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Foreign tourists in Costa Rica can legally drive until August 18

July 8, 2020

Tourists with a valid foreign driver’s license can legally operate a vehicle in Costa Rica beyond the typical three-month limit, the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) has announced.

“People who have entered our country after December 17, 2019 and remain here with a tourist or transit status, may drive using their country’s license without being fined until August 18, 2020,” MOPT said in a press release issued Wednesday morning.

“Due to the closure of airports by COVID-19, many foreigners who only came as tourists have had to extend their stay in Costa Rica but can return to their countries as flights resume, so it is not a need for them to homologate their license.”

Under normal circumstances, foreigners can legally drive in Costa Rica using a driver’s license from another country for up to three months after their arrival. This doesn’t usually cause problems, because Costa Rica issues tourist visas for up to 90 days.

But the coronavirus caused Costa Rica to enact border restrictions in mid-March that will last until August 1, forcing subsequent changes in immigration and driving policies.

While MOPT has given extra leeway to foreign tourists, residents who wish to drive in Costa Rica should still homologate their license. Reservations are available Thursday mornings at this link.

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