to get a COL drivers license?

Due to your tortured English (about the supposed “new laws”) and your lack of a source .. your claim that something, anything, is changing is not credible.

Get back to us when something actually changes.  If you want to make a contribution to the forum, provide a checkable source stating that a law has actually been “past” .. and what it specifically says.  Right now you appear to be doing nothing more than spreading unreliable rumors on a public forum.

A key point of your post was lost when you admitted that you don’t know if COL will waive the drivers-ed class requirement.

Also not credible: your unsubstantiated prediction that Expats will stop applying for Colombian drivers licenses, since you provided zero information about a supposed increase in the fee .. with no concept about how much that increase would be.


Moderated by Bhavna 2 years ago
Reason : No disrespectful comment on the forum please
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

I think to be truly helpful, anything you write should have a source or some way to back it up rather than just speculation or rumor.

For those who are not a resident the laws are clear:  You may drive using your foreign license for the period of your visa, as long as your license is valid during that period.  If you do a search for "colombia extranjeros conducir" you can get a number of hits explaining all the rules, among them these two, one from an official Colombian government site.  Some sites such as the first one have on-line services so you can ask any question:

https://www.mintransporte.gov.co/loader … &id=58

http://www.sura.com/blogs/autos/lo-que- … ccion.aspx

http://es.wikihow.com/sacar-la-licencia … n-Colombia

Ginger, you seem to be trying to be helpful and thanks for that. But sources do help. And rumors on DLs, visas, new laws u heard may be upcoming....I've heard that stuff from diff gringos and Colombians so many times it's like a joke. Not trying to be offensive. Just my experience.

Floridaray :

Ginger... sources do help. And rumors on DLs, visas, new laws u heard may be upcoming.. I've heard that stuff from different gringos and Colombians so many times it's like a joke. Not trying to be offensive. Just my experience.

Exactly right, Floridaray.

Gringos and others start a montón of rumors.  Repeating unsubstantiated hearsay serves nobody.  In fact, it is a disservice.  It is a joke how often you hear nonsense parading as fact.

This forum, to be of value, requires a higher level of discourse than ‘word is’ .. or ..  ‘I heard from a Gringo friend...’ or .. ‘Someone down at the market told me....’, etc.

I appreciate that Floridaray and Brother Archer demonstrate the sensibility to show that truth and accuracy count, even in the Donald ----- era. :top:  :top:


Hello everyone,

Thank you all for sharing your experience on this topic. I would request that we focus on the topic and leave aside any argument. Some posts have been moderated and some removed so that the thread remains a source of useful information.

Thank you for your kind understanding,

Ken  can you contact me  ***-- I would like to get my Colombia drivers license. I have had a cedula for over a year now. I live in Bucaramanga with my wife. Speak some Spanish but very basic stuff.  I do not know where you live if not Bucaramanga then perhaps you know someone here that could help me. I am willing off course to pay for services.
Ray Pedersen

Moderated by Priscilla last year
Reason : Do not post your personal contact details on a public forum for your own security
Ray Pedersen :

Ken can you contact me.... I would like to get my Colombia drivers license.
Ray Pedersen

I don’t see anybody identified as Ken on this thread, Ray.

You might want to read about the experience of an Expat who obtained a Colombia drivers license while avoiding Spanish-language driving classes.  He did use an expediter, named Héctor.

Google: calladventurer.com how to get a colombian drivers license

By the way, there seem to be conflicting reports posted on the Internet as to whether an Expat driver who was licensed previously needs to take drivers-ed classes in Colombia to obtain a Colombia DL.

  -- cccmedia in La Zona Cafetera

Thanks   saw the post about Hector but he is in Cali I am in Bucaramanga    but maybe he knows an expediter here..   Thanks again   Happy New Year to you

Go down to the local DMV, meaning its Colombian equivalent, in the morning.

Ask around.  Perhaps your can find your own Héctor. :)  He might even be bi-lingual.

cccmedia from La Zona Cafetera

Hi you, is it still possible to buy the driver license with you help?

All the best.


.... A couple of points Ol´ Chap.......  I spent 5 months in Southern california and wasn´t to impressed with your highway driving.   Secondly, Please don´t compare driving in Colombia to driving in Britain Ireland, , Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, etc etc !!!


You also connected in Cali ?

Need a simplified process of getting a drivers license. Many thanks

Based on anecdotal reports on the Web, I would visit multiple driving schools and see if you can negotiate a waiver to avoid taking Spanish-language driving classes .. and possibly obtain a drivers license off an unexpired DL from your original country without the need for a road test.

The schools have, according to these reports, been quite flexible in the past .. provided the DL applicant is able to do a negotiated payment for expedited service.

This may be changing soon based on changes in the law, but someone with decent Spanish skills (or accompanied by such a person) can make a lot of headway in this type of situation in Colombia, at least for the time being. 


Karim,  The best thing I can suggest is to read the posts on this thread and glean whatever information you can.

The language of business, and the day-to-day language in Colombia is Spanish.  You may encounter some who speak English but you can't count on that.  Without Spanish you will find it difficult to function effectively.

I don't think there is any simplified process to get a driver's licence in Colombia.  If anything it will become more complicated in May 2018 when new rules take effect.  You will have to take both a theoretical examination (written, in Spanish) and a practical examination (driving test).

Here are several articles outlining some of the changes and new process:
http://www.eltiempo.com/economia/sector … cion-88022

http://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/li … -GD6522549

The prices have gone up as detailed in this article.  For a car used as a private vehicle, the license class is B1:
http://www.elcolombiano.com/antioquia/m … -JN6539290

Finally here is a link to Mintransporte, the Ministry of Transport, which is tasked with overseeing rules and regulations pertaining to licensing of drivers:

You can drive on your existing driver license for some period of time - you may be able to get away with up to 6 months -  but as a resident you will eventually need to get a Colombia license:

http://www.motor.com.co/actualidad/indu … jera/28140

Fortunately in Cali there are numerous transportation solutions open to those who do not drive:  The MIO bus system which is somewhat complicated and slow, but works; and there are taxis which are everywhere and cheap by Western standards. 

In addition you may be able to use Uber and/or Lyft or the like, although there are problems with them, too, not being fully officially authorized and even with mini-wars between them and the taxistas.   Many people use bicycles and/or walk if they live close enough to work.  There is also "informal" transportation derogatively called "piratas" or "motoratones" who offer you a ride in their personal car or motorcycle, but I would not recommend those unless you are fluent in Spanish and looking for adventure...

very helpful. much appreciated

Unbelievable easy pay for a buscar unofficial agent 75,000 they no the system at the DMV office you need a cedula to  register and pay , i am not to sure the price its a couple hundred grande then you go to a driving school and show them your foreign licence and they respect your experience and have you sign for about 75 questions and whala after you pay about 900 grande you have a certificate of conducion de trancito now you go back to DMV and show them proof and they complete your file , this took 4 hours of my day and i used the hotel address Now you have to wait 10 working days and you return to DMV and the agent will do the waiting for you ,
so when your number is called you will have to do a government medical and they are looking for uncordination and por eye sight hearing and general motoring skills on a simulator, now you are certified physically to drive , you go back to DMV and receive your carnet de conducion  Wow 1 million 5 hundred thousand done
it is good for cars motos 10 years and it is also for comercial taxis and trucks under 3 tons 5 years
I have never had a motorcycle licence before and now i have one
I am pretty happy to have this and from what i have heard :nobody in Colombia fails a drivers test and that is why the traffic is a Mess with ignorance, Colombia is not ready to do things right

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