International Drivers License Peru (2020)

International Drivers License In Peru

I often get asked about an International Drivers License or IDL in Peru. First a little to help put and end to all this craziness around the BS being spread by insurance agents and places like Triple A.

First, I am a legal Airport Taxi business owner in Peru. second I have owned a Commercial Drivers License for 20 years in both the United States, and 5 years now here in Peru. The point is I have not only the experience but am required to follow the actual laws in Peru regarding driving any vehicles.

All of this said, driving in Peru is not for the faint of heart. Having 20 years of driving in the NYC, I came to Peru well prepared for what was to come.

I’m also going to tell you that if you come from a small town, driving here in Peru will be as bad as your worst nightmare.

Airport Taxi Driver At The Wheel

Keep Reading To See If You Need An International Drivers License in Peru

Drive The Costa Verde With an International Drivers License

I too wanted to drive in Peru but, I moved to Peru not knowing the laws, and had to look them up. So I’ve done a ton of research on this very subject. 

Five years later, I now know the law and want to share that knowledge with anyone looking to drive in Peru.

To make this short and sweet, you DO NOT need and International Drivers License to drive in Peru.

I went to my local Triple A in Massachusetts and was told “You need an IDL to drive in Peru”. They proceeded to charge me $20 for a picture that they stapled on to a piece of paper with my current license details. And within a year of arriving in Lima Peru, I found that the IDL wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Keep reading for a bit of perspective and find out if your home country signed the Hague Convention. 

There Is No "Requirement" To Have An IDL In Peru To Drive Here

While this post is targeted towards persons from the United States, keep reading because below is important information regarding your home country and whether you’re in need of an International Drivers License.

On April 24, 2014, a full 13 months before I moved to Peru, the law on whether you need and IDL or not was published. This has been updated on February 26, 2015. This means the insurance companies were scamming people in to believing they needed one. You can read the actual Supreme Decree here. Read Article 10c in the above decree and you can see, according to Peruvian Law, your license from your home country is valid here for up to 6 months. In case you don’t want to look it up, here’s the actual wording. 

Las licencias originales de otros países que se encuentren vigentes y que hayan sido
expedidas de conformidad con los Convenios Internacionales suscritos y ratificados por el Perú, las
que podrán ser utilizadas por un plazo máximo de seis (06) meses contados a partir de la fecha de
ingreso al país

Original licenses from other countries that are in force and that have been
issued in accordance with the International Agreements signed and ratified by Peru, may be used for a maximum period of six (06) months from the date of
Entrance to the country

This makes it clear that if your home country, such as the United States has signed the Hague Convention (and they did), your regular drivers license in valid in Peru, up to 6 months. Why only 6 months? Find out here.

Adding Some Perspective

I posted this blog in a Canadian Facebook group. What I got was a great response and a really good perspective on it. People come here to Peru for vacation and some to live. We or at least I, didn’t come here to make life more complicated, especially not for the police. While on many levels there’s corruption, I don’t want to add to the daily hassle they have.

The actual quote is

 You are required to only show your license but if you have the IDL it could help the police with the translation.

Point is, while there’s no “requirement to have an IDL. Getting one to aide in any traffic stops is not a bad idea, and should be considered.

How To Find Out If Your Country Signed The Hague Convention

First, the Hague Convention is not a big deal for most people. That is unless you’re looking to drive in Peru, or have certificates and plan to become an Expat and live here.

If your only goal is to find out if you can drive in Peru without an International Drivers License. You can look up your country here

Currently there are 85 countries who have signed the convention. If your country is on the list, all you need is your original valid drivers license and your passport.

Staying longer than 6 months and get in to an accident, please don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Passport

2 comments

  1. Craig Wilson

    How well do you need to speak spanish to take the written test here? This is the part that worries me as my Spanish is weak at best….

    1. Transportefacil Peru

      If your Spanish is not at least good, you will struggle to pass the test. There are lots of words you’ll need to learn first. They use different words for the same thing. Example; Via = Road but they will also use Calzada. This is just one example of the need to learn some new words.

      My suggestion is to download the MTC similacro and go over the questions time and time again in Spanish. The once you’ve got the questions and answers correct, go take the test.

      In many of the Expat groups people have said they were allowed a translator to go with them for the written test. When I went to pickup my license, there was a gentleman there who didn’t speak a word of Spanish and had a translator with him.

      I would go to touring in Lince (assuming you’re in Lima) and ask about a translator versus trying to take the test in English.

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