Getting a Driver's License

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emilygalbraith
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Getting a Driver's License

Post by emilygalbraith » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:18 am

I know I'm not the first to inquire about this, but it seems every source I've looked at has given me different information.

I am teaching English outside of Santiago until December. I will be getting my carnet in the next couple of weeks. Would this invalidate my ability to just pass off my American driver's license if I ever happen to be pulled over?

I have no issue getting a license here if that's what must be done. I've read that foreigners must provide a diploma, but it doesn't mention this at all on any official website I've looked at. Although the official websites seem to have almost no information about what I need to bring.

I'd just like to hear from people who have gone through this recently, especially because it seems like they have changed some things about the requirements.

Thank you!

emilygalbraith
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by emilygalbraith » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:35 am

I should also mention that I'd like to do some international travelling (Peru, Bolivia, etc) by car once the summer hits again.

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T_ROBO
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by T_ROBO » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:53 am

I live in a small city (Talca) south of Santiago, and police normally only pulled people off the street in April to check for registration and insurance. I was pulled over once, and they only reminded me, politely, without giving any ticket, to get the driver license :-) since it was required (as I showed them my Chilean ID).

The driver license theory exam, given in Spanish, was relatively easy (even for me who spoke very little Spanish at the time :-0) The questions seemed like common sense for people who already know how to drive. The only question that I missed was about the interpretation of the speed limit sign: I interpreted it as the upper limit of how fast we should drive without exceeding it, they interpreted it as a guidance where you can go slower/faster in some special situations, as I remember vaguely.

Yes, they asked for proof of sufficient education as required. People who waited in line to schedule their time slot for the exam told me to go to the Ministry of Education and show my college diploma (in my town, they did not even require the original or legalized version) and request help. They then wrote a letter (within a few days) saying that I met the education requirements and should be allowed to take the driver license theory test (this service was free back then).

TP

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marti
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by marti » Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:33 am

. . .
La mitad de eficaz. El doble de caro. El triple de complicado. Un país de cuarto.

SCL
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by SCL » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:47 pm

T Robo:

How about a short description/evaluation of Talca?

Britkid
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by Britkid » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:50 pm

I had a look at this and I decided NOT to bother getting a driver's license while under temporary residence with a RUT card. As far as I could tell after some research on this site and elsewhere, they may not be technically correct or legal, but is unlikely to get you into (serious) trouble. I did get stopped once in this situation, and showed my foreign license and was waved on. Although I got the sense he probably waived me on out of a doubt as to what to do.

When I get to permanent resident I will likely have another review of this, and probably get the license.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

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ExpatBob
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by ExpatBob » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:01 pm

Yeah I opted out of the license as well. If pulled over (which has yet to happen) my strategy is to show my US license with my international license, play the lousy-at-Spanish card, and don't-ask-don't-tell re residency. I've driven all over SouthAm with my Chilean car and patchwork menagerie of assorted international documents, and never had any problem crossing borders or checkpoints. Might not be a bad strategy; if it was all homogeneous, they might give you hassles, but the Chilean car with American and international DL, and Uruguayan or Paraguayan cedula, forget it, too complicated, wave this crazy gringo on through.
Like BritKid, when I get my permanencia I will probably re-evaluate the colonoscopy of obtaining my Chileno DL.

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zer0nz
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by zer0nz » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:32 pm

Britkid wrote:I had a look at this and I decided NOT to bother getting a driver's license while under temporary residence with a RUT card. As far as I could tell after some research on this site and elsewhere, they may not be technically correct or legal, but is unlikely to get you into (serious) trouble. I did get stopped once in this situation, and showed my foreign license and was waved on. Although I got the sense he probably waived me on out of a doubt as to what to do.

When I get to permanent resident I will likely have another review of this, and probably get the license.
its not illegal... go talk to your insurance company tho and confirm they are happy with the situation!

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marti
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by marti » Tue Apr 07, 2015 3:18 pm

. . .
La mitad de eficaz. El doble de caro. El triple de complicado. Un país de cuarto.

Britkid
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by Britkid » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:03 am

I called BPI, Mafre, Automovil club de Chile and Falabella in January 2014 to ask if I would be insured with a foreign (UK) driving license and no RUT. Only Falabella said yes and I managed to get them to confirm it in writing so I went with Falabella and will stay with them until I get the Chilean license required by the others.

We discussed it here, you were very helpful http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/view ... =18&t=2783 There was also some discussion on whether some of the companies that stated they wouldn't cover was actually correct statement or not.

Good reminder for others not to overlook this point though.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

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T_ROBO
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by T_ROBO » Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:40 am

ExpatBob wrote:Yeah I opted out of the license as well. If pulled over (which has yet to happen) my strategy is to show my
US license with my international license, play the lousy-at-Spanish card, and don't-ask-don't-tell re residency.
The US license/lousy Spanish strategy should be okay, in my opinion, until they (the police) look at our SOAP paper and car title that show our RUT :-) Then they will ask to see our carne and interesting things can follow :-)

TP

emilygalbraith
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Re: Getting a Driver's License

Post by emilygalbraith » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:12 pm

It seems like the consensus is the license is more trouble than it's worth! In fact it might be easier for me to obtain my international driver's license from the US rather than stand in all these lines at all these agencies and take all those tests. :P

Thanks for the input!

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