Getting a Mexican Driver’s License in La Paz, Baja California Sur

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It was time to head to Transito on Colima and I was dreading it.  My Baja California Sur driver’s license had expired and I was driving around town, with kids in the car, illegally.  I was beginning to feel guilty.
I am not a fan of running around government offices, trying to get paperwork done.  I dreaded going every year to get my FM 2 paperwork done at Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM).  I dread even more visits to the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) or any public educational institution.  Copies, copies and more copies.  Sometimes you have to dig up copies of things you didn’t even know existed.
But I researched well what was needed of me for my driver’s license renewal before I headed to Transito in order to have a good idea what was expected of me to try and keep the process as painless as possible. It worked.
I quickly found out my dread was unwarranted. Things were actually fairly simple and even on this particularly busy morning in Transito, the entire process took me less than an hour.  Transito La Paz process up to 150 driver’s licenses on a busy day, so things run almost like clockwork. To note, there are assistants available to walk you through the process and at a minimal fee of about 100 to 200 pesos; they may be a great option if you have limited Spanish.
According to Transito, in order to obtain a BCS driver’s license for the first time, you must include proof of payment which is now, 2012, at $640.70 pesos for a 3-year license, a copy of your official identification, a copy of your CURP, copy of a comprobante de domicilio (proof of residency) e.g. electric bill, water bill, etc. and a certificate from a laboratory which states your blood type.  Your blood type is recorded on your license in case of an emergency where you need blood fast.
For the renewal process, your current license, proof of payment, a copy of your CURP and a copy of a comprobante de domicilio is all that was needed.  However, once the Transito employee saw my foreign name, I was asked for my immigration status document as well.
Step-by-step? First step is to make sure your driving record is clear at the Driver’s License terminal.  There are several terminals in Transito so look for the Licencia de Manejo sign. There they will then give you a document to take to the CAJA, which is where all money transactions take place at Transito, and pay the cost of the license and any traffic tickets that have not been squared up before.  Once payment is made, head back to Licencia de Manejo and give all documents required.  You will be asked to fill out a simple form that includes name, birth date, and emergency contact information.
Once the paperwork is complete, your photo will be taken and within 3 minutes, you will have your new license in hand and grateful that you don’t need to do it again anytime soon.
It is important to note that there was not a written or oral exam for renewal.  When I first applied for my BCS driver’s license 3 years ago, I was told that with a copy of my foreign (Manitoban) driver’s license, there was also no need for an exam.
Please remember, this was my experience at Transito and like many experience’s in Mexico, my experience may not be the same as your experience.  Your best bet is to go prepared with a copy or two of documents that are fairly standard in the various registration processes here in La Paz.  You never know what may be asked of you.
Transito in La Paz is located on the corner of Colima and Mexico and is opened for driver’s license renewal from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. For more information, call 612 123 6350.
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