I will be in Costa Rica for an extended period — long enough that it would make sense for me to rent a vehicle for the duration rather than rely on taxis. Based on what I've observed of the traffic around the San José area where I will be visiting, it would seem to be most expeditious for me to acquire a motorcycle for getting around.

What are the requirements for a foreigner to be allowed to operate a motorcycle in Costa Rica? Will my existing US license (Texas class CM) be accepted, or do I need to apply for a special permit?

2 Answers 2


Presuming that the "M" in your current license refers to the fact you are licensed to ride a motorcycle in the US, then your US license will be good for up to 3 months duration in Costa Rica.

If you do not have a motorcycle license in your home country, then you are only legally allowed to ride scooters up to 50cc.

If you are going to be in the country for more than 90 days you will need to get a local license, which presuming you already have a motorcycle license in another country is just a matter of some paperwork (ie, no riding test/etc).

You can drive a motorcycle up to 250 cc with a normal license.

  • Thanks Doc! The 'M' does indeed indicate that I am licensed to ride a motorcycle in the US.
    – user82
    Apr 29, 2012 at 23:29

You can ride anything you want in Costa Rica. It's far different from the United States. I have a Honda 650 xRank. I've been here 1 and 1/2 years, and been pulled over a number of times. Just show them a passport. Police here are very understanding and cool.

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