Sometimes you never know when a small chore, like renewing your drivers licenses, can turn into a fun filled day of adventure. After talking with lots of people who have gone thru this process before and getting all of your ducks in order, you head off confident that success is close at hand! Not so fast……….
We arrived at the little hidden place outside of Limon (just finding where this place is located is an adventure) and went to get our physicals, as required by law, everyone needs to have one to keep the unemployment rate down. After a few quick questions, a blood pressure reading and $40/each, we were given a number to take to the license office to verify we have had a physical.
Upon arrival at the License Office, I explained our “Trámite” was to renew our license and the man pointed to some chairs and said I would be next after the guy in the blue shirt.
When my turn was called I went in, sat down and suddenly the lady said, “Hay una problema, su licencian tiene el numero de passaporte y usted necessita un documeto desde migracion confirmando su cedula y passaporte son lo mismo numero.” Even though I had brought my passport with me to verify this, they needed a copy of our “Resultado” to prove that indeed we were allowed a cedula and the one we had was not a fake one. We were one of the lucky ones and were able to get our drivers license without having a cedula, now it is required to have a cedula before a drivers license is issued. That is to make sure that the perpetual tourist leave the country every 90 days to keep their visa stamps current (if they are driving). They will let you drive with your out of country license if your visa stamp is current. Most people don’t bother and ride bikes or take the bus.
So we left and headed to Limon Central were a local office of immigration is located. I figured if the line wasn’t too long we would wait. When we got there, there were only a couple of people waiting so we had a seat.
Within five minutes I was explaining our situation with this nice girl who had helped us before to get Jana a new cedula. She printed off our Resultado, stamped them a couple of times and signed them. We were in and out in less than 10 minutes so off we went back to the license office and was pointed in the same direction and waited.
When I was called, I presented her with the document, she asked a few questions, made copies, asked me to wait for my name to be called, signed a document changing my license number from passport to cedula number. Waited a little more, went in had my picture taken and was handed my new driver license good for 6 years!!! instead of three years like before. At least next time I will have one less hope to jump thru unless of course they change the law again! This process only took 2 hours and had we not been able to get into see immigration I am afraid it would have taken a few days! I must say, not living in San Jose does have its perks, had we needed to go to Uruca (immigration) it would have taken all day.