Obtaining a Drivers License in the Municipality of Rivas

As holders of foreign (Canadian) drivers licenses we are now in the process of obtaining Nicaraguan drivers licenses. Although our out-of-country licenses are valid here we have chosen to obtain Nicaraguan licenses since timely return trips to Canada for renewals are not always convenient. We both have permanent residence here and are are holders of Nicaraguan cedulas for the past eight years. To date, we have attended a course, had blood tests and eye examinations at the Red Cross and undertaken one written exam (in Spanish) at the designated driving school in Rivas (the content of which did not correspond to the course attended). We also obtained a Certificate of Conduct from the police and paid the necessary fees. Later this week we are required to do a second written exam at the Police Station and complete a driving test in the presence of a police officer from the Rivas detachment. Has anyone else completed this process in Rivas and if so, what can we expect for the second written exam and subsequent driving test?

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Following multiple trips to

Following multiple trips to Rivas, and almost three months after starting the initial paperwork and passing the written examination we now have our Nicaraguan Drivers Licenses. The process for applicants within the Municipality of Rivas is substantially different. We met other holders of out-of-country licenses who were required to follow the new requirements and Nicaraguans who were renewing their licenses (for five years) and were required to complete the written examination.

Did you hapen to ask or discover during this process...

If you could get one without a Cedula. If you remember, that was at issue on NL before, as the Policia Nacional web site (and members here, including me) were saying that you did need one under the terms of a non nacional application.

Although we did not

Although we did not personally enquire as we have Cedulas, a friend was told (by the tramitadora/helper) that a cedula was required.

It almost sounds like you

It almost sounds like you applied under the requirements for Nicaraguans rather than the requirements for aliens with existing licenses. The entire process only took me a few hours, including time at the bank. Maybe there is a much bigger difference among the departments than I thought. See the link below for the original entry. Note that I paid for the course/seminar, but didn't have to actually take one, and I paid for the exam, but didn't have to take one. As for the certificate of conduct, that's one that I don't even think is on the list (national police web site).


This is the web site with the national police list of requirements:


We applied as Aliens with Existing Licenses

and also checked the link for the National Police as included in your post and realize that requirements may differ from region to region. We are curious to know if others in the Municipality of Rivas have encountered the same requirements. With thanks for your feedback.

Sounds like Rivas

is doing things the hard way for reasons known best to them.. see 2 posts on this sight how others got licenses¨

Independence is the only benefit we have gained, at the expense of all else¨ -Simon Bolivar

Have Read Previous Posts

and we were a bit surprised by the required steps to obtain licenses in Rivas and believe that the current requirements are recent changes. Tomorrow we are to write the second exam and take a driving test so continue to think positively that we will have our new drivers licenses in hand shortly. Maybe we are the 'test cases'.....

We were told

by a helper in Rivas, who assists people with similar licensing and vehicle paperwork processes, that following the highway accident that claimed the lives of twelve young people during Semana Santa, that the police have adopted an attitude of 'zero tolerance' .

There is you explanation right there

You are using a 'helper" or you are at least listening to one. Rivas is no different than anyplace else. Try to be nice, ask them for help and they'll do all they can to make it easy on you.

Stop by my office and we can set up a trip to Rivas on a day I need to go there. We can meet at the police station and sort this out. By the way, I do charge for the service.... It will cost you an Ensa.. lol.

Buddha would not like

zero tolerance. It's not the path of moderation...

¨Independence is the only benefit we have gained, at the expense of all else¨ -Simon Bolivar

Now, I know that's not true

Now, I know that's not true about zero tolerance. For a few weeks after the incident, the police were out in large numbers, even in Matagalpa, but the most they did was to stop more vehicles with a lot of people in the back. They didn't really do anything other than conduct a few minor safety checks, then sent them on their way. Even the police put passengers in the back of the truck. I even picked up 7 police officers at El Empalme and took them to the road to Jinotega, and they all rode in the back (I think they were all newbies or cadets). All well after the tragedy in Rivas. My license was also after the incident. Like most things, time has a way of smoothing everything out. Whatever their reasoning behind their methods, I doubt seriously it has anything to do with a get tough attitude.

another nuisance

Transito is informing people that there is a new law requireing both smog and mechanical checks once a year. Collosal waste of time and money, if they want to see who's poluting, have an officer stand at any stoplight or the bottom of any hill.

I went and got them because I go thru 5 to 10 roadblocks a week and if you have all your stickers they just waive you thru. As I expected, there was no long line a the city-approved mechanic. Nobody here is going to get inspections, especially the ones who need it the most. They'll just stay off the highway where the roadblocks are.

On a 3 year old vehicle in good condition, the inspections were about 20 bucks and 20 minutes. Make sure you warm up your car completely before going for the sniffer test.

¨Independence is the only benefit we have gained, at the expense of all else¨ -Simon Bolivar