Foreign Driver’s License Homologation How-To


On May 16 and 21, 2024, I personally visited the main COSEVI location in LaUruca (San Jose).

The following instructions were confirmed with management.

Important Note

Without additional resources, COSEVI has been charged with providing increased service. This is a difficult challenge, but I assure you that the kind, patient, and intelligent lady appointment manager I spoke with is telling it like it is.

She asks that all ex-pats be patient and respectful and show up neatly dressed and groomed as a sign of respect for those who will be serving them.

Improvements continue to be worked on as a means to successfully deliver good service.

Patience and perseverance are required. Don’t rush it.

Remember the old saw: Never enough time to do it right, always enough time to do it over.

The basic sequence:

STEP 1: Book an appointment with COSEVI. (details below)

STEP 2: Wait three business days – and then – book the appointment at BCR.  (details below)

STEP 3: Attend your appointment at COSEVI. They will issue your paper proof of the process at the conclusion.

STEP 4: Next stop three or more days later: BCR with proof of your COSEVI process results.

STEP 5: BCR will finalize the process from data entered into the system by COSEVI.

STEP 6: You pay the fee at BCR.

STEP 7: BCR prints out your new Costa Rica driver’s license.

Mandatory Requirements for your COSEVI appointment:

  • Proof of your appointment booked online. (see below)
  • You must prove you are in Costa Rica legally by presenting one of the following:
  • Your current DIMEX (residency) card.
  • Still waiting for approval? Provide proof of submission of an application for residency. A.K.A. Expediente.
    You will have been given one when your residency application(s) were submitted.
  • A valid foreign driver’s license intended to be homologated in good condition.
  • Foreigners who have a driver’s license from another country other than their nationality of origin or birth must legally prove their stay in that country where they obtained the license
    (residence, ID, work permit, refugee application, social security or passport)
  • If your driver’s license is issued in a language other than Spanish, provide an official translation issued by a translator duly accredited before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Costa Rica. The translation can be digital or physical. (Need an official translator?  Let me know.)
  • Your valid passport in good condition.
  • A medical report that has been issued within the past 180 days. Local medical clinics can direct you to a doctor who issues them.
  • In case of differences in surnames due to marriage, you must present an original marriage certificate.
  • In the event that drivers with a foreign license seek a license higher than B-1 or C-2, the experience with the foreign license will be approved, to comply with the experience requirement for these licenses, as long as the foreign license indicate the date of obtaining that category and meet the required years of experience, otherwise, you must provide a certification of the issuance of the license and the category that you wish to homologate in the country.
  • Users who wish to obtain the type C-2 license by homologation must first pass the public transport course, since it is not homologated, and comply with the requirements of Transit Law No. 9078.

Regarding the above:
You must provide both originals and copies of:
DIMEX, ID, Passport, License, or other documents to be provided.

New Costa Rica license durations. (Length of license).

  • First time – 3 years.
  • Renewal – 6 years.

Booking an appointment with COSEVI

NOTE: Use an iPad, laptop, or desktop computer. Cell phones invite frustration and mistakes.

  • This will likely require a few attempts. Stick with it.
  • No need to create an account.  
  • Book only in Spanish to avoid website malfunction.
  • Either enlist the help of a Spanish-speaking individual or have a translation app at the ready.

Before starting with step one below, scroll down to step 10.

Then back up to step 1, “Begin Here.”

1. Begin here:

2. Click on “Servicios”

3. Click on the fifth imageSolicitar cita para trámite de homologación

4. Fill in the information as shown.

Replace all alpha characters with ZEROS (0).
Must contain at least NINE (9) digits.
It does not matter that the I.D. numbers will not exactly match your actual passport.

5. Click on Continuar

6. Click on the town of your choice.

7. Click on Continuar

8. No appointments open.

9. Repeat until successful.

10. Here is a list of the towns and the days of the week of appointments.

The main COSEVI offices post the appointments in those rural locations on the last FIVE BUSINESS DAYS OF ANY GIVEN MONTH.

IE: Don’t bother trying to secure an appointment until the fifth last business day of each month. Then try on the fourth, third, second, and last day. This will save you from losing more hair from tearing it out and clogging up your keyboard with it.


  1. Online is not yet set up with COSEVI. Book through the 800 number only.
  2. 1-800-227-2482. Spanish only. Have a pen and paper ready.
    1. Suffer through the CYA legal ease, then choose option “1” for licenses.
    2. More options recorded.
    3. Choose option 5, and someone will come on the line to receive your DIMEX or passport info. You will be bombarded with messages while waiting. Hang in there. Eventually, a live agent will come on the line and receive your info. IN SPANISH only.
    4. They will set up your BCR appointment and verbally dictate that appointment number over the phone. CRUCIAL: Play it back to them to ensure you have the correct digits. Do not miss this step. Otherwise, if you are one digit out and show up for your appointment with an incorrect number, you will not be served.

For those who apply with your passport due to not yet being approved for residency. (You are awaiting approval on a submitted application for residency)

Once you have been approved for residency and hold that precious DIMEX (residency card) in your hand, you need to repeat both the above COSEVI and the BCR appointment booking again so that they can input your DIMEX (residency card) number into the system. IN SPANISH.

Mark your calendar accordingly.