As part of the process of becoming a resident you need to get your driver’s license in order to drive legally since after a while your visa stamp will expire and you will no longer be valid using your US licenses. We wanted to use the services of ARCR to help us out but could not get a time when they could get us in during the times we were in San Jose. After reading many other blogs I had an idea of how the system worked but had no first hand knowledge.
We decided to bit the bullet and do it on our own since our visa’s will expire next month. Since we do not plan on leaving the country for a while (hopefully if we get our papers submitted to Immigration) we had to take action.
So this is how we did it.
We booked a room close to COSEVI in an area we knew was safe and got up early that morning and took a taxi to COSEVI.
Upon arrival we went straight to the Medical Exam place and had our blood type taken and did the medical exam (lots of questions, quick eye chart and blood pressure). That cost us about $40/each. Next we took our medical paperwork over to the famous line up area but shot to the front of the line and waited with other foreigners in a separate line by the front door. We got there about 8AM and waited until about 820AM when they started looking at our documents. We had everything (medical, blood type, picture page of passport and visa stamp page) except a photo copy of our US driver’s licenses (both sides). So I had to go back out down to the medical place again (where they also will make photo copies for you) and got copies made for 400 colonies. Once I returned we were told to take a seat in the back row of chairs and wait to be “called upstairs”.
After a about an hour waiting we got the “call”. Once up stairs we presented out documents to the lady at the desk that hand wrote everything down in a spiral notebook (no joke). When I was done I had to go see this other guy who then entered you into “the system” You are assigned a number. After answering many instant messages, you are finally handed a piece of white paper with this number at the top and allows you to go to BN and pay your 4000 colonies for your license. With your yellow receipt in hand you go back to the office (passing the long line of people now waiting to renew theirs) show them the receipt and wait on the chairs up front to be called in and have your picture taken. Once your picture is taken in a few more minutes you are handed a brand new CR Licencia de Conducir.
So here is the break down:;
Cost of room – $100
Cost of Medical – $80
Cost of Taxi – $10
Cost of License – “Priceless”