Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

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zer0nz
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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by zer0nz » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:29 pm

e-bum wrote:This update will serve only for your entertainment.

I have now another lawyer who is telling me that, indeed, my international license is only valid whilst having a tourist visa. Once a I have a residencia en trámite, I will need to get a Chilean license that will only be valid during the time my visa is in process.. Once my official residency visa gets here (within 2-4 months of when I first submitted the application), I have to go and get NEW Chilean license.


What.
Ask him to show you the laws that apply to you............. :) and not just rattle s$%&/() off!

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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by admin » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:45 pm

yea, sounds like you have two attorneys that know nothing about foreigners or immigration law.

The requirement is for you to get a Chilean license, once you have full permanent residency.

We have dozens and dozens of clients with companies that own vehicles in Chile, being driven by foreign workers in all sorts of visa status. NEVER, has the issues been brought up.

The truck is not registered in your name. So, who do you have to answer for in relation to the truck and license combination?

The city?
they are in charge of issuing licenses, not enforcing immigration law.

Immigration? they are in charge of issuing visas, and not enforcing driving laws.

One has nothing to do with the other one.

The only person involved that I can think of might be the cop on the beat that might stop you and checks your license. So far, the worst we have ever heard of, even driving on a foreign license after permanent residency, is a stern warning to get their Chilean license. What happens in practice is, most cops either do not care or are not sure themselves about the requirement. They are just happy you might know how to drive (plenty of people with licenses in Chile that do not know how to drive), and as a foreigner your really are more hassle than you are worth over a license.

In fact, I have never had a police officer ask me for my license at all (it is a Chilean one). registrations, and other paperwork, but never my license.
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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by admin » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:08 pm

It might just be you; but yea, I have somehow been fairly lucky with the local checkpoints. I have been stopped twice and asked for my papers, even though I drive the same part of the highway several times a week.

The one time I got pulled over and they really had me, was driving a friend's truck with an expired revisions (we really were on the way to do the revisions). Turned out the cop was just waving me over to ask if I wanted to take a survey and I could go if I did not want to participate. We were all geared up for a very long explanation about how the gringo friend was out of the country, how it had been in the shop, and so on.
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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by scandinavian » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:11 am

e-bum wrote:This update will serve only for your entertainment.

I have now another lawyer who is telling me that, indeed, my international license is only valid whilst having a tourist visa. Once a I have a residencia en trámite, I will need to get a Chilean license that will only be valid during the time my visa is in process.. Once my official residency visa gets here (within 2-4 months of when I first submitted the application), I have to go and get NEW Chilean license.


What.
I on the contrary thinks this is mainly correct. When you have the "residencia en tramite", the municipality can only give you a license with the same expiry date as the "residencia en tramite". Same goes with the visa. My first temporary visa was valid for one year - exactly the same with my chilean license. After that, I applied for permanent residency. While waiting for that I had the tramite paper valid for 6 months. I had to take that paper to the muni to renew license. As it took much more than 6 months for extranjeria to handle my visa request, I ended up going about 5 times to the muni to renew my license. Keep in mind that it is only the first time you need to pass the theoretical and practical part. For all the renewals it is only the scissor test, reactions, doctor etc, as long as you do the renewal before it expires.
YMMV

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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by nwdiver » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:08 pm

This is correct, the reason it doesn’t come up is most drive on thier International and NA license well into thier permanent residency, If I set up for temp residency I could never supply my grade 8 documents as the school has not existed since the 70s, all recorded lost when Canada closed its military bases in Northern Germany, so if high school or Uni are no good, no licence. Yes I could write the equivalency exam, but these days my Spanish sucks, too much time in BC.
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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by e-bum » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:05 pm

nwdiver wrote:This is correct, the reason it doesn’t come up is most drive on thier International and NA license well into thier permanent residency,

Unfortunately, now that I've involved the HR department and the company's lawyer, I fear this may no longer be an option. It's too "official" now and I feel like they'll make me go through the whole process of getting a Chilean license. Which is a bit ridiculous as I'll only be here until November, maybe January. Guess they're just trying to cover their asses.

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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by nwdiver » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:20 pm

This is hearsay, but a friend who has been a resident for years, drives until he is caught, has to take the test fails then has months and month before he has to write again, a couple of times a year he fails, I would think even with his poor Spanish he would memorize the written questions and by accident pass, when he fails he has a note saying he will rewrite in the glove box if he is stopped, this always with a valid NA licence. Of course the law says he must get his licence, but he gringos it and says, oops I failed I’ll rewrite soon, that he can say in Spanish worked for him, but he is rural south of Pt. Montt.
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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by e-bum » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:29 pm

nwdiver wrote:This is hearsay, but a friend who has been a resident for years, drives until he is caught, has to take the test fails then has months and month before he has to write again, a couple of times a year he fails, I would think even with his poor Spanish he would memorize the written questions and by accident pass, when he fails he has a note saying he will rewrite in the glove box if he is stopped, this always with a valid NA licence. Of course the law says he must get his licence, but he gringos it and says, oops I failed I’ll rewrite soon, that he can say in Spanish worked for him, but he is rural south of Pt. Montt.

Haha, that is brilliant. I wonder if I can propose this to fancy pants lawyers and the HR department.

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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by Steph » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:43 pm

We were in Chile for 4 years on visas sujeto a contrato. We had chilean drivers licenses, but had to do all the psicometric testing etc, though not the theory (at that time, I believe the requirements have changed). Our licenses were only valid until the end date of our visas, and we had to renew a couple of times. This was in Santiago, Antofagasta and Iquique. I have a contact in Antofagasta who helped us with the licensing and visa processes, though it sounds like you may have most of it in hand. I'd suggest, once you have your visa, register it with the PDI, get your carnet, get your license. Pain in the neck, but at least you're covered that way.

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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by admin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:02 pm

ok, perhaps I am not understanding the problem of the op, but there seems to be a bunch of issues confused here.

The op has someone, somewhere telling him he can not drive on his foreign license, a vehicle owned by a third-party?

who exactly is that?

The other is a whole bunch of people that for some reason needed to get a Chilean license before their full permanent residency. Very common among client's of ours that had no license before moving to Chile, had a foreign license lost or stolen, or their foreign license simply expired.

Totally different situations, unless there is someone causing the problem with the first case because of half understanding the second sorts of cases (welcome to Chile).

I still do not see how any city authority is in a position legally to tell someone they can not drive with their foreign license. Way, way over their diplomatic pay grade.

By the way, I had a related thought. Anyone by chance check the U.S. Chile free trade agreement. Can not recall, but I have a vague recollection about something regarding driving permissions. Perhaps I am thinking of the mexico agreements, or the argentina agreements (not exactly the most lucrative day to day provisions for us). anyway, might be worth a scan for something confusing to get rid of a bureaucrat.
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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by john » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:20 pm

Gleaned the following Chilean driving regulations from the U.S. Embassy's website:

Residents of Chile must have a valid Chilean driver's license to legally drive in the country.

General requirements for a Chilean driver's license are the following:

- Applicant age 18 or older
- Chilean Identification Card
- School record to demonstrate that applicant has 8th grade or higher
- Successful completion of the written and practical driving tests, and medical evaluation

If you have U.S. school records, you must obtain the authentication by the Chilean consul in the United States to be acceptable for official use in Chile.
Keep in mind that U.S. consular officials are not authorized to authenticate U.S. issued documents for use overseas.
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Re: Driving a company truck... Do I need a Chilean license?

Post by e-bum » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:28 am

admin wrote:ok, perhaps I am not understanding the problem of the op, but there seems to be a bunch of issues confused here.

The op has someone, somewhere telling him he can not drive on his foreign license, a vehicle owned by a third-party?

who exactly is that?
Summary of OP's situation (me):

I am here until November at least.
I am no longer on a tourist visa as I took a job offer in Antofagasta.
I have a Solicitud de Residencia en trámite. This residencia is "sujeta a contrato," valid for 2 years.
My company's lawyers and HR department are helping me investigate what I must do to be able to drive a company truck (legally), as I need autonomy to do my job.
The only thing they have been able to tell me so far is that I am not legally allowed to drive with my international or USA licenses now that I am no longer on a tourist visa. This is the only information they have given me so far that seems somewhat concrete.

It does seem as though getting the license is the most logical thing to do, albeit a pain in the ass with the new test, having to supply a car for the driving test, having to wait in line at 4am at the municipality blah blah blah. All this for someone who will not be in the country past November (or possibly January if I choose to extend my contract).

That's basically the gist of it. I also own a motorcycle which I will continue to ride and play the stupid Belgian (I also have a Belgian passport) who doesn't speak Spanish if I get stopped

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