Once you have overcome the hurdle of getting your Colombian personal identification card, the Cédula, many foreigners having taken a decision of settling down in this country move to the next step of getting a set of wheels and a national drivers license.

Within the next three months, most licenses, which have not been renewed under certain categories, have until October 15th to be reissued, according to Resolution 623 of the Ministry of Transport.

The new driving license numbers will be unified with the same number as your Cédula de Extranjeria to guarantee more safety when it comes to your identity with the state authorities.  In order to consolidate data in the official transport registry RUNT, police will be able to match information if your license was a legally issued one or not. Every vital piece of personal identification, such as your Date of Birth, Blood Group, physical handicaps, photo and finger prints will be consolidated in the Ministry of Transport’s records to avoid identity theft and a proliferation of fake licenses. The new driving card will also be laminated with special holographic film making counterfeits more difficult to make.

If you need to renew, categorize or ask for a duplicate of your license you must head to one of the 12 SIM (Integrated services of Mobility) offices in Bogotá. Look for locations at: www.simbogota.com.co

As you begin the renewal process, it’s important to have three things clear: your age, the validity of your current license and the category, which was assigned when you first got your license to drive. And this is where it gets just a little tricky.

You have to renew your license if you possess the “old” category of 04, 05 and 06 or C1, C2 and C3. These are printed on your license (expired or not), and to be very clear – you only drive a private car. All drivers of public transportation who own an expired ‘pase’ must go through the renewal process immediately.

Drivers of private vehicles whose old category number is 03 or the letter/number combination B1, B2 and B3 are NOT obligated to renew at this moment in time, as you are covered under Decree 019 of 2012, and which automatically valides your card until 2022.

In other words, you have nine years before having to think about the process.  The new Colombian licenses will be valid for 10 years if you are aged between 18 and 60. From 60 to 80, it’s valid for 5 years, and after 80, for one year at a time. The cost for first time applicants for a vehicle license is $135.500 pesos. For future motorcycle drivers: $109.600 pesos.

On a final note. In order to proceed with renewing your driving license you cannot have any outstanding fines registered with the city’s official mobility office, Secretaría de Movilidad. Information regarding fines in Bogotá is available online at www.movilidadbogota.gov.co. If you have fines outside Bogotá you must consult your status at www.simit.org.co. Good luck and enjoy all the Colombian roads have to offer.

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