How to Get a Mexican DL at Lake Chapala

January 23, 2013

How to Get a Mexican DL at Lake Chapala
No, you do not have to get a Mexican driver’s license. Your driver’s license from the United States or Canada is perfectly valid here in Mexico. However, it might be a good idea to go ahead, especially if you’re going to be living here on a Temprary or Permanet Resident Visa to go ahead and get a Mexican driver’s license.
Smetimes they do the tests here in our area, and sometimes they you might have to go to Guadalajara. It just depends, and I don’t know, when you read this book and you arrive here, just how they’ll be doing the testing. The tests are in Spanish, but you can have a translator to help you, and they’re not that difficult. If you know your international signs, those are all very easy. It’s sort of common sense. There are a few different things from driving here and driving in the Sates or in Canada that you would probably need to know, but all you have to do is pass, and it’s not that difficult to pass.
Sometimes they require a driving test, or actually behind the wheel. Most of the time, if you have a driver’s license from the states or Canada, that would not be necessary, because again, you’re legal to drive. But it’s nice to have that extra license,
As a former law enforcement officer, I always felt good when someone gave me a Texas driver’s license. It made me feel that
they weree trying to be compliant, even if they were a new resident.
Perhaps they did not have their plates yet changed to Texas plates and the grace period had expired, but they had already gotten their driver’s license, I felt that they were trying to comply, and I would cut them a break, even if they were technically in violation and just tell them, “Ok, get those plates changed ASAP. OK“?”
“Here’s your drivers license, welcome to Texas.”
But again, you can drive here in Mexico with your US or Canadian driver’s license. You don’t have to get Mexican plates on your car. As a matter of fact, it’s very difficult to change and get Mexican plates on your card.
You certainly do want to have insurance as we mentioned before to drive in Mexico because your US or Canadian insurance is not good in Mexico, and Mexican insurance is not good in the USA.
But again, I think you’ll find that you’re more likely to get a warning if you have a Mexican driver’s license instead of being written up for an infraction.
If a traffic officer hints at a bribe so as to avoid a ticket, Take the ticket. Please take the ticket. Don’t offer the officer any money. If he hints at it, just be sure that he understands that you’re not going to let him pay the fine for you or anything like that.
Just take the ticket. It’ll be a very low fine because it’ll be in pesos. It’ll be just a small fraction of what the fine would be in the United States.
Even if you don’t feel guilty, you don’t want to try to contest it, because guess what, it doesn’t go against your driving record. It would be very difficult to contest it, and again, it’s a very low fine. If you pay it within so many days, I think within a week, the fine amount is cut even lower.
I advise you to get a Mexican driver’s license, but it’s not mandatory. But when you’re here and settled in and everything is pretty much taken care of, go down and get your driver’s license, even if you have to go to Guadalajara to do it.
You might want to take a bi-lingual friend just to help with the paperwork or translate the test if there’s no one to help translate it or not one yet available in English.
All for now, Siempre tu amigo, Sid
  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Everyone,

    Sid here with an apology, I;m having some problems with my software and can;t easily spell check and some posts will have significant spelling errors. I’m a much
    better Exclusive Buyer’s Only Realtor than typist or web master. I’m working on solving the
    problems. I appreciate your patience.

    Thanks in advance, Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • marty

    I don’t have a driver’s license but I want to go on vacation to Mexico (I’m from Europe) and I’m wondering if I can get a driver’s license being only a tourist. Is it possible for a tourist to get a driver’s license in Jalisco or any other state in Mexico?

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