Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting an Ecuadorian Driver's License (Part 1 of 3)

We have been in Cuenca now for 15 months and have been getting around fine without a car.  When we need to get somewhere, we usually walk or take a taxi, depending on how far away we need to go.  And sometimes our friends that have cars will drive us where we want to go.  Since this has worked out fine for us, why are we thinking about getting a driver's license now?

Sometime next year, we plan on relocating to Cotacachi -- a small town in the northern Andes.  It is about 60 miles from Quito, and about 15 miles from Ibarra (the closest large town where we would go shopping, etc.).  Life would be much easier for us if we had a car in Cotacachi, so we can run errands in our own car. 

There's been some information out there about not needing to go through the entire process required for getting a license here if you already have a valid driver's license (international or otherwise).  Since no one has definite data on this, we decided to not take the short cut but to do it the right way and get our license just like everyone else has to for the first time.  Also, why wouldn't we want to know what the rules of the road are, and what all of the signs mean?

So here is what we have done to date just to get registered at the driving school.  (Everyone who wants to get a driver's license for the first time must go through a driving school here.)  We choose Aneta (the Automovil Club del Ecuador).  The reason we choose Aneta over the other schools is because they allow an interpreter to attend with you and there is no extra charge.  This is important for us since the driving school is all in Spanish, and we want to understand what is being taught.

Aneta is located on the Autopista km 1 y Avenida Las Americas.  We will be attending on Saturday and Sunday for 4 weekends from 8am to noon.  The first two hours are classroom work, and the second two hours are for driving.  (You can also take the course during the week if you choose.)  Our class starts on Dec. 4th and ends on Jan. 8th.  (No classes over Christmas and New Year's holidays.)

Before you can register with Aneta, you must pass the following tests:
  • Vision test
  • Reflex test (red and green lights)
  • Coordination tests (2 different kinds)

After passing the above tests, you can then register with Aneta by providing the following documentation:
  • 2 copies of the Cruz Roja card indicating your blood type.  (First you need to go to Cruz Roja; they will collect your blood; determine your blood type; and give you a card with your blood type on it.  Cost $4.)
  • Original and 1 color copy of your Police Record.  (First you need to register at the Police Dept.  Give them a color copy of your Cedula and two passport-sized photos.  Fill out a form and they will then give you a Record Policial.  Cost $5.)
  • 2 color copies of your Cedula
  • 2 passport-sized color photos
  • Color copy of your passport (front page, and visa page)
  • Color copy of your Censo
  • Cost $185.40.
 Will provide updates as we go along.

1 comment:

  1. Wow sounds interesting. Please keep us posted. :)