Nicaragua Driving Licence or Driver Permit

Nicaragua Driving Licence : Possessing a valid driver’s license is mandatory for all individuals operating a motor vehicle on Nicaraguan roads and highways.

This guide provides complete information on acquiring a new driving license, renewing an expired license, or replacing a lost or damaged license in Nicaragua.

Types of Nicaragua Driving Licence

Nicaragua issues driving licenses for the following motor vehicle categories:

  • Category I – Motorcycles, trikes, scooters up to 150cc capacity
  • Category II – Vehicles up to 9 passengers like cars, SUVs, pickups etc.
  • Category III – Light buses and trucks weighing 3.5 tons or less
  • Category IV – Heavy buses, trucks and trailers over 3.5 tons
  • Category V – Specialty vehicles like forklifts, farming machinery etc.

The minimum age to obtain a license ranges from 16 to 18 years depending on vehicle type.

Eligibility Criteria for Acquiring a Nicaraguan Driver’s License

To qualify for obtaining a driving license in Nicaragua, applicants must:

  • Meet the minimum age requirement for the vehicle category
  • Provide original identification documents
  • Furnish residency proofs for foreigners
  • Get a medical fitness certificate
  • Pass the theory exam on traffic rules
  • Pass the mandatory practical driving test
  • Pay the license fee

Steps to Get a New Driving License in Nicaragua

Follow these key steps to apply for and get a new driving license issued in Nicaragua:

Step 1: Get Learner’s Permit

  • Visit the local municipal office and apply for learner’s permit.
  • Provide ID proof, residency documents and medical certificate.
  • Pay application fees.
  • Pass the computerized theory test on road signs and rules.
  • On approval, obtain the plastic learner’s permit valid for 6 months.

Step 2: Enroll in a Driving School

  • Join a certified driving school for practical lessons.
  • Learn vehicle controls, maneuvering, parking under a licensed instructor.
  • The number of compulsory classes varies from 15-30 hours based on vehicle type.
  • Schools provide training vehicles for lessons and practice.

Step 3: Give Driving Test

  • On completing training, book a slot for the practical test.
  • Bring all documents, learner’s permit, ID and medical certificate.
  • The test evaluates your driving skills on public roads.
  • Passing the test will make you eligible for the permanent license.

Step 4: Obtain Permanent Driving License

  • Submit application form, passport photos, test pass certificate and fee.
  • Upon verification, you will be issued the plastic card format permanent license.
  • It bears your photo, signature, license number and validity period.

Your new driving license allows you to legally operate the approved vehicle category in Nicaragua.

Documents Required for Obtaining Nicaraguan License

You’ll need to submit these documents when applying for a Nicaraguan driving license:

  • Duly completed application form with photos
  • Original identification like passport, national ID card or birth certificate
  • Valid residency proof for foreign nationals
  • Eyesight fitness certificate from doctor
  • Learner’s permit (for permanent license only)
  • Driving exam pass certificate
  • Payment receipt of applicable license fee

Fees for Acquiring a Driver’s License in Nicaragua

The typical fees charged for obtaining a new driving license in Nicaragua are:

License TypeFee
Learner’s Permit280 Cordobas
Category I (Motorcycle)450 Cordobas
Category II (Light Motor Vehicle)600 Cordobas
Category III (Light Commercial Vehicle)850 Cordobas
Category IV (Heavy Commercial Vehicle)1200 Cordobas

Renewing a Nicaraguan Driving License

To renew an expired driving license in Nicaragua:

  • Licenses can be renewed up to 5 years after the expiry date
  • Submit renewal application with new medical certificate
  • Provide updated identification and residency proofs
  • Pay renewal fee which is 50% of initial license cost
  • Get new photograph and signature updated
  • Eye test may be required for older drivers
  • On approval, the renewed license will be issued

Replacing Lost, Stolen or Damaged License

If your Nicaraguan driving license is lost, stolen or damaged, you must:

  • File a report with the police regarding stolen or lost license.
  • Submit application for duplicate license at the municipal office.
  • Furnish copy of police complaint, if applicable.
  • Provide acceptable ID and residency proofs.
  • Pay replacement fee of 300 Cordobas.
  • Allow 7-10 days for the duplicate license to be issued.

Converting Foreign Driver’s License to Nicaraguan License

If you hold a valid foreign driver’s license, you can convert it into a Nicaraguan one by:

  • Checking your home country has reciprocal agreement with Nicaragua.
  • Submitting original foreign license, certified translation and passport.
  • Passing a vision test and basic driving test, if required.
  • Paying applicable fees for license conversion.
  • The equivalent Nicaraguan license will be issued in 1-2 weeks.

Traffic Laws and Violations in Nicaragua

Strictly follow these traffic rules in Nicaragua to avoid fines or suspension:

  • Drive on the right side of the road.
  • Observe speed limits which are 60km/hr in urban areas and 80km/hr on highways.
  • Drunk driving is illegal with severe penalties if caught.
  • Not stopping at red traffic light incurs 500 Cordobas fine.
  • Use of seat belts is mandatory for driver and all passengers.
  • Talking on mobile phones while driving is prohibited.
  • Traffic police can confiscate licenses for serious violations.
  • Accidents causing injury or death can lead to imprisonment.

Tips for Safe Driving Practices in Nicaragua

To safely navigate Nicaraguan roads, follow these safe driving tips:

  • Get sufficient practice before driving solo.
  • Keep distance from vehicles ahead and drive defensively.
  • Sound horn before overtaking. Use indicators properly.
  • Avoid driving at night outside big cities due to poor lighting.
  • Drive slowly within prescribed speed limits.
  • Wear seat belt and ensure passengers also wear it.
  • Be extra vigilant near schools, hospitals and busy intersections.
  • Carry license, vehicle papers and insurance at all times.
  • Keep doors locked and windows up when stopping at traffic lights.
  • If an accident occurs, notify police immediately.

FAQs on Nicaragua Driving Licence

Q1. What is the minimum age to obtain a motorcycle license in Nicaragua?

The minimum age to obtain a Category I motorcycle license in Nicaragua is 16 years.

Q2. How much does a driving license test cost in Nicaragua?

The practical driving test fee in Nicaragua is approximately 300 Cordobas. The theory test costs around 150 Cordobas.

Q3. What documents do I need to renew my Nicaraguan driving license?

You’ll need your expired license, updated medical certificate, residency proofs, passport photos and payment receipt of the renewal fee. An eye test may be required.