When you need to buy a new or used car, read these 2 links to learn how to avoid being ripped off by the dealers, and save thousands of dollars:
After you get your license, come back to this site and share your experience in the comments below.
When you go to the DMV/DTOP, be sure to ask for a supervisor to complain about the unnecessarily difficult and time-consuming process to get a driver’s license. As you may be waiting in line for hours or all day, you certainly have time to share your feedback with them. Only after enough people complain, will they fix the problems to improve the process. YOUR government should be working FOR you.
1 No way to renew online.
2 Cannot renew license more than 45 days before its expiration date, which isn’t helpful if you are or will be in the states when your driver license is about to expire or has expired.
3 Lines too long creating extended wait times. How many trips did you have to make and how long did you have to wait to get your driver’s license or get your car registration, aka marbete?
4 Locations, hours, phone numbers, map not clearly posted on DTOP’s website.
Why is dealing with the government, such as the DMV such a horrible experience? They don’t care so much to make your experience better, but instead their own experience better as a government employee. Yet, what explains why the DMV in the states is usually far more efficient, with shorter lines, less frustration than compared to Puerto Rico’s DMV/DTOP?
The process of obtaining a Puerto Rico driver license is far more difficult than getting one in the states. When you apply for your license, take the following information: Social security card, picture identification such as a Passport or Driver’s License; Birth Certificate, utility bill with YOUR name and address or a lease/rental agreement with YOUR name and address. If the address on your ID will be renewed with the same address, you might be able to skip the utility bill and lease agreement, but if you have it, it’s better to take more supporting documentation than not enough. This way you can get your new ID in one trip.
Learners Permit Certificate
A learner’s license allows you to practice driving while accompanied by a licensed adult age 21 or older. You must be at least 16 to apply. You can study for the written permit test using the Driver’s Manual (PDF) provided by the DTOP available online.
To apply you must provide the following:
1. Application for Driver License (form DTOP-775) (PDF)
If you are under 18 years of age, but older than 16 years of age, parent or legal guardian must present Birth Certificate and complete a notarized Parental affidavit Medical certificate (form DTOP-260)
2. Social Security number (present Social Security card, W-2 form, SSA-1099, US Military card, or copy of State or Federal Tax returns)
3. Provide proof of residence and birth date from Birth Certificate or Passport
4. Internal Revenue Seal of $11
5. Pass the written exam
•Learners Permit Certificate with at least 30 days of expedition
•Pass the driving exam
•Internal Revenue Seal of $11.00
If you wish to retake the exam you should present an Internal Revenue Seal of $5.00.
Renewal of Driver’s License
•Complete the Application for Driver License, including medical certificate
•Internal Revenue Seal of $11.00, if your license has expired you must present one for $20.00
If your license has been expired for more than 2 years and 30 days, you must retake the written exam applicable for your license type.
Driver’s License for New Residents
New residents must obtain a valid Puerto Rico driver’s license within 30 days of establishing residency and may register to vote after 30 days. If you are a U.S. Citizen and you have a valid out-of-state license you must provide the following:
•Take an eye exam
•Pass the written exam. If you are over 25 and your current license has no outstanding violations, the written exam could be waived.
•Internal Revenue Seal of $11
The eye exam is $24 and the Internal Revenue Seal is $11, so you will pay $35 total.
Duplicate of Driver’s License
•Affidavit on the loss of the license, indicating that has not been occupied by the Police or suspended by some court of Justice
•Internal Revenue Seal of $5.00
•Identification with photo
How to obtain a driver’s record?
You may request a driver record by mail by providing the following information:
•Full name as it appears on your driver’s license
•Social Security number
•Reason for the request
•Address to which the record should be mailed
•Daytime telephone number
•Photocopy of a valid photo identification, preferably your Puerto Rico driver’s license
•Money order in the amount of $1.50 made out to: Secretario de Hacienda.
Secretario de Hacienda
San Juan PR 00940-1240
Requests usually take 2 to 3 business days and mailed out via first class US Mail.
Vehicle Registration and Insurance Information
To register your car you must present vehicle’s current registration certificate, title (unless held by lien holder), and your out-of-state license plates.
Puerto Rico law does not require drivers to carry vehicle insurance.