Getting a drivers license in Santa Cruz, Bolivia is time consuming and will vary for each individual depending on your age, level of driving experience, whether or not you acquired an international drivers license prior to moving to Bolivia, and other factors. The police will require documentation to prove you are a legal resident in Bolivia, are of legal age, etc.
What tends to worry foreigners a bit is the visit to “Tránsito” (the police station) are the many stories about corruption and requests for bribes. However, we personally have never had an unpleasant experience at Tránsito and officers have been more than helpful. You must speak enough Spanish to take the tests, understand the laws, and comply with road signage. Not speaking Spanish in no way exempts you from knowing and upholding the law while driving. Rebeca Gonzales is the bilingual lawyer who will assist you with obtaining a drivers license. Before you continue, please read this page about getting a Bolivian drivers license.
This is how we’ll assist you:
• We’ll provide you with a checklist of the requirements for obtaining a drivers license. We’ll discuss the requirements with you to establish whether or not you will be able to show you fulfill them. You must be 18 to get a license.
• We’ll accompany you to Tránsito for an initial consultation. At this time, we’ll once again ask police to repeat what the requirements are (should they have changed) and will discuss with them what your possibilities are of obtaining a license and what they will require of you. Police take into consideration your prior driving experience when deciding whether or not you must take tests; however, this does not guarantee you won’t have to take one or all of the tests.
• Please note that if the police determine that you must take a test (written, oral or driven, or behind-the-wheel classes) we will not be allowed to accompany you during these tests or classes. At this point you must determine if you feel your Spanish level is sufficient to continue this process. Should you decide to discontinue your quest for a drivers license at this time, we will charge only 50% of our fee and conclude our service.
• We’ll walk you through the entire process from beginning to end. We’ll help you fill out all paperwork involved, if you choose to continue the application process. There are several steps involved, including blood tests, photographs, eye exams, visit to other police departments, and others.
• We’ll ensure you pay the proper amounts established during our initial consultation with the police. Our fee covers the time we accompany you during this process. You’ll be paying any fees Tránsito establishes for exams, photos, blood and vision tests, and the license itself, separately to them.
• We’ll conclude our service by returning to Tránsito with you to pick up your license. We’ll inspect the license with you to ensure all your information is correct and it contains the proper expiration date.
Professional translators in Santa Cruz charge between $300 and $450 per day for what is called "accompaniment translating". This is your chance to have an English speaker compile information, accompany you on all visits to Tránsito, and assist you with all documentation, for a flat fee of $99, which we offer only through Expat Services. Please use the form below to contact us for assistance in obtaining your Bolivian drivers license.