Update, June 2013: There is a faster, smoother way to get your drivers license in Ecuador. Read about: How to get your Ecuador drivers license fast.
So it time to get my license. After almost a year and a half here, I’m tiring of taxis and buses. Hired vans are nice, but I really want to drive – and explore. Whenever we visit another city (in Canada, the States, the Caribbean, or South America) we always rent a car. But I haven’t driven in Ecuador since we’ve lived here and I really miss it.
Two days ago I registered for a driving course. Here, even if you’ve been driving for years, they require a course (the accelerated one is 35 hours – done in a week), before you can write the government administered exam. Well I’ll never say that the Canadian government requires lots of paper work. Just to register for the course, I needed to provide:
- a police report (with 2 copies, and a special photo)
- 2 copies of my visa
- my passport ( and 2 copies)
- my Ecuadorian identification – plus 2 copies
- a card stating my blood type (and 2 copies)
- 2 more copies of the special photo (taken outside of the transit authority)
I also had to do a reflex, motor skill and eye test, along with a psychological exam.
And of the most bizarre thing that I need to provide, is my high school graduation certificate. After all these years, the first time I had to show it (for anything), is to get my driver’s license in Ecuador. Who moves to a foreign country and brings their high school graduation certificate? Especially when high school was “a long long time ago”, and the pride of having it has worn off just a little?
Anyway, we had stuffed that into a safe (along with a few other “really important” things) that we stored in Canada. After a number of emails and phone calls between our lawyers office and the driving school, we learn that a color copy will be acceptable. So today, I have to have my (nicely scanned color copy) notarized in duplicate. Without, they will not issue a license. Not sure what Canadian geography and political science has to do with Ecuadorian driving laws, but a rule is a rule – right?
So the course, put on by ANETA (Automovil Club del Ecuador) which is Ecuadors version of CAA or AAA, costs $173.44. Plus the $5 for the police report, $2 for the very nice photos, $3 for the card stating my blood type, about $12 in taxis and the notarizing of my graduation certificate. After I pass the course, I then have to go get my license, with a similar set of paperwork.
And while we can tackle just about every type of task that comes our way, I needed some help on this one. A good friend, came along and helped with some of the steps I couldn’t get my mind around. He recently got his license – so he knew how to do it.
Stay tuned for more.