Although many Puerto Vallarta neighborhoods are very walkable and public transportation is accessible and inexpensive, many homeowners enjoy having their own vehicle to make trips to the grocery store or exploring the surrounding region easy. While you are able to drive a car in Puerto Vallarta with a valid Canadian or US driver’s license, many people living full or part time in their Vallarta home like having a Mexican driver’s license and there are a couple of compelling reasons to have one. First, if you happen to misplace your foreign license, you are still able to drive your vehicle in Puerto Vallarta with your Mexican license. Second, you don’t need to worry about your foreign license expiring while you are in Puerto Vallarta and limiting your ability to drive.
If you already have a foreign driver’s license, getting a license from the State of Jalisco is a fairly straightforward process which is managed start to finish in one day at the UNIRSE building on Avenida Grandes Lagos in Fluvial, Puerto Vallarta. Here’s what you need to bring along and all documents will require both the original and a photocopy:
- Your valid Mexican residency visa. Tourist visas are not applicable.
- A CFE electricity bill, SEAPAL water bill or Telmex phone bill. If the utilities are not in your name, it is a good idea to bring your rental contract along as well, as proof of residence.
You are also required to know your blood type and you will be asked if you would like to be an organ donor. If you are over the age of 60, you should come prepared with a letter from a physician confirming that you are physically fit to operate a motor vehicle.
You will not be required to surrender your foreign drivers license, but you will be required to watch a short instructional video, complete a very brief driving test showing basic skills and take a multiple choice test of 10 questions which requires 7 correct answers to pass. To help out, here is a study guide: https://bit.ly/3fYpokC
Overall, the process is simple and usually takes between 2 and 4 hours to complete from start to finish, depending on how busy the office is that particular day. But once done, your Jalisco driver’s license will be valid for 4 years and to renew your license after 4 years, there is no practical or written test required.
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