How to obtain an Ecuadorian driver's license

Johan Klok | Last update:

In this article you will learn how you can convert your foreign driver's license to an Ecuadorian driver's license.

Introduction

When you have a visa that is valid for more than 180 days, you cannot drive with a foreign driver's license anymore. In this article, you will learn how to convert your foreign driver's license to an Ecuadorian driver's license.

Like other countries, Ecuador has various driver's license categories. They are similar to the categories in many other countries. To be allowed to drive a car (a sedan or an SUV), you will need a driver's license for category B.

To obtain an Ecuadorian driver's license of type B, you can act like you are just a beginner by taking driving lessons. Easier and cheaper is to convert your foreign driver's license to an Ecuadorian driver's license. This article is about this latter method.

Your Ecuadorian driver's license will be issued by the National Traffic Agency (Agencia Nacional de Tránsito, ANT), Ecuador's National Traffic Agency. Before you make an appointment to receive your driver's license, you should collect the required documents.

Required documents

To obtain an Ecuadorian driver's license based on a foreign driver's license, you need the following documents:

1. Passport and visa, or cédula. If you don't have a cédula, you have to show your passport and visa. If you have a digital visa, you should bring a print of the pdf.
2. Your original driver's license.
3. Certificate of your original driver's license. This document states that you have obtained your driver's license. You have to apply for this document in your home country or at an embassy or consulate of your home country in Ecuador. When you receive this document from abroad, it first has to be apostilled or legalized. If it's not in Spanish, it has to be translated into Spanish in Ecuador. The last step is to notarize this translation in Ecuador.
4. The result of your psychosensometric exam. You can get an examen psicosensométrico from a driving school. You don't have to make an appointment for this exam. The exam's duration is about 15 minutes and consists of various exercises to test your vision, hearing, coordination, concentration, and responsiveness. The costs range from $ 20 to $ 25. Before the exam, you will need to show your cédula or your foreign driver's license. When you have your appointment at the ANT office (see the next section to learn about this appointment), the exam results cannot be older than 60 days, so take this examination within 60 days before your appointment at the ANT office.
5. Type of blood certificate. You need to obtain the certificado de tipo sanguíneo from the Ecuadorian Red Cross. You don't need to make an appointment. Before they take a prick on the finger, you will have to pay $ 5.
6. Payment receipt. To receive your Ecuadorian driver's license, you have to pay a fee of $ 142. During your appointment at the ANT office, you will be given the opportunity to pay this fee at a bank office. You will then receive a payment receipt that you have to give to the public servant who is serving you.

School diploma requirement

Some ANT offices require that you have at least a high school diploma. The ANT offices in Cuenca and Loja don't have this requirement for foreigners. If your ANT office does have this requirement, you have two options to show that you meet this requirement:

1. Your cédula may show your (highest) level of education. If it says "Básico," it's not enough.
2. In case your cédula doesn't show at least secondary education as your highest education level, you will have to show an apostilled and in Ecuador translated and notarized diploma of at least a high school.

Process

Making an appointment

To receive your driver's license, you have to make an appointment at an ANT office.

You can make an appointment online, but as a foreigner, you can also visit an ANT office to make an appointment. Visiting an ANT office to make an appointment has two advantages:

  • They will check whether you have all the necessary documents, so there won't be surprises at your appointment.
  • You will probably get an appointment for one of the next days, while you sometimes have to wait several weeks when you make an appointment online.

On the day of your appointment

Your appointment will consist of several elements:

1. Intake.
2. Medical examination. A doctor will receive your psychosensometric exam. He or she will ask you about your medical history, and you will have to take an eye test to test your vision.
3. Payment of the fee. You will get a small paper with payment instructions to pay the fee of $ 142 at a nearby bank.
4. Theory exam. At the end of the appointment, you will have to take a theory exam. You can read more about the theory exam in the section below. The exam result will be given immediately, and if you have passed the exam, your driver's license will be printed and given to you.

Theory exam

The theory exam consists of 20 questions from a list of 369 questions and answers published by the ANT. A computer program will ask you the questions. You can do the exam at your own pace. To pass the exam, you cannot answer more than four questions incorrectly.

You can download the list of 369 questions and answers from the ANT website:

You can download this list from the ANT website:

An exam simulator can also be found on the ANT website:

Tips for studying

The theory exam questions are not complicated, but they are in Spanish. Even if you can read Spanish very well, it will take some time to read and learn all 331 questions and answers. We recommend not to delay studying until the day before the exam.

What's next?

An Ecuadorian driver's license is usually valid for five years. Foreigners with a temporary resident visa get a driver's license that is valid for two years. From three months before the expiration date of your driver's license, you can renew it.