I had to renew my driver´s license the other day. When I got to the Department of Motor Vehicles, it turned out that they had changed addresses, and only listed “Torre Saltillo” as their new address.
I had no idea where Torre Saltillo was.
Fortunately, I had a few ideas, and they turned out to be pretty good ones. So, to save others hours of aimless wandering, the new address for the License Office is on the north side of the Periferico Luis Echevarría Alvarez, between Torre Saltillo (a very tall building occupied by Banorte) and Starbucks–the Starbucks right next to Pour le France. It´s a much better location than the previous one by the jail.
But, back to the original question–do you need a Coahuila driver´s license? Permanent residents officially have one year after being issued permanent residency to apply for a Mexican driver´s license.
If one is not a permanent resident, one can´t get a Coahuila driver´s license. No worries– any valid foreign driver´s license is valid here, too.
A driver´s license costs $599 pesos and is valid for 2 years.
What do you need for a first-time Coahuila license?
- valid passport
- document that says is residing legally in Mexico (also known as a visa)
- proof of address (electric bill, phone bill, water bill, etc.)
- driving certificate (valid foreign license will do. Otherwise, the applicant will have to take a driving test.)
- as with all government documentation, it is wise to bring copies of everything
License Renewal Requirements?
- expired license (my husband warned me that they might not renew the license before it was expired. So I was uninsured for a week before I remembered to get myself to the License Office.)
- visa (and copy)
When I went, there was someone standing by the door, eager to direct all applicants to the right window. I brought my visa, but forgot to bring a copy of it. Fortunately, there was a house across the street that happily made a copy for a peso.
After I turned in the copy of my visa and expired license, they gave me the bill for the new license. I headed across the street to the Banorte, stood in line to pay those $599, and brought the bill with the reciept attached back to the License Office. (Be sure to pay at Banorte, and don´t waste your time standing in line at the place that looks like they accept payments for the city or state government next door. They can´t accept payment for driver´s licenses.)
After turning in the proof of payment, I sat in front of the camera, and recorded my digital thumbprint and digital signature. Five minutes later, the new license was hot off the press, and I was good to go!
There is a parking lot in front of the License Office, but it looked like it was a paid lot, and the neighborhood doesn´t seem the least bit shady and doesn´t have heavy traffic, so the lot was empty while everyone parked on the street.
And that´s the skinny on getting a Coahuila driver´s license!