I believe you are required to have a DNI to take out a driving license(that is- have legal residency in this country whether temporary or permanent) i suppose this is logical, as well as some basic spanish skills I imagine to pass the written part of the theory test.
I took it in May of last year and the multiple choice questions would require some middle understanding of the language as some of the questions are sort of trick questions, at least in the capital federal exam.
The place I would recommend to learn to drive to "pass the exam" is the Automobil Club Argentino (ACA- www.aca.com.ar) they have their own driving range in which they teach and where you can take the exam also.
To drive in the "real world" I recommend after getting the driving license in ACA to go to one of Cabildo´s numerous driving agencies that teach you to drive in actual traffic, so you get used to the pace of driving here.
sorry: forgot to add you can purchase the booklet for the written exam at The Automovil club argentino (ACA), they will tell you exactly where.
And that the procedure I describe is if this is your fist time taking the test and you have no other foreign driving licenses that are valid.
If you have one as nashorama described you can do as he suggests..
Does anyone know how to get a driver's license in Argentina, one that does not depend on a US driver's license? Where can you get the booklet to prepare for the written exam? Can anyone recommend a driving school here? I think you have to have at least one lesson before taking the exam. Thanks.
Until you purchase a car here, you can get away with your international drivers license or as in our case, we just use our U.S. drivers licenses since my husband's French int. license has expired.We have rented here in BA numerous times, as well as in Mendoza, only with our US licenses. In addition, we were stopped at the checkpoint on Libertador between Capital and Gran Buenos Aires last November, and we showed him only our US licenses. According to him we had gone through a red light (hey who are we to argue, even if he's wrong) and we would have to pay a ticket. Well, we ended up "paying" our ticket right there to him (gee do you think the government ever say that money) and we drove off. Moral of this whole story, nothing is ever as it is supposed to be here. Just because we all think it's supposed to be one way, it almost never is. But, it's always good to know what the "rule" is just in case.Laurahttp://movingtoargentina.typepad.com
It is true Laura that things are not always as they should for many things.
But the problem is that if one finds oneself involved in an actual driving accident and don´t have the required docs one could be prosecuted. ok, the policeman might take a bribe, but the other car owner may not be so willing to- and one could find oneself needing a lawyer- . You might not, you may do, one never knows- I personally wouldnt take the risk, but it is a personal decision of course.
does the granting of a drivers license here depend at all on driving skills? is there an exam? I was nearly clipped twice today by drivers as i was crossing the street, although this criminal behavior happens each day (today it was 50 meters from a police station, they do nothing), it is still shocking, disconcerting, unnerving.
This is extra information you'll find extremely helpful regarding Automovil Club Argentina. They not only provide driving classes, pretest materials, and the driver's handbook, but they also are an organization which you should definitely join if you're actually going to own and drive a automobile in this country. They are, as their name implies, an automobile club. Before biting the bullet and recently buying a new Peugot, (still a frivolous expense in my opinion), our 2002 Peugot did it's best to take us on the lesser traveled roads of the lesser visted provinces. We pushed that little passenger car beyond it's abilities far too often. With our ACA card we never had a problem when the vehicle broke down, (two shredded tires, torn serpentine belt, needed to rebuild both heads, bearings wearing out without warning to name just a few road trip problems). Each time ACA sent a tow truck and deposited us with the car in front of a reliable, reasonably honest mechanic. I've yet to run into a rip off mechanic in this country, though I'm certain they exist. The cost for ACA membership is nominal. They also broker insurance. Nice card to have in your wallet in addition to proper identification.
YPF, the local oil company, also offers an auto club, but it has much less clout. However, if you're pinching pesos, it's a good idea to join and carry a YPF Club card. Each time you fill up, show the card, and you get points that help defray the cost of oil changes and general maintenance. However, ACA is definitely a club to belong to. They hauled us more than 200 kilometers back to Saltas one afternoon after the old Peugot blew a head gasket. No questions asked. And, most remarkable, the two truck dispatcher nor the drivers ever tried to extort extra money for their services.
I Called the General Directorate of licenses of the City of Buenos Aires recently
(Dirección Gral de Licencias de la Ciudad)- Tel: 4604-1444 - Av. Coronel Roca 5252 to check about obtaining driving license both for tourists and expats.
Am passing on what they said just in case: what they told me is that tourists under valid tourists visas can drive with their original up-to date driving licenses together with their passports.
However those that are going to live here for an extended period of time be it working, living or studying on permanent or temporary visa should get an Argentine driving License.
Spain and Italy have a special agreement under the Viena Convention whereby licenses from that origin are accepted as they are (providing they are valid- date wise), Thus if one were to move here with a spanish or italian license , they could automatically have it exchanged for an argentine license.
Foreigners with valid driving licenses from other countries will not have to take the Practical part of the exam but will be required to take the theory exam in spanish to be able to obtain an argentine driving license.
In some cases they may require the original license to be translated into spanish
This is what I have been told-
In case of doubt I recommend contacting the local consulate of your country(ies) to verify.
All previous answers are very helpful to you, and the ACA is the equivalent of AAA in the US. You should have their membership card because they´ll even come and start your car if your battery ran down. However some insurance policies INCLUDE this full emergency coverage so you may not need to pay twice. I have Banco Provincia Seguros and I get 3-4 free annual calls for stalled car, won`t start, etc. I don`t know if they`ll tow me free but I`m sure I have a free tow per year or similar. Once in Rosario my batt. dischared and I called their toll free 0-800 number, and in 10 min they were there, no charge. They have a nationwide network of tow-trucks, etc, who seem to cater to several insurance companies at once, so they share costs.
About the international license I used to get one here to go to the USA until my American uncles told me it`s not necessary, you can just use the Argentina license in the US as long as you are legally there. They travelled to Russia, and Europe and was apparently the same. These arrangements are bi-lateral so it`s most likely the same applies here. You most likely can just drive around in your foreign license which gives you time to get a local one if you plan to stay very long. I guess a good source to get 100% assurance would be Cancilleria at Retiro. Your best bet is going there yourself, no problem speaking in English, even the doorman must speak it.