Home How To Guide How To Get Your Driver’s License in Mexico

How To Get Your Driver’s License in Mexico

Oaxaca State, Huatulco, Puerto Escondido

by Brent May


Whether you’re planning to soak in the vibrant culture of Mexico or you’ve already made it your home, driving in Mexico comes with its own set of rules. As a temporary tourist, your country of origin driving license will suffice, but if you’re settling in for the long haul, staying for long periods of time and contemplating registering a car in your name, you’re going to want to get your Mexican driver’s license. This article covers how to get your driver’s license in the state of Oaxaca including Huatulco and Puerto Escondido. So buckle up as we go over how to get your Mexican driver’s license.


Am I eligible to get a Mexican driver’s license?

If you have temporary or permanent residency, you can get your Mexican license. Moreover, if you register a car in your name, you have one year to get your Mexican license. If you are just on tourist status, you cannot get your Mexican license. If you’re curious about how to buy a car in Mexico, check out our article here.


Where do I get my Mexican driver’s license in Oaxaca?

Different Mexican states have different agencies responsible for issuing driver’s licenses, license plates, and changing ownership on a vehicle, etc. In Oaxaca, the Secretaría de Movilidad or Semovi, is the government unit that takes care of these different procedures and basically anything that has to do with transportation.


How do I get my new Mexican driver’s license?

If you’ve been in Mexico or are in the process of moving down south, you are a savvy expat.  You already know that bureaucratic processes will take some time and some figuring out. Here, we aim to streamline the process for you with the official guidelines that are available plus some local expat know-how.

Essentially, you need to take your online driver’s exam, gather your paperwork, originals and photocopies. You will make an appointment online to appear in person at the Semovi.

There, you will arrive at least 10 minutes early and have your paperwork approved. Then you will make payment for your license. They will then take your digital fingerprints, id photo and close up of your eyes. You sign and you’ll receive your plastic format license.

If you’d like to know more about Driving in Mexico, check out or article here.

Step 1: Study up and take your online driver’s exam

You can study with the study guide found here:


The exam is in Spanish and can be found here:


You’ll need your CURP. You received one when you got your residency card. If you can’t find it, you can look it up online here:

For the driving exam, you will enter Extranjero if you are not Mexican, enter your CURP and then select the exam for Type B for Cars. This license allows you to drive cars and motos. The Type A license for motos, allows you to drive motos but not cars.

There are 15 multiple choice questions with a 30-minute time limit.

You will receive your exam certificate by email when you pass. Print it and take it to your appointment.


Step 2: Make an appointment at the Semovi

Go to: https://citas.semovioaxaca.gob.mx/cita


From the dropdown menu under Área, you will select Direción Licencias y Emplacamiento Vehicular. Under Trámite, select Licencia. Under Módulo, select Huatulco or Puerto Escondido. Then you can select the day and time. You’ll enter your personal information and then print out your appointment confirmation which you will need for the day of the appointment.


Step 3: Make sure you have all your paperwork.

You will need to gather the following documents, originals and photocopies:

  • Your printed driver’s exam results
  • Your appointment confirmation email
  • Your temporary or permanent residency card
  • Your CURP
  • Your passport, copy of photo page
  • Proof of address, less than 3 months old. Usually CFE, water or phone  
  • Your blood type: The very easiest thing to do, is go to a local lab. They will do a finger prick and print out a document with your blood type for your license.
  • Your phone number
  • List of allergies
  • Emergency contact’s phone number (it will be printed on your license)
  • Your birth certificate, just in case you’re asked.


Step 4: Go to your appointment

Show up a little early with the originals and copies of all of your documents:

Santa María Huatulco: Boulevard Chahue No. 100, Sector R, CP 70989, Santa Maria Huatulco, Oax. Opening hours: 9:00 am -4:00 pm.

Puerto Escondido: Calle 3ra Poniente No. 909, Sector Juárez Centro, CP 71980, Puerto Escondido, Oax. Opening hours: 9:00 am -4:00 pm.


Step 5: Make payment

After having collected and verified all of your documents and been approved for your license, you will be instructed payment options and how to make payment. Temporary Residents can opt for a 2-year license. Permanent Residents can choose 2, 3 or 5 years. (Some states now have permanent license options.)


Step 6: Finish up at the Semovi

They will scan your documents at Semovi, then take your fingerprints, your id photo, a close-up of your eyes and you will sign.

After about a 20-minute wait, you should receive your plastic driver’s license card.

Of course, some details can vary depending on when you go, who receives you and changes in issuing protocol. If you arrive with all of your papers and are told that something is missing or not quite correct, take it politely and in stride. Many times, they will let you go home, get it and come back. Generally, the politer you are, the better your experience will be. Keep smiling, stay calm and expect that the procedure can take more than one visit.

If you’re looking for more practical information about moving or owning in Mexico, be sure to explore our blog here. There is a search function on the page where you can look up different topics.


how to get drivers license in mexico

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