Getting a Driver’s License in Puerto Rico, How To, DMV, DTOP

See also the separate page for DMV DTOP locations with a handy map.

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:

Ricardo Yamil 2020 Vote #2 in District 6 on August 9 Primary

Ricardo Yamil 2020 Vote #2 in District 6 on August 9 Primary

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

Driver’s License
•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
•License 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.
Mail to:
Secretario de Hacienda
DivisiApartado 41243
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.

This entry was posted in DMV aka DTOP, government offices, incompetence and mismanagement, Puerto Rico necessary improvements, transportation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Getting a Driver’s License in Puerto Rico, How To, DMV, DTOP

  1. Bekah says:

    Last Monday I went to CESCO in Ponce at about 4:15 to transfer the title on my car. After waiting 4 hours I finally got to the counter to try and discuss that I had already paid it and nothing that I had read said i needed residency to put the title in my name. There was some push back but I think overall they wanted to get out of there as much as I did. Turns out the previous owner has some tickets so I wasn’t able to get the title transferred. It was a loud crowded, terribly organized time.

    BUT! I went last night again at 3:35 to get my license and also complete the transfer. Note: I hold a Missouri Driver’s License which has partial reciprocation. I went armed with my title transfer documents (just in case I could do both), my Social Security Card, my Passport, my birth certificate, my Missouri license, a pay stub with my Ponce address on it, a letter with my Ponce address on it, the form 257 and $11 in cash. (I brought extra identification in case I ran into problems again.) I did not have enough cash.

    After getting my number (68) to hold my place in line, I went outside to the doctor who makes a living performing the various medical exams for the DTOP/CESCO (I still don’t know what the CESCO actually is). He was nice, spoke English which is good because although apprendo muy rapido still hablo un pocito Espanol. The medical exam consists of a couple questions; height, weight, eye color, hair color, need glasses, any medical conditions. The exam was $15 cash. I only had $11. But I had a checkbook! Would not accept check (as I expected), I was about to call my lifeline, but he said, “I’ll take $11. ” I asssume he also did not want to stay there much longer. Run through the lobby, my line was up to #25. Perfect. Then I got in line for the Sello de Revenue in the Hacienda de la Puerto Rico (I think, something like that. To pay for the license). Since I had partial reciprocation it was going to cost $11, $10 for the written exam and $1 for the paperwork (still fuzzy on this). Got my seals, tiny little stamp like stickers (keep those somewhere secure, lots of people had Ziploc baggies. I put mine in my wallet.). Now the number is up to 28 and it is about 4:45. This time it was not as crowded. About 6 my number was called. The attendant spoke enough English and I spoke enough Spanish that we communicate quickly and efficiently. I assume they waved my written exam because I didn’t end up taking one. She hands back the form I filled out with my Missouri license taped to it, the medical form, the copy of my passport, my social security card, and my pay stub. She says they will call your number again for the fotographia. I then said I have transferir de titulo and handed her all that information (I had contacted the seller and he had paid his tickets). She quickly logged the forms and printed me a new title and returned it. Maybe 15 minutes more my number was called for the fotographia. Here I found the first person who spoke English, but he wasn’t willing to let me off easy and spoke mostly Spanish to me. I understand more than I expect so it worked out well. Here he scanned all the documents I had including the social security card, took my picture, then told me to wait by the Wizard of Oz window for my license and paperwork. I waited for a moment, saw that the line in front of me was very long and went outside for a smoke. It’s about 6:30ish now. Just as I finish my cigarette the supervisor who helped me last week walks out with my license and paperwork and says, keep all these and smiles (knowing how frustrated I was last week).

    So. Cost should have been $26 total, in actuality was $22. Overall not a terrible experience. Take a snack. My partner brought me a burger and it made a world of difference. Needed something offical (bill or in my case paystub) with your address on it, my old license, Passport/Birth Cert, SSC, form 257, and medical exam. Keep in mind I have partial reciprocation.


  2. Jay says:

    Quick question, Departmento de Hacienda is inside the DTOP (DMV) or nearby?


    • Bekah says:

      In Ponce it is not necessarily inside but is in the same building. If you go out the south door there is another waiting area on the east with glass doors and cashiers.


  3. Maggie says:

    Can someone please tell me if puerto rico will deny you a driver’s license if your new Jersey one is suspended


  4. Anonymous says:

    Maggie, did you ever get a response? I’m just curious?


  5. Sam Alan McGowan says:

    Can you obtain a driver’s license in Puerto Rico if your license was revoked in US?


  6. Sam Alan McGowan says:

    Can you obtain a DL in PR if your stateside licence has been revoked? Please don’t answer with instructions of how to renew or get a new licence if you have a valid license stateside.


  7. Eva Vazquez says:

    Do I need my birth certificate to renew my drivers license in PR?


  8. EuroBob says:

    Anyone have info on obtaining a license without proper immigration documentation or SS card? I have read that there was a change in law to allow non-SS card holding individuals to apply for provisional and full licenses.. Info???

    Liked by 1 person

  9. JDub says:

    Curious if you actually need to get the medical test done in order to get your PR license if you are a new resident with a current license from the states? DIS-260?


    • rholmes1987 says:

      I believe yes. But it isn’t really a medical test. It is a doctor filling in your height, weight, eye color, and hair color.


      • It’s a joke of a medical “test” in that its a test in name only. Some people I know couldnt pass the vision exam eye test, but were still passed by the doctor, even though they should have failed.


  10. RICARDO Martinez says:

    Puerto Rico doesn’t have anything in English. And the workers don’t know English or how to see what a NY CDL looks like


  11. Maxine hopkinson says:

    I took the easy way out. Above the supermax on De Diego in Condado, is a company that does all things DMV. For $90 I had all the documents completed for me to obtain a new DL. I did have to go the Carolina to get the photo taken (and they have an office in there too for that purpose). I had my new license in less than a week. Well worth the additional cost. Total time needed was about an hour. Trust me it’s worth the money.


  12. I like to common on the following subject, why is it that if I have a category#8 licence and I want to become an op driver (operador publico) I have to come down in category to a category # 4, isn’t a category class 8 license a heavy license? Please explain!

    My second question is I have a category#8 license here in Puerto Rico,in New York or any other states, what would it be categorize, keeping in mind that New York categorize there license in letters,Ex.class A, class b and so on.Is it classified as a CDL license.(commercial Drivers License).
    Please get back to me on any of these questions.


  13. Nelson says:

    En este país se habla Español, lo cual significa que ya lo estamos haciendo mejor, estúpido. Latinos 2050… FU!!
    Translated to English: In this country, Spanish is spoken, which means that we are already doing better, stupid. Latinos 2050 … FU!


  14. Anthony Lewis says:

    I’ve been to the DMV several times. I provided all documents. When I returned with my passport I didn’t bring the other documents again. I don’t speak Spanish. Can you help with the language barrier. Puerto Rico was suggested by the FBI. Please contact Rosa A. Rodriguez Department Of Justice.


    • Anthony Lewis, can you be more specific? What were you trying to accomplish and what was the problem? Which location did you go to? PR was suggested by the FBI for what? While many workers at the DMV don’t speak English, ask them to find an English-speaking worker or ask other waiting customers to act as a translator. It’s better to take more documents than not enough to save time. If you have them, take your Driver’s License, Passport, Social Security Card, Birth Certificate; Utility Bill with your name, Lease Agreement, Mortgage, Bank Statement, Health Insurance with address, etc. They want proof of identity and proof of address.


  15. Brian L Clark says:

    If I provide the form DTOP-775, a copy of my last years Federal Tax return, Passport, current state drivers license, and lease of residency, can I get a drivers license there in PR? I have my Social security card back in USA, but I’ll be flying direct to PR from Philippines.


    • Unfortunately, most of the PR DMV/DTOP offices don’t answer the phone where you could ask them by phone if the SS card is absolutely required or not. Welcome to PR! As for missing the SS card, you could apply for a new one in PR and have it mailed to you in PR, which should normally take 1-2 weeks to receive. With the partial government shutdown, that might be delayed. Once you go through the process, come back and let us know how it worked out.

      Here is the office locator for the Social Security Administration. There is no fee to get a new SS card.

      These 2 are about 20 minutes from the SJU/San Juan airport, with the one in Carolina probably easy parking.
      SAN JUAN PR 00926
      M-T, TH-F 9-4, W 9-12

      5829 65 INF AVE – STE 201
      CAROLINA PR 00987
      M-T, TH-F 9-4, W 9-12

      If flying in to BQN/Aguadilla airport, go here
      AGUADILLA PR 00603
      M-T, TH-F 9-4, W 9-12


  16. Ann says:

    2019 (San Juan Experience)
    Went to DMV and got my license. It’s important to note that 49 states have reciprocity with Puerto Rico now – so no written or driving tests! (Hawaii is another story).

    The folks outside the San Juan CESCO (a part of DTOP) can guide you to get a “medical exam” on the spot to complete your application. It’ll cost you $25 Cash for the medical exam on the spot.

    You need stamps to pay for your drivers license and I recommend going to Banco Popular to get them (the amounts below for the Real ID – federal version)

    Sello $16 – code: 5120
    Comp $2 – code: 0842
    Comp $17 – code: 2028

    Print off the application and fill it out at home, and print out your driving record from your previous state. Then bring both with you and all other materials to the CESCO, hop in the the golf cart to medical/medico official and pay them for the “exam”, and then hop in the golf cart back to CESCO (skip the line outside), come in and get in the line to get a number!

    You will get the drivers license on the spot!


    • Thanks Ann for the detailed report. This can be very useful for our dear readers.


    • Liz says:

      Thank you for this – very helpful! Unfortunately, I didn’t see your post until after we went to CESCO. There we learned we need our driving records. Can I assume, because you said you “printed” your record that it does not need to be “certified” (which would have to be mailed)? We weren’t told and didn’t know to ask. Thanks!

      Here are things we learned that might be helpful to others:

      In Humacao, the stamps can be purchased in an office next door to CESCO.

      For older folks (I think 60+), you can sit in an area where seats are marked for express. There are indeed benefits to getting older 🙂

      The agent who assisted us was very nice suggesting we come to her window when we return. We will!


  17. Manolo Chevarria says:

    Is it true that folks that dont have DL in the us (suspended and other wise) take the exam in PR and are given a new DL with proof of identity docs?


  18. Jose says:

    Hello I wanted to know What do I have to do If I’m transfering my Cdl A from the states to Puerto Rico? Will it transfer right over?


  19. Carmen Lugo says:

    I need drivers manual in english. I have gone everywhere and CAN NOT find. Please help. Thank you


  20. Dean says:

    This was put together very well! Detailed and concise. One change as I just did this in September 2019. For your Puerto Rico drivers license road test you will need a $16.00 sellos and a $2.00 revenue 0842.


Leave a Reply to Jay Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s