ABOUT THE LIVING LIFE IN COSTA RICA BLOG

I (Vicki Skinner - aka "THE Sarong Goddess") created this blog in 2007 to share DETAILED Finds•Lists•Info•Events•Experiences to help bring more EASE to people living in, visiting or thinking of moving to Costa Rica since DETAILS are NOT easy to find!
I’m NOT an expert (an "expert" 2 ME knows 101%-NOT me). I believe in sharin info•helping where I can! And with over 2,200 entries, so some things might be out of date, so if you find old info PLEASE help each other by getting the updated info & sharing it with me to revise. At least you have some basic info to get you started.
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

DRIVERS EDUCATION & Training • Driving Schools • Written Driving Test Training with Classes in ENGLISH & Español - Driving in Costa Rica

DRIVING IN COSTA RICA

I think many people that have driven outside of Costa Rica (especially in countries where driving is more civilized) will agree that Costa Rica is not one of the easiest/best countries to drive in (especially with all the motorcyclists that seem to have a Death Wish!!).

I think one point that REALLY contributes to that is there is NO formal Drivers Training required (sadly, that's been one of the program's that's been cut in U.S. schools as well [it's MUCH more important to learn history and things right?? - NOT!!!]) and many people are being taught by people (usually their parents I'm sure) that never had education on how to drive properly either.

Hence I feel the BIG IMPORTANCE in 
DRIVING SCHOOLS  •  DRIVERS EDUCATION
ESPECIALLY because in Costa Rica one MUST learn how to drive DEFENSIVELY!
ESPECIALLY with all the Unmarked one-way streets, potholes, missing manhole covers, motorcyclists passing around you when you're in the left turning lane WITH your blinkers on+++!!

One guy gave an interesting perspective on that at:


MISC. QUESTIONS REGARDING DRIVERS LICENSES
in Costa Rica

WHERE TO TAKE THE DRIVING OR WRITTEN PLACE:
(NOTE: Where you get your driver's license is in the same location as where you take your written or driving test - EXCEPT for San Jose)
San Jose - Paso Ancho (driving and written test) • Uruca (driver's license) •  Limon  •  San Ramon  •  Alajuela  •  Puntarenas (close to Jaco)  •   Liberia.


WHAT'S THE LEGAL AGE FOR DRIVING IN COSTA RICA??
Anyone JUST 13+ years old can take the Written Test (WTH??  Does anyone understand what this is about??) - BUT - they can NOT get their Drivers Permit till they're 17 years old and they can not get their Drivers License till they're at least 18 years old!!!!


HOW LONG IS A LEARNER'S PERMIT GOOD FOR?
MY understanding is they're good for just 3-6 months (I'm re-verifying this soon)


HOW LONG IS A DRIVER'S LICENSE GOOD FOR?
The one I got is good for 3 years which I didn't realize it until AFTER the new law (below) took effect.  Since my new license in Florida was good for 10 years, I never dreamed my license here would be good for just 3 years so I missed renewing it before the new law went into effect - GRRRRR!!
BUT - 
there's a NEW LAW states that the ONLY people that can get a Drivers License are those with 
ACTIVE VALID Residency or Nationals.  
Have your Residency "Pending" - proof/papers and all?   
SORRY - but as of now, you can NOT get a Costa Rican Drivers License! 
(though SOME people have been known to get•renew them at some of the smaller•regional offices)
And the worse part of it is the law states that 
you MUST have a Costa Rican Drivers License if you're in the country more than 90 days!!! 
Yet if you're in "Residency Pending" status, according to Immigrations, you don't "NEED" to leave Costa Rica every 90 days.  
BUT - the way the new law is, if you're in Costa Rica for over 90 days and you get stopped for a ticket by the Transito Policia - or just a random check - the FINE is 280,000 colones/about $565 U.S. dollars) and six (6) points on a yet UNreceived license - for EACH occurrence!!!

NOTE:
More details at:


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NOTE TO AMERICAN'S
Most states now REQUIRE YOU to
LIVE IN THAT STATE for 1-6 CONSEQUTIVE MONTHS

before allowing you to renew or get a new driver license
(I learned that the hard way [fyi - Florida is 6 months!!])

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DRIVERS TRAINING • DRIVERS EDUCATION
in ENGLISH
in COSTA RICA

LANGAGES:  
Classes are taught in ENGLISH* and/y Español 


CLASS LOCATIONS:  
Classes are held either in person in Grecia (office), Escazu or Santa Ana -
OR
Via Conference/Video call on Skype.com (you MUST have Skype Version 5.10 or more recent). 
Do you have a group of friends that would like to take one of these class?  You can get•create your own group together and even host it at your house.  Inquire for prices.
They can also come to you for more customized training - inquire for prices)

CLASSES:  
Group Classes are the cheaper alternative (4 people minimum [so it may take a few week to get together]) plus they tend to take longer since you're waiting to answer everyone else's questions) -  OR - you can create CUSTOMIZE one-on-one classes JUST for you!!!

WRITTEN DRIVERS TEST EXAM PREP
Classes here are taught in English and/or Spanish but note that the Written Test Exam with COSEVI.com  (the equivalent to our U.S. "DMV" [Department of Motor Vehicles]) are in SPANISH•Español.     When you go to COSEVI to take your written test, you'll get one of 7 different tests each with 40 questions.  This course will focus on studying/memorizing each of these tests - so if you have a good memory (SOOO NOT me!!) yet don't know a lot of Spanish, you could do pretty well as they  study each test on the computer (as you would at COSEVI - so at least a basic understanding on how to use a computer will be VERY helpful!!).
PRICE:  In the Classroom (3 hours a day for 3 days) - $50.  Online (Skype) - $20


DEFENSIVE DRIVING
is for people that already have a drivers license (customized for your needs). 
WHO IS THIS FOR?  It's really for the person that has been driving for ages BUT, the thought of driving in Costa Rica scares the hell out of you!  This class is customized for YOUR Needs!!

PRICE:
You go to in Grecia - 80,000-c.  It's more $$ if in other areas.  Got a group of buds would like to take one of these classes??  Private Customized Classes

Advanced DRIVING IMPROVEMENT
This class is geared towards a specific thing you need help with - like how to drive in the city, defensive driving, parking lots.

Never driven (I'm surprised how MANY people this is their story) or it's been awhile?  They can teach you
DRIVER EDUCATION  •  DRIVING SCHOOL
(with driving done in parking lots)!




OTHER OPTIONAL SERVICES:
I DON'T SPEAK MUCH SPANISH SO I'M NERVOUS ABOUT DOING THIS MYSELF!
You can also HIRE them to take you to COSEVI to do the Tests as well as help walk you through/translate for the Drivers License process.


They also have 
EXECUTIVE DRIVERS and BODY GUARDS.


WHAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE FROM OTHER DRIVING SCHOOLS?:
They also have locations in the United States
The cars they use for Drivers Training classes have Double-brakes and Double Mirrors (they're one of the few companies that has this double brake system).

They can come to you/pick you up wherever.
Their GUARANTEE:  If you fail the test you can retake the class one more time.


CONTACT:
email
LivingLifeInCostaRica@gmail.com
for a DIRECT CONNECTION!!!




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Do you know of any other Driving Schools in Costa Rica - ESPECIALLY in English - or in Español?
Let's add them here!  E- me their details and an English-speaking Contact to



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(and if you found it helpful, please consider making a "DONATION" to help keep this blog going [see the top Right corner of the blog for details])

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