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Easy(ier) way to get 1st time drivers license for seniors


mhopkins2
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My understanding is that one day a month Guad. will pick the date when they will be here at lakeside to issue driver licenses to those who have submitted proper documents and license payment receipt to Chapala City Hall ( Secretary General Office ) prior to that months date that Guad. will be here. Written or road test? For sure no road tests were given last month. I have heard neither will be required if you have had a previous license from ANY WHERE even if expired. BUT! I will let you know Friday after returning with my new Mexican drivers license. Hopefully. P.S. They are expecting near 100 people showing up on Friday who have turned in all their documents. Another mad house like last month.

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1 minute ago, hammerhead said:

My understanding is that one day a month Guad. will pick the date when they will be here at lakeside to issue driver licenses to those who have submitted proper documents and license payment receipt to Chapala City Hall ( Secretary General Office ) prior to that months date that Guad. will be here. Written or road test? For sure no road tests were given last month. I have heard neither will be required if you have had a previous license from ANY WHERE even if expired. BUT! I will let you know Friday after returning with my new Mexican drivers license. Hopefully. P.S. They are expecting near 100 people showing up on Friday who have turned in all their documents. Another mad house like last month.

A friend obtained his license last month and mentioned that there was both a written  and short road test. He had a valid  NOB license. 

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6 hours ago, hammerhead said:

My understanding is that one day a month Guad. will pick the date when they will be here at lakeside to issue driver licenses to those who have submitted proper documents and license payment receipt to Chapala City Hall ( Secretary General Office ) prior to that months date that Guad. will be here. Written or road test? For sure no road tests were given last month. I have heard neither will be required if you have had a previous license from ANY WHERE even if expired. BUT! I will let you know Friday after returning with my new Mexican drivers license. Hopefully. P.S. They are expecting near 100 people showing up on Friday who have turned in all their documents. Another mad house like last month.

hammerhead, et al

Since I had to pay my property taxes at city hall in Chapala anyway, after I paid them this afternoon I asked some folks about the driver's license process. They directed me upstairs to the Sec. General's assistant's desk (as you noted). The assistant at the desk confirmed that I could still be a part of this round. She checked all of my documents and then told me to go pay my 558 pesos at #308 Dellagado [the same place where we pay our annual car registration] and then bring a copy of the recibo back to her.

By the time I did all of that and got back to city hall, there was a DIFFERENT lady now sitting at the Sec. General's assistant's desk. (I thought "uh oh"). So I showed her my recibo for $558 stamped PAGADO. She then asked me if I had my numero? I was like, uh... "que numero? She then pulled out someone else's paperwork and it had a small (2" x 2") piece of paper attached with the number "35" on it. My heart sank. The previous assistant said NOTHING about getting a numero; where, how, from whom? It was getting close to closing time at that point, and I had an appt in Ajijic to get to. So when she asked me to sit down and wait for 20 minutes and that someone would bring her the numero, I was like... "I don't think so." I asked her if I could instead come back in the morning to get my numero and she said yes. 

So I don't know what I will face when I get there, but I'm taking a bilingual friend with me just in case. I believe this "numero" is the control process that they use to limit how many people can be processed at the Friday testing/licensing session, which I believe is at the Auditorio in Ajijic, but I don't know yet what time that starts. I also don't know if they will use the numeros to ensure that it is "first-come, first served," but I doubt it. They probably just issue numeros until they hit 150 or hopefully less this time around.

Despite the glitches, this still seems to be a better option than going all the way up to Guadalajara, and it is definitely less expensive if you don't use a concierge, which I was planning to do.     

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15 hours ago, mexicomoose said:

hammerhead, et al

Since I had to pay my property taxes at city hall in Chapala anyway, after I paid them this afternoon I asked some folks about the driver's license process. They directed me upstairs to the Sec. General's assistant's desk (as you noted). The assistant at the desk confirmed that I could still be a part of this round. She checked all of my documents and then told me to go pay my 558 pesos at #308 Dellagado [the same place where we pay our annual car registration] and then bring a copy of the recibo back to her.

By the time I did all of that and got back to city hall, there was a DIFFERENT lady now sitting at the Sec. General's assistant's desk. (I thought "uh oh"). So I showed her my recibo for $558 stamped PAGADO. She then asked me if I had my numero? I was like, uh... "que numero? She then pulled out someone else's paperwork and it had a small (2" x 2") piece of paper attached with the number "35" on it. My heart sank. The previous assistant said NOTHING about getting a numero; where, how, from whom? It was getting close to closing time at that point, and I had an appt in Ajijic to get to. So when she asked me to sit down and wait for 20 minutes and that someone would bring her the numero, I was like... "I don't think so." I asked her if I could instead come back in the morning to get my numero and she said yes. 

So I don't know what I will face when I get there, but I'm taking a bilingual friend with me just in case. I believe this "numero" is the control process that they use to limit how many people can be processed at the Friday testing/licensing session, which I believe is at the Auditorio in Ajijic, but I don't know yet what time that starts. I also don't know if they will use the numeros to ensure that it is "first-come, first served," but I doubt it. They probably just issue numeros until they hit 150 or hopefully less this time around.

Despite the glitches, this still seems to be a better option than going all the way up to Guadalajara, and it is definitely less expensive if you don't use a concierge, which I was planning to do.     

Mexicomoose, By this morning if you went back to City Hall, hopefully you received your number. The folks from Guadalajara will arrive at the auditorium at about 10:30 Friday 2/10/17. Be a bit early just in case. They will have manilla envelopes with everyone's name on each. They will call out the names and distribute the envelopes to those who have a "number". My number was in the 80s.

 

22 hours ago, canmex87 said:

A friend obtained his license last month and mentioned that there was both a written  and short road test. He had a valid  NOB license. 

Well there you go! So much for valid info. LOL  

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4 hours ago, hammerhead said:

Mexicomoose, By this morning if you went back to City Hall, hopefully you received your number. The folks from Guadalajara will arrive at the auditorium at about 10:30 Friday 2/10/17. Be a bit early just in case. They will have manilla envelopes with everyone's name on each. They will call out the names and distribute the envelopes to those who have a "number". My number was in the 80s.

hammerhead, I did go back and was able to get my number. I have #51. Given that you got yours sooner and a number in the 80s, that might mean that they will call people's numbers in reverse order (counting down from the highest), or perhaps in no order at all. :-/ I guess we'll find out tomorrow. It turns out that the second lady I spoke after I paid was just a "seat filler" while the first lady went to lunch. If nothing else it will be an adventure. 

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Okay, having run the all-day gauntlet on last Friday to successfully obtain my Jalisco driver's license, here is my summation of the process, the good, bad, and the ugly. 

Step 1: Find out WHEN they are going to be handing out DLs down here again. I have no idea how/from where the announcement will come about when the next time that they will do this, perhaps someone else can comment on that. I heard last Friday that the next one will be in "another 2 months." 

Step 2: Once you know when, go to Chapala City Hall, 2nd floor, to the Secretaria General's office with all of your documents and COPIES ALL IN BLACK & WHITE ONLY (even your proof of address). Those include, passport, resident card (front & back), CURP (front & back), and proof of address WITH YOUR NAME ON IT.

Step 3: They check all of your docs and then direct you to go pay the fee at Calle Degollado #306. BE SURE TO TELL THEM IF YOU ARE OVER 60! Otherwise you will NOT get the 50% discount for the fee!

Step 4:Take a copy of your recibo (that's what I was told to do) back to the Secretaria General's office. MAKE SURE THAT YOU TAKE THE ORIGINAL RECIBO WITH YOU TO THE TESTING SITE! With the payment made, they will take all of your document copies and then assign/give you a number. That number serves ONLY to reconnect you with your document copies later at the testing site (usually on the following Friday at the Auditorio in Ajijic). That number in NO WAY entitles you to be processed in any particular order, oh no. 

Step 5: Appear at the designated testing site (this time, the Auditorio) at the assigned day/time (this time Friday 10:30, but I arrived at 10:15). People were lining up in the hot sun according to their "assigned number" (ha, ha). We all soon learned that this number meant nothing more than a way to reconnect you with your document copies, and maybe to control the total number of people that they accepted. Renewal applicants were co-mingled with new licences applicants. Soon after we all filed in and sat down, they told the people who wanted to renew to go down to the front room, and the new license applicants to go to the back room. So a lot of confusion ensued as people shuffled between the two places.

Step 4: After some general discussion, entirely in Spanish, we were told to line up to have our documents checked--again. After a surge towards another back room, with people 5-6 abreast, they said to form only ONE LINE. This information was a little too little, a little too late, and a total clusterf@*k ensured. Eventually we all got our docs checked and stamped.

Step 5: More instructions, again only in Spanish, (my bilingual interpreter acted for the entire gringo group at this point.) We were handed a written test to take with 20 questions, there were various different versions each with different questions, ALL TESTS WERE IN SPANISH ONLY. Finally, one interpreter showed up. She gathered up all of the gringo new license applicants, made sure that they all has the same version of the test, and then took them into a small room where she read each question and the possible answers (usually 3) out loud, and the applicants filled out their mimeographed, very hard to read answer sheets. You needed to answer only 13 of the 20 questions correctly to pass.

Step 6: Next we all stood in line again to have our test answers scored.

Step 7: After most of the applicants had passed, they told us to drive our own car down to Camino Real in lower Fl Floresta (where the horses are) for the "driving" portion of the testing. This consisted of only parallel parking between two sets of 3 cones, one set in front, one set in back, without touching any of the cones and ending up close to the curb. If you have an SUV with a high hood, you might not be able to see the outermost front cone. You might want to borrow a friend's smaller car to take the test. If you have a long van, do the same. They will NOT move the cones for anyone! BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR SEAT BELT FASTENED WHEN YOU PULL UP TO PARK OR THEY WILL FAIL YOU! You do not need to turn on your emergency flashers as some have reported.

Step 8: Go back to the Auditorio and then wait in another line to have your picture taken, your signature captured, and then to have your license printed!

That's it. It took me from 10:30 to a little after 3:30 pm, about 5 hours. Probably not much more than if I had gone up to Guadalajara.  

It also helps to study some of the possible questions that might appear on the exam. You can find a somewhat dated version of those questions at the following link...
http://www.accesslakechapala.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/jaliscolicenseENG.pdf

Buena seurte!

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Thanks for the information. I wonder how the drivers test compares to the drivers test in Guadalajara? I watched the driving test a few years back in Guadalajara and it was more complicated than this. 

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I would never spend a whole day going through that chaos in addition to the prep time required a day or so before. I will continue to renew in GDL, be in and out in about an hour or so, enjoy a great lunch in a great city, and smile and wave at you all still waiting your turn as I return home after an enjoyable morning and afternoon in GDL.

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6 hours ago, cedros said:

Thanks for the information. I wonder how the drivers test compares to the drivers test in Guadalajara? I watched the driving test a few years back in Guadalajara and it was more complicated than this. 

If you have a NOB license there is no driving/parking test in Guad.  I also did not have to take the motorcycle test as my NOB license specified a motorcycle endorcement.  If you're a senior, you go to the front of the lines..

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15 hours ago, bdlngton said:

Two questions:

1.  Cost of Mexican driver's license?

2.  Do they keep your NOB driver's license or give it back to you?

My cost was 558 pesos, BUT if you are over 60, which I am, and YOU TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE OVER 60 because they won't check unless you tell them, it is 50% off!

I never had to present my NOB DL at lakeside. Maybe in Guad that might be helpful as some have noted.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

I want to thank mhopkins personally for starting this thread where I found out about Luzma Grande.  You saved me a really hard row to hoe.

Luzma helped me today to replace a lost auto license and get a moto license and she made a very complicated process simple that I doubt I would have survived on my own.

That main driver's license location in GDL is a complete zoo.  My work involved going to a lot of locations spread around a very large building.  Luzma knew exactly where to go, how to get fast service and how to deal with problems.  For example, although our CFE bill had just come out one day prior, they would not take copies of the previous bill so she had to round up the latest one on line, get it printed and get the process moving again.  Which she did.

She is a very congenial and competent lady, an excellent drive and her car is comfortable and clean.  She was right on time to go, her English is excellent and we had fun conversing in Spanish as well as she is a patient listener and a good teacher.

A most considerate, competent and enjoyable lady!  Two thumbs up here.  Highly recommended!

Suggestion:  Probably a good idea to take your originals to her and let her do the copies at her office.  They have some funny requirements for copies.  Front and back of visas and previous DL has to be on one piece of paper on the front side.  Internet copy of power bill has to have both sides, on one piece of paper.  That sort of thing.

The other problem we encountered, which she is working on, is that the test question information on Jalisco's web site must be seriously out of date as few of the questions there corresponded with the questions I encountered on the test.  

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There is no penalty for an expired license.  My husband takes groups to get their driver's licenses as one of our services, and he translates for you.  We can help you through the process if you'd like to join one of our upcoming trips.  Please send an email to:  cyntornelas@gmail.com and I'll send you more information.

Thanks,
Cynthia Ornelas

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On 2/4/2017 at 7:06 AM, cedros said:

From my experience in Riberas, Chapala, Ixtlahuacan, and Guadaljara the driving test is made up of different parts depending on where you take the test. I've never seen a translator so be prepared to study seriously. Not simple in fact a bit confusing.

Lately the nearest places to Ajijic where you can get a NEW Drivers License are only Guadalajara or Ocotlan.

 

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On 2/14/2017 at 1:48 PM, mexicomoose said:

My cost was 558 pesos, BUT if you are over 60, which I am, and YOU TELL THEM THAT YOU ARE OVER 60 because they won't check unless you tell them, it is 50% off!

I never had to present my NOB DL at lakeside. Maybe in Guad that might be helpful as some have noted.  

I have been told that if you pay in Chapala at "Oficina Recaudadora" they do not give you any kind of discount, that has happened when the "service" fron Secetaria de Vialidad from Guadalajara came in January to give Drivers Licenses in Ajijic. If you are over 60, you deserve 50% off even without the INAPAM card.

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On 2/13/2017 at 6:38 PM, exyyz said:

That is not necessarily true.  Even though I had a valid license, I was required to do the driving and parking test in Guadalajara.  Like most things in Mexico YMMV.

No more driving test lately if you have a CURRENT Drivers License from your country.

This new "rule" started some months ago, not sure if it will last forever.

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A few years back you did not have to do the drivers test if you had a valid license from somewhere else. Then you did. Now sometimes you do sometimes you don't. It depends on who knows what.

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