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Driver License Requirements in Colombia


  • You must have a license to drive in Colombia.

  • If you are a tourist visiting Colombia you can use your valid motorcycle drivers license from your home country to drive in Colombia.

  • There is no need for getting a Colombian drivers license.

  • Foreign licenses are valid in Colombia for a period of up to 6 months. 

Driving with a Foreign License in Colombia

According to Article 25 of Law 769 of 2002, foreign driving licenses that are valid and used by tourists or people in transit within Colombia will be considered valid and accepted for driving during the authorized period of their holder's stay, in accordance with international regulations on the matter.


Foreigners have the same civil rights as Colombians under the constitution (Article 100 of the National Constitution), but regarding driving vehicles within Colombia, they may only do so during their authorized stay.


  • You must have a license to drive in Colombia.

  • Foreign Licenses are valid in Colombia for a Period of up to 6 months. 

Preparing for Your Trip

To ensure a smooth driving experience in Colombia, it is highly recommended to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before traveling. An IDP is a translation of your original license and helps local authorities understand your driving qualifications. Having an IDP in addition to your valid foreign license can help avoid potential misunderstandings or issues with law enforcement during your stay.

Keep in mind that each country has its own process for obtaining an IDP, so make sure to check with the appropriate authority in your home country to secure this document before your trip.

The Importance of a Valid License

Driving a motorcycle with a valid license in Colombia is important for several reasons:

  1. Legal compliance: A valid license ensures that you are adhering to Colombian laws and regulations, minimizing the risk of fines, penalties, or legal issues during your stay.

  2. Safety: A valid license confirms that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to operate a motorcycle safely. This is crucial for your safety and the safety of other road users, as it reduces the risk of accidents caused by inexperienced or untrained drivers.

  3. Insurance: If you plan to rent or insure a motorcycle in Colombia, having a valid license is typically a requirement. Without a valid license, you may not be able to rent a motorcycle or be covered by insurance in case of an accident, leaving you financially exposed.

  4. International driving standards: Possessing a valid license and an International Driving Permit (IDP) demonstrates that you meet internationally recognized driving standards. This can facilitate your interactions with Colombian authorities and help avoid misunderstandings or issues during your stay.

  5. Responsible tourism: As a visitor, it's essential to respect and abide by the local laws and regulations of the country you're visiting. Driving with a valid license in Colombia shows that you are a responsible tourist and contributes to a positive image of foreign visitors.


Potential Consequences of Driving Without a License

If an accident occurs and a person is found to be driving without a valid license, they may face several consequences, including:

  • Legal penalties: Driving without a license is a violation of the law in most countries, including Colombia. The individual may be subject to fines, penalties, or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense and the local legal system.

  • Criminal charges: If the accident results in injury or death, the unlicensed driver may face criminal charges, such as reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter, or even homicide, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

  • Civil liability: The unlicensed driver may be held financially responsible for damages and injuries caused by the accident. This can include medical expenses, property damage, loss of income, and other related costs incurred by the victims.

  • Insurance issues: Driving without a valid license can void any insurance coverage that may have been in place for the vehicle. This means the unlicensed driver will likely be personally liable for all costs associated with the accident, which can be substantial.

  • Difficulty in legal proceedings: In the event of a dispute or legal proceeding arising from the accident, the fact that the driver was unlicensed can significantly weaken their position and make it more challenging to defend themselves or negotiate a settlement.

  • Deportation or travel restrictions: For foreign nationals, driving without a valid license can have serious immigration consequences. Depending on the severity of the accident and the legal penalties imposed, the individual may be deported, barred from re-entry, or face other restrictions on their ability to travel.

How to Get Driver’s License in Colombia

To obtain a driver's license in Colombia, one must go through a long process that includes a driving course, tests, and other requirements. Here's a general overview of the process:

  1. Register in the RUNT System: Colombia's national database, known as RUNT, manages information about drivers and their driving history. You need to register in the RUNT system before proceeding with the other steps. The cost for registration is between 13,000 and 13,700 pesos.

  2. Enroll in a certified driving school: You need to take a driving course at an accredited driving school (Educación Escuelas de Automovilismo). The course typically includes theoretical and practical lessons.

    1. The classes and tests are offered in Spanish.

    2. For a car license, there are a total of 20 classes, amounting to 25 hours, and for a motorcycle license, there are 15 classes.

  3. Medical examination: Before obtaining a driver's license, you must undergo a medical examination to assess your physical and mental fitness to drive. This examination must be conducted at a certified medical center (Centro de Reconocimiento de Conductores).

  4. Theoretical test: After completing the driving course and passing the medical examination, you'll need to pass a theoretical knowledge test. This test covers traffic rules, road signs, and other driving-related topics.

  5. Practical test: Once you've passed the theoretical test, you'll have to take a practical driving test. This test evaluates your ability to drive safely and follow traffic rules.

  6. Pay fees: You'll need to pay the corresponding fees for the driving course, medical examination, and driver's license issuance.

  7. Obtain your driver's license: After successfully completing all the steps mentioned above, you'll receive your Colombian driver's license.

Please note that these requirements may vary depending on the specific category of the license you are applying for and could change over time. For the most up-to-date information, you should consult local authorities or the Colombian Ministry of Transport website.



In conclusion, driving in Colombia with a foreign license is possible, provided you comply with the legal requirements and have the necessary documentation. Always exercise caution, respect local traffic laws, and enjoy your journey through the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cities that Colombia has to offer. Remember that driving with a valid license is not only a legal requirement but also a critical component of ensuring safety on the roads and promoting responsible tourism. Be aware of the potential consequences of driving without a license and take the necessary steps to prepare for a safe and enjoyable motorcycle adventure in Colombia.

Ministero de Transporte Regulations for Drivers Licences in Colombia.
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