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Renewing your Mexican drivers license

If you, like me, use a Mexican drivers license, you have to renew every 3-5 years depending on your license. I got my first Mexican drivers license in Quintana Roo, in Playa del Carmen, and that was only valid for 1 year because in that state they have the very expensive “temporary resident/tourist”-license.

I had no clue how corrupt the system in Quintana Roo really was until I went to other states in Mexico to discover that there is a huge “tourist/temporary resident exploit”-system in that state. Same by the way in other very popular tourist areas. I hear Nayarit and Sinaloa have some pretty weird financial arrangements for foreigners as well. (read: How to get a Mexican drivers license on a Temporary Resident permit)

Anyways, my too much paid for, too short valid license needed extension so I started to research how to do that in La Paz where I now live close by. In La Paz this is done at the offices of Secretaría de Finanzas y Administración BCS.


I will take you through the process of extending your license step by step

Although I write about renewing in La Paz, the system might be similar in your state. Since the Federal Government decides on the rules for extending drivers licenses. But this process may be slightly different from state to state.

    1. Make an online appointment if possible I did this on the website of Citas Baja California Sur,  If you cannot make an appointment in your State you have to fall in the line at the Transito office.
    2. On the date of your appointment go to the office where you have your appointment and take all the documents with you
    3. Tell the receptionist you have an appointment, she will give you a number and a report of outstanding penalties
    4. wait for your number and desk number to appear on the Screen
    5. go to the desk appointed to you to process the paperwork, have your photo taken and your prints (all digital done at the desk)
    6. go to the cashier to pay
    7. wait for your name to be called and collect your new license.

The whole process should not take more than 20 minutes.

Paperwork to bring for renewing your drivers license in Mexico

  • copy of your ID, both Resident and Passport (front and back of your resident card), and the originals
  • copy of your drivers license (front and back) and the original
  • proof of address no older than 3 months  (if you changed address in the past year)
  • the letter of no outstanding penalties (given to you at the front desk on your day of appointment, or obtained from the local police station depending your state)
  • if you are over 65 a medical report from a certified (IMSS) doctor that you are capable of driving
  • CURP number (read: how to get a CURP number in Mexico)

How to make the online appointment with Transito in La Paz?

Head over to the website of Secretaría de Finanzas y Administración BCS, (use the link I provided above, or find your way by Googling their website) on the website go to Tramites y Servicios –>> Citas en Linea

  • select in dropdown menu 1 Direccion General de Igresos
  • select in dropdown menu 2 Licencia de conducir Automovilista/Chofer?motociclista
  • The screen will show you prices, documents etc, what to bring 
  • select a location (there are multiple offices, you choose the one closest to your home)
  • select a date and time (only available dates will be selectable if you see no available dates, scroll to the future)
  • click Siguiente (blue button)
  • on the next page fill out your personal information starting with your RFC number. If you do not have an RFC number you need to get one first, this can be done online as well and takes only a few minutes (read: How to get an RFC number in Mexico)
  • click Confirm
  • you will receive an email with a confirmation of your appointment

The email you receive also has two buttons, one to cancel your appointment and one to reschedule. 

Some points to take into consideration:

  • you need to be at the location at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • they do not speak English or their English is very limited
  • make sure you check the paper they hand you over to sign if there are no mistakes made, mine had mistakes, some states in Mexico use different letter types for drivers licenses, according to my Quintana Roo license in Baja California I could only drive a cat, while I have a motor license.
  • do not stand in the cue, do ask the receptionist for your appointment. You may have to knock on the door to get her attention or wait until she pops out her head which she does often.


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