Greg and I obtained our Sinaloa driver's licenses shortly after we arrived. We took the required class, submitted our documents, drove around the block, had our photos taken, and oilá. Others pay a "fee" and have it all done for them, but we did it above-boards and it was easy-peasy. In fact, the class was downright enjoyable — the teacher is a very good storyteller!
Now Danny's just gotten his license, so I thought telling you about it might prove helpful for someone.
In his case, he's a new driver, and we've been teaching him whenever we get a chance for about a year and a half. He started out slow, as does everyone, but these days he's become quite competent.
When we got our Sinaloa licenses we already had U.S. driver's licenses, so we only had to take a one hour class. At the conclusion of the class, they gave out a written test. There was an English language version of the test that they give out here in town, which seems much much easier than the Spanish language version (it's multiple choice).
- Your Mexican visa or residency document
- Proof of residence/domicilio (water or electric bill with your name on it and your address)
- Letter of recommendation from a Mexican national, vouching that the person knows you and you are an upstanding person. This needs to be signed and accompanied by a copy of the signor's voter registration card.
- You need to know your blood type (no proof required; just know it). If you don't know, supposedly there is a lab about a block away where you can get tested. We know our blood types, so we didn't experience this part of the process.
- The correct fee (see the photo at right for the chart of fees). Foreigners with FM3s are limited to 2-year licenses. First-time licensees pay for "Aprendiz."
- Birth certificate (to prove age)
- Parent needs to be present to sign
Be careful as the street beyond the DMV office is one-way to the left; you don't want to turn the wrong way. Also there are quite a few topes on the road leading up to the DMV office, as well as a stop sign conveniently hidden behind a tree.
Renewals (as well as license plates, titles) can be done at this same office. However, we have had much better luck renewing our licenses at the DMV office in the Gran Plaza — it's less of a crowd and seems to go quicker.
Good luck and drive safely!
NOTE: Our son said he learned a lot more in the driving school than he learned in the tránsito class, although he enjoyed both, and that he highly recommends the school for new drivers.