Tourists who have a valid driver license from their domestic countries and International driving permits may drive in Nicaragua for 30 days after their entry to the country. To obtain a Nicaraguan driver license, a driver must be a resident of Nicaragua.

The main Nicaraguan road traffic rules:

  • Driving is on the right side of the road.
  • The minimum driving age is 18 years.
  • The permitted blood alcohol level is 0.05%.
  • The maximum speed limit in the urban areas is 45 km/h (28 mph), on highways – 60 km/h (37 mph), on freeways – 100 km/h (62 mph).
  • Motorcyclists must wear helmets.
  • Seat belts are mandatory.
  • It is illegal to move vehicles involved in an accident until police and insurance companies arrive.
  • All vehicles must have local the third-party-liability insurance.
  • The police phone number is 118.

Some additional information:

  • Drivers should watch out for the speed bumps; they are not always painted and marked with signs.
  • There are many slow moving vehicles on Nicaraguan roads.
  • Traveling close to the beach requires driving on dirt roads so it is recommended to rent a four wheel drive vehicles.
  • Nicaraguan buses can stop anywhere on the road without signals.
  • Bicycles, oxcarts, dogs, horses, and vehicles without lights are common on Nicaraguan roads.
  • Nicaraguan law requires that a driver be taken into custody for driving under the influence. The minimum detention period is 48 hours; however, detentions frequently last until a judicial decision is reached.
  • Drivers whose cars have foreign license plates are more likely to be stopped by Nicaraguan traffic police.
  • Most rental car companies require drivers be at least 25 years of age. Drivers also need to purchase basic insurance.

 Driving Overseas - Short Information