Here we describe in detail how you would go about getting a Cayman Islands driving licence. We cover the process for getting your first driving licence and how to convert an overseas driving licence to a Cayman driving licence.
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Cayman has very strict traffic laws, so regardless of the fact that you might have had an overseas diving licence for years, you will still need to take a theory test to make sure that you understand our traffic signs and the rules of our roads. For those that have never had a driving licence you will need to take a theory test and a practical driving test, and pass both, before you can be issued with a Cayman Islands driving licence.
How to Apply for a New Drivers Licence
For those who don’t have a full driving licence, the path is fairly routine, but the process can be quite slow.
Theory & Driving Tests for Non-Licence Holders
First, you have to apply at one of the Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) offices for an appointment for a theory test of driving knowledge. You have 40 minutes to answer 40 multiple choice questions (on a touch screen computer) of which you must get 80% correct. The test costs CI$25 and if there is space available you can take the test at the time of booking. Take your passport on all visits to the DVDL test centre for proof of identification. In the Cayman Islands, you have to be 17 years old and a day to be qualified to apply for a licence.
To learn all you need to know to pass the written test, the DVDL recommends that you review their official Road Code booklet which can be found on their website, as well as parts of the Traffic Act 2011 and all of the Traffic Regulations 2012. Their website has a wealth of information on it, including links to all the traffic laws. Alternatively, there is a very detailed and well informed driving instruction book called ‘Drive Safely in Cayman’ by Graham Walker, who started teaching driving in Cayman in 1992. He has retired from teaching on the road but still updates his book every other year. It costs CI$20 at local booksellers.
Having passed the theory test, you can then obtain a learner’s licence for CI$60, which is valid for six months, and allows you to drive whilst accompanied by someone with a full Cayman licence (who has been qualified for two years). An ‘L’ plate must be visible on the front and back of the vehicle. Also make sure that your car insurance policy covers a learner driver; most will require that the learner is put on the insurance.
Four weeks after obtaining the provisional licence, the practical road test can be taken for a fee of CI$50. Note that it cannot be taken earlier than the four weeks or later than six months after obtaining the provisional licence. You can book an appointment for the practical road test in advance after passing the written test. After successfully passing the practical test, a full, unrestricted licence will be given.
Note that there is no difference in a driving licence for automatic or standard shift (manual) cars. You can take your test in either type of car and then drive whatever you like. A full driver's licence will be issued when both exams are passed. For Groups 0-3, there will be a fee of $75 for three years or $125 for five years. For Group 4+ it is $120 for three years, $200 for five years or $400 for ten years.
Brand new drivers to Cayman’s roads can organise driving lessons with the following instructors who have been approved by the Department of Vehicle & Driver's Licensing: The Real Thing Driving School - Burmon Scott Tel: (345) 927 1698. His wife, Cherry Marie Scott, gives a 2 hour theory lesson and pre-test on the driving rules Tel: (345) 928 8284. Martin's School of Motoring Tel: (345) 923 7218. Clifton Dennis Tel: (345) 927 4911. For lessons in riding a motor bike, call Cimra Motor Cycle Riders - Keith Keller Tel: (345) 945 7433.
Changing or Replacing a Current Licence
If you have recently moved addresses or changed your name legally, it is important that you inform the DVDL as soon as possible of your new address and/or identity. It is important that you do this so there are no complications in the case of an emergency. If you are changing your name, remember to bring the original and/or a notarised copy of your marriage certificate, deed poll or other documentation.
To change your address or name, complete the necessary T.R. 14 form and submit the CI$40 fee to the DVDL. Once you have done this, you will receive a new card with your new address and/or name.
Replacing a Licence
The above process also applies to changing licence groups/upgrading
your licence, however the fee is CI$60 for this. For more information,
see this page.
If you have misplaced your drivers licence, contact the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS). You must log a police report, request a copy of the report (which requires a CI$25 fee), and take the report copy and receipt to your nearest DVDL for a replacement licence.
If you've damaged your card: return it to the DVDL and pay the $25 fee to receive a replacement. Defective cards are replaced at no cost.
Converting an Existing Driving Licence
According to the Traffic (Amendment) Act (2018) if you have a full, valid domestic driving licence from a Convention country – a country within either the Geneva, Vienna or Paris Convention on Road Traffic Agreement (see www.dvdl.gov.ky for a full list of applicable countries) – you may drive on it for a period not exceeding six months. You must then take (and pass) the written theory test before your licence can be converted to a Cayman driver’s licence. However, if you fail to complete this transfer during those six months, then you will have to take both tests (theory and practical) in order to get a local driver’s licence. This basically means that people from all the major European countries, most major English speaking countries (including Canada, the USA and South Africa) and a handful of Caribbean countries, are entitled to obtain a Cayman driving licence after they have passed the written theory test. You then have the option of getting a driver’s licence that is valid for three, five, or ten years.
If you currently have a learner’s permit or are enroled in the Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program from another country, then you will have to schedule to take both the written theory and practical road tests in Cayman.
If you have an International Driving permit, you can legally drive on it for as long as it is valid. However, you cannot convert an International Driving permit to a Cayman driver’s licence.
If you have a full, valid driving licence from a country that is not a Convention country, then under section 29 of Traffic Act (2021 Revision), 2018 you are allowed to drive for six months, provided that you drive a motor car, a truck not exceeding 8,500lbs, or a motorcycle under 125cc. After one month you are required to pass both the written theory and practical road tests. However, you do not need to hold a learner’s licence in order to sit the practical road test as you already have driving experience.
If you are caught driving without a valid licence, then there is an automatic CI$4,000 fine or imprisonment for up to 12 months.
There are three groups of motorcycle licences: Group 0 (mopeds/ motor scooters up to 50cc), Group 1 (up to 125cc) and Group 1A (over 125cc). You must be at least 19 years of age to drive a motorcycle with an engine over 125cc.
Locations: The Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL)
The DVDL is authorised to inspect and test vehicles, register motor vehicles and maintain the register, issue licences in respect of motor vehicles and drivers, and conduct driving tests.
The Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) has three locations in Grand Cayman
- 990 Crewe Road, Red Bay, Tel: (345) 945 8344, Email: email@example.com or Web: www.dvdl.gov.ky. Open: Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm
- 9 Reverend Blackman Road, West Bay (Across from the West Bay Police Station) Tel: (345) 949 7231, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Web: www.dvdl.gov.ky. Open: Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am-4pm
- Breakers, Frank Sound (across Sea View Road from the South Coast Bar and Grill) Tel: (345) 244 5528, Email: email@example.com or Web: www.dvdl.gov.ky. Open: Tuesday-Friday 10am-3pm and 4pm-6pm, and Saturday 9am-3pm
Without a shadow of a doubt the busiest DVDL office in Grand Cayman is the one in Red Bay which is very near the Hurleys roundabout. Expect a two hour wait when you go to get anything done. Also worth noting is that the West Bay location does not have a car inspection bay so you must take your car to either Red Bay or Breakers to be inspected. You can then take the paperwork to West Bay to be processed.
The Department of Vehicle & Drivers’ Licensing (DVDL) in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman:
- Cayman Brac District Administration Building. Tel: (345) 948 2222. Open: Monday-Friday 8.30am-4pm
- Little Cayman District Administration Building, Tel: (345) 948 1051. Open: Every other Thursday 9am-2.30pm
For more information visit their website.