COSTA RICA LIFE – Educación Vial (Driver Education) calculates the cost of obtaining a drivers license at ¢55.985 colones, but, a calculation by the online publication puts the real cost at double that and not counting driving lessons.

What Educación Vial does not figure into its calculations that most do not pass their written and driving test the first time around AND the calling cost to make an appointment for the driving test.

Let’s look at the cost sheet by Educación Vial:

  • Written exam ¢5.000
  • Learners permit (for three months) ¢5.000
  • INS insurance police (nor mandatory, but required for learning to drive on a public road) ¢17.985
  • Medical exam ¢18.000
  • Driving test ¢5.000
  • Drivers license ¢5.000

However, in reality we have to add an addition ¢10.000 (¢5.000 for second written exam and another ¢5.000 for a second driving test) and ¢34.320 for 39 minutes, at ¢220 colones per minute, the time spent by on the phone to make the 2 driving test appointments. says it had to make a total of 13 calls to get the two appointments.

costo-licencias-2Thus, the real cost – again, not including the cost of driving lessons – is ¢100.305 colones.

The cost, however, could soon be much higher as the Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) is analyzing the costs, costs that have not increased since 2002.

Obtaining a drivers license – B1, B2, B3, B4, A1, A2, A3C2, D1, D2, D3 – in Costa Rica starts with visiting the Cosevi website or a call to 2522-0800 and paying the ¢5.000 fee at any Banco Nacional (BN), Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), Davivienda, Banco Crédito Agrícola de Cartago (Bancredito).

No form is required to fill out, only a visit to the Cosevi website or a call to 2522-0800.

Once you are ready to take the driving test, the same as above applies: pay the fee and make the appointment.

To take the driving test for a passenger vehicle (*B1), you will need to have a medical exam certificate (valid up to 6 months), your documents (cedula or residency and passport, in the case of a foreigner) be valid and in good condition, the marchamo (circulation permit) for the vehicle you will be tested in (has to be current),  the vehicle’s current vehicular inspection (Riteve), and the receipt for payment of the fee. There is no proof required that you actually took driving lesson, it is assumed that you know or learned how to drive before the driving test.

*For other licenses, ie heavy trucks, buses, taxis, etc, additional requirements will have to be met. See the Cosevi website for the latest requirements.