Saturday, April 2, 2011


Randy has a habit of jumping the gun when someone mentions something that he thinks is a good idea. He blew off my suggestion of waiting for his Cedula before he bought his motorcycle (thanks Clarke), and once again he has jumped to deciding now was a good time to get his automobile drivers license. We do not own a car, and will not own a car for quite some time.. but our friend Chuck was going to go to school and well, Randy thought it would be fun to go along. So he did..

After you attend driving school (everyone has to), you have to wait a week or so to come back for your certificate. Then you take the certificate along with the required documents. These are 2 photos, front and back copy of your blood type card, color copy of your cedula and censo, police record and the driving school certificate.

Randy, Chuck and Tom all took classes together so they all went to the police station to take their tests together. I am told that Tom had a $10 tucked in his pocket just in case the story about bribes was accurate.
They arrived about 11:30 in the morning and was told that they needed to come back at 1:30. I got a call saying they were off to Kookaburras to while away the time and would I be joining them?

I parted company with them at Kooks and off they went all excited to be on the last step of their license journey. Time ticked by.. I received several phone calls from Randy saying he was still in the gristmill of getting the license..he finally arrived home at 4:00 and this is the story I heard.

The trio arrived a little before 1:30 and joined the line that had already formed. While in line Chuck and Tom realized they did not have all the proper documentation, so they dashed off to get some copies made. (50 ft away). As soon as they were out of sight the doors opened and the people swarmed in. Randy being the good friend that he is went to the back of the room, thinking he would save the other guys seats... not to be..Ecuadorians are not very understanding of lines, so Randy saving seats was way beyond them. Chuck and Tom were relegated to standing in the back with some other folks.  A gentleman announced that all those standing would have to leave, as they only had a set amount of seats for testing, and those standing were beyond that number. So poor Randy, all alone. He said he offered Chuck his seat, but Chuck declined. His idea of them all testing together just went out the door...

The process as described by Randy is this. You wait  as one by one folks take their documents up to the processing person. If you have all the correct documents you go sit back down, and they keep your paperwork. Those who don't have correct paperwork are asked to come back at another time. Once everyones paperwork as been looked at they count how many vacant seats there are and then offer those seats to anyone waiting outside (Chuck and Tom could of gotten in on this if they had known).

At this point you are given a test with your name and cedula number on it. (P.S. be sure to bring your own writing implement!) While you take your test an officer walks around the class keeping and eye on the participants. When you are done with the test you signal the officer who has you sign your test, and takes it. You continue to wait quietly until everyone is done with their tests, and the officer has collected all of them. The officer hands off the tests to a person who we assume takes them to be corrected. The test takers continue to sit and wait for the corrected tests.

When the correction person returns he calls each person up one at a time and shows them their test scores. If they passed they get a slip of paper and are directed up to the second floor to the doctors office.

Upstairs again you sit and wait your turn. The doctor takes your slip of paper, then gives an eye test, notes your height and eye color and blood type. If you pass the eye test he gives you another piece of paper and directs you to another building.

At this building you are greeted by a lady who magically has your test. You pay her your $38 and are directed back to the original building to have your photo taken.
***side note.. When Randy when up to this lady, she rattled off something in Spanish, and Randy did not understand her. He apologized in Spanish, and explained his Spanish was not very good. She responded in perfect English.. What? You don't speak Spanish and you passed this test and only missed one? You must read better than you speak.. he agreed. She said MUY BIEN! He was very happy with the compliment.

Well, after all the flush of the compliments wore off, Randy realized that he wasn't sure where he was supposed to go for the photo.. as he stood there looking bewildered a nice lady came by and said "Photo?" and waved him to follow her. So he got his photo taken and then within 5 minutes he was handed his new Ecuadorian drivers license!

I have to note here that the license is only good for 5 years and then you have to take the test part again, NOT the drivers training part. Which is kind of funny, because we probably wont be able to buy a car for about that many years!

Randy will be returning on Monday with Chuck and Tom. To do this process all over again... to get his Motorcycle license!


  1. Randy may want to rent a car and take you on a nice trip within the next 5 years. At least he is prepared. Congratulations on getting your DL Randy. AND, now Karen, have you picked out your loom?

  2. That is really a good telling of the adventure Karen. It was just like that for me last year. Once I entered the area where the testing is done I got teamed up with 19 other folks. By the end, after tagging along to each of the stations, culminating with the photo, we had bonded. Gerard

  3. Congrats Randy! It's a great feeling having passed the test.

  4. I predict that you guys will be able to, want to, and will buy a car after three years. That is when it happens to expats who stay. - Gerard

  5. Drivers license a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle, that is how drivers license known all over the world, but i don't think it can be used as an ecuadorian drivers license. Is that possible? Thanks for sharing!

  6. HI Tyre changer,
    Yes, this is meant as a license to drive in Ecuador. International Drivers Licenses are not really recognized here. If you get into an accident, whether its your fault or not. So if someone hits you and you only have your US or International license you will automatically be at fault... thus its better to have a drivers license from the Ecuadorian Drivers License system. Thanks for reading!

  7. Nice story and very entertaining as well made laugh a few times, lol. Being my self an Ecuadorian as well I loved the story and the so typical behavior of Latin people he he.

    However things have changed a little bit now for drivers licenses. Nowadays for example the Police is no longer directly in charge of expediting the Driver licenses here but Civilians only.

    But anyway you still got 5 years to enjoy and drive all around Ecuador.

    Nice blog well done

    Maurice V.

    You should read Banos Ecuador Blog

    1. Thanks Banos EC, yes, that is the thing with blogs.. its only good for your experience.. time and requirements change so fast.. but at least those seeking info. know it is possible. thanks for reading!