How To Obtain Your Mexican Drivers License In Lake Chapala
Updated: Apr 17, 2022
At Retire In Lake Chapala we pride ourselves on providing you with all the information you need to make informed decisions. But just like everyone else, we rely on others in the community, and use platforms such as Facebook to help guide and inform us.
Recently, I needed to get my Mexican Drivers License and found Facebook posts and Discussion Group threads to help me do so. Following is my experience!
I started by locating the Drivers License office in Chapala and taking a picture of the requirements and prices posted outside the office. The Drivers License office is located at the far eastern end of the Chapala Malecon.
Then I used the information I gathered from social media to help me through the process.
You first need to make an appointment through the Government website. You can make your appointment through http://citas.jalisco.gob.mx/
If you can get Google Translate to translate all the pages as you progress through the system then it a lot easier. Otherwise, if you don't know enough Spanish you may want to get help with this.
Once your appointment is made, you'll be required to print off a copy of the Appointment Details to bring with you to the office.
Next, you need to go to one of the two banks listed (both in Chapala) to pay for the service. In the case of obtaining a new license for driving an automobile the cost is 766 pesos. I arrived at the bank and as usual both had long lines so I chose one and spoke with one of the bank employees who was helping people out front about what I wanted to do. She directed me to bank machine which I just couldn't figure out so I went back to her and asked if I could us the window to pay instead. She insisted I use the machine but said she would help me. With her kind service, I managed to get through all the steps and paid the machine in cash to the correct account number. Then I had to make a photocopy of the receipt to bring with me to the Drivers License office. There is a photocopy center ideally located between the two banks at the corner of Hidalgo & Avenida Francisco Ignacio Madero.
The first person you see when attending the Drivers License office is an official who checks your paperwork. Now, let me tell you, like everything in Mexico you need lots and lots of paperwork and copies of everything. Here is a list of the things you will need. All this is stated on the Government website when you make your appointment.
Passport (original & copy)
Visa (original & copy)
Blood type (you'll need to go to a lab to have this done prior)
Proof of Address (Telmex, CFE, Wizz, Bank Statement.... original & copy) This can sometimes be difficult depending on your situation. For instance if you are renting or are a spouse that doesn't have any of these important documents in your name)
Proof of Payment (original and copy)
CURP (print this important document from this website) https://www.gob.mx/curp/
Current Drivers License (If you have one that is still valid you don't need to take the drivers test....original & copy)
While the official checks and gathers your paperwork he has you fill out a form with basic information about yourself including putting down your blood type. One thing which you should think about beforehand is whether or not you wish to be an organ donor. Be prepared with your answer.
If you pass the paperwork inspection you're allowed into the office. It's quite disorganized but go with the flow and you'll be directed to one of the 4 desks on the left. The person there will input all your information into the system, take your picture and digital finger prints and you'll be asked to review your information.
Then you are directed to the Theoretical Exam station. Three computers are set up and you go through a quick 10 questions by clicking on the correct answer. Mine was all road signs so it was pretty simple. Don't know if they are all like that. I studied the list of 103 questions that Micheala went through for her test that she took 6 years ago and there are some tough ones one there.
After finishing the test you are directed to wait outside underneath a nice shade tree. For entertainment, you get to watch others in the Practical Driving Exam.
One of the employees came out twice calling my name. The first time to return my Canadian Drivers License (which she took during the Theoretical Exam; and the second time to obtain my Proof of Payment information and photocopy. I then was led back into the office to print my name on both the Proof of Payment receipts.
After waiting another 10 minutes out under the tree my name was called again and I received my first Mexican Drivers License.
All in all it was a pretty easy process and took about 1 hour & ten minutes at the Drivers License office plus you should allow another 20 minutes to ½ hour to pay at the bank and get a photocopy plus a few minutes driving time from the bank.
In my case my major concern was about my documents regarding Proof of Address but as it turned out it was okay.
In hindsight, the most difficult part of the whole process was using the bank machine to pay at the bank.
Can You do this? Well, if you are not at least at a basic conversational Spanish level, I would highly recommend to get someone to help you. No one spoke any English that I could tell so without at least some Spanish skills I think you would have a tough time.
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