We use the "international drivers license" you can get from the AAA here in the US. It only cost $15 and is good for a year. Been stopped many times while driving in PY (not a reflection on my driving ability hopefully!) and this license always satisfied the officials.
But having said this, and realizing you are already in PY and this info about AAA won't help you a bit, I will note that if you rent a car from the ASU airport the rental company (we've used Hertz) will tell you that your US license is good to go as long as you have your passport with you.
This thing with driver-licences even has me scratching my head. Close to the city you can get one fairly easily but waiting time it 10-15 days. Have even heard of people that were taken to Villa Elisa where they had to write a "exam" in Spanish of-course, but they were just indicated where to mark and that was that...
As for my personal experience, in Col. Independencia you get one within the hour. (nothing Illegal involved) They even have posters with prices for National and Expat driver licences hanging on their walls... (Expat one only being good for 1 year)
I've rented a car many times in Paraguay with just my Australian licence. I have been stopped by the police for both random checks and traffic violations and I produced that and my passport without problems. I obtained an international licence last year, and they didn't seem interested in it at all.
I don't have a foreign driver's license and I would like to get my first driving license here. I'm probabaly going to take some classes with the Touring Club, it seems the most legit escuela de conducir in Asuncion.
Where do I need to go and what do I need to bring other than money to obtain the license?
I helped a few friends of me, who already had a foreign driverslicense, and when keep in mind, that you have some paperwork foreseen, you walk out, with a paraguayan DL within 15-30 minutes. I now have a DL that is valid for 5 years, for the third year.
I'm in Asuncion (of German ancestry through Texas)and according to my experience, your German drivers license should be good for 30 days with no problem.
As far as obtaining a Paraguayan DL, Tim,I think you need a "cedula" (the national ID card). It takes either money to pay for it to be done (more than self-serve), so better to have a local assist. There is a lot of red-tape forms, stamping by officials of your documents etc. It is time consuming and can be irritating.
If you're staying here for a long period, you'll need that cedula and that DL. It's relatively easy is you know elementary Spanish to pass the exam. The fees are low but the DL is initially for one year only.
Hi caja and paulopereirra, thanks for answering my questions... Well...the Cedula... it stays always in my way...Well...you mentioned that money can get things done there...that would be ok for me as I just hear the same thing. Is that a kind of sure thing? I mean I am very much willing to pay up a bit more for it.
My German driver's license only covers cars and trucks but not motorcycles, however I have the license already for 23 years, could it be possible to get something done there in Paraguay?
I am used to red tape all over the world as I lived for 19 years in Asia and just recently moved to Brasil...Brasil probably invented red tape and the true meaning of it...therefore it is impossible to get a Brazilian one, unless paulopereirra, you know a way???
Better to get your DL in one of the outer lying communities. Less problems and faster service. I went with my step son and the test giver allowed him to read the questions (in Spanish) and translate to me, I passed!!! Try on of the suburbs for your drivers license.
I also got my DL in a town outside of Asuncion (SanBernardino), and never took a test. They photocopied my US drivers license and took my photo, then about 15 minutes later handed me my brand new Paraguayan DL. So far my rule of thumb is that "everything is easier and cheaper if done outside of Asuncion"!
Can I ask where in SanBer you went? I obtained my 12 month "extranjero" Paraguayan licence in Asuncion in about an hour and a bit using my Australian Licence, Passport and Carnet, but they said to get the full 5 yr licence using my Cedula I would have to do the full test, both theory an practical, which would involve making an appointment sometime in the future. If I can obtain the full licence in SanBer I am more than interested.
Gabter - My wife took me by the hand (dumb gringo that I am) down to the Municipality office directly across the street from the Policia station in the town center. We hung a left once thru the main door and went to the first window kiosk on the left. She explained that I was looking to get a drivers license as a newly arrived immigrant with a cedula. They then asked for my cedula and my US license, they filled out a form, I signed it and they then took my picture which they slapped on the form. As I recall now though, at that point we did have to leave to come back the next day as their lamination machine wasn't working (at least that's what I think they said). The next day we showed up and I signed for the license and walked out with it. So no test at all. FYI we also discovered that registering a car was soooo much easier in Sanber than in ASU. No vehicle inspection (although one may have been done "on paper" for all we know)and a lot quicker.