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Driving In Jamaica
Requirements and helpful tips For Tourists

Driving in Jamaica

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So what's the legal age for diving here in Jamaica? Can tourists drive in Jamaica? If so what are the requirements? And what is it like driving in Jamaica? Can I drive in Jamaica on a US license?

Great questions! And I'm happy to share the answers to these, and much more, with you.

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What Is The Legal Age For Driving In Jamaica?

The legal age for driving in Jamaica is 18 years. However, if a child is eager to drive at the age of 17 they can apply for a learner's licence which is also referred to as a provisional license.

Using this however, does not grant you permission to drive anywhere, teenagers with learner’s permits must be supervised and accompanied by an adult with an official drivers’ license.

How Do You Get A Driver's Licence In Jamaica?

In previous years you could receive their learner's licence by just applying with your TRN and photographs signed by a Justice of the Peace. However, as of recent years, actually about two years ago, it was put in place that all persons applying for a provisional/learners license will be required to do a road code test and successfully pass this test for them to be granted.

This is not just for teens either. Even as an adult, who is interested in getting your driver’s license permit, it is required for you to get a provisional license first. A provisional driver’s license is also required if you intend to attend any driving school or take any professional driving lessons in Jamaica.

Once you have been granted your provisional driving license you have exactly a year to get your official driver’s permit or you will need to start the process again by getting a new learner’s licence.

Getting your driver’s license in Jamaica is no easy task, at least not to most people. Once you have gone through the stages of getting your learners, you now need to do a doctor’s visit to ensure you are fit to drive and will not be a danger to yourself or others while operating a vehicle.

As soon as this is done, you will bring the doctors approval along with your learner's permit to the examination depot to complete another written test. This focuses on the mechanical aspects of a motor vehicle. You will then need to complete two practical driving tests, one within an open yard space and another on the road.

The examiner will accompany you and depending on your knowledge on the written test as well as your yard test you will either be awarded you licence, or you’ll have to study, practice driving some more and then retake the test.

What Is The Speed Limit In Jamaica?

The speed limit in Jamaica depends on where you are driving and ranges from 50 to 80kmph. It's 50kmph in towns and cities and 80kmph on highways and open roads. Speed limits are usually posted on signs on the sides of the road.

Can Tourists Drive In Jamaica?

If you are just visiting for a while, you do not need to worry about getting a driver’s license here as long as you have an official driving permit from your country. You can drive with your licence from back home for up to a year before you’ll need to apply for a Jamaican Licence.

As for now, foreigners are not required to do the yard or road tests, but they are required to do the road code and mechanical tests before being awarded their licence.

Of course, you also have the option of having someone take your or using one of the luxury bus services like Knutsford Express.

What Are The Requirements to Legally Drive In Jamaica As A Tourist?

  1. Driver’s License
  2. International Driver’s Permit
  3. Registration
  4. Insurance (It is required that the vehicle you are driving has third party and theft cover insurance)

This is not a requirement, however, it is recommended to bring your passport along when driving especially when going long distances. Another form of identification won’t hurt.

Types Of Driver’s Licence In Jamaica

  1. Motorcycle Licence - Persons with this licence are only permitted to operate a motorcycle.
  2. Private Licence - Persons with this licence are only permitted to drive a motor car. 
  3. General Licence - Persons with this licence classification are permitted to drive trucks and commercial vehicles. This licence also permits you to drive Public Passenger Vehicles (PPV), used by tai operators. However, you can only do so if your licence states that you are permitted to.

10 Tips For Driving In Jamaica

If you intend to drive around Jamaica, these are a few common things you need to know about driving in Jamaica:

  1. Jamaicans drive on the left side of the road.
  2. If you need to overtake a vehicle do so on the right lane, where there is a broken white line.
  3. Traffic police officers' instructions supersede the stop light. 
  4. Always have your documents with you, that is your driver’s license, insurance papers, vehicle registration, and fitness report.
  5. Drive slowly, the roads may be unfamiliar to you and if you are driving in the rural areas you may come upon sharp corners, deep potholes, and extremely narrow roads. 
  6. Do not depend heavily on your GPS, it is best to use google maps or stop and ask persons along the way for directions. 
  7. Always wear your seatbelt and ensure that all your passengers are wearing theirs as well. In case of a police stop, the driver will be held responsible if all passengers don’t have their seatbelts on.
  8. Prepare to pay toll fees when using toll roads.
  9. The police can stop you at any time and give you a ticket if you are found in breach of any road code.
  10. Be vigilant, do not park in dark lonely spaces, leave your engine running, or pick up strangers. We are collectively loving people, but there are a few that are looking to make some money by any means necessary.

Now that you know all you need to about driving in Jamaica, where are you headed first?

You might like these

Other Pages Related To Driving In Jamaica

You will also find these pages quite helpful as well:

Return to Jamaican Travel Advice from Driving In Jamaica 
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Driving In Jamaica

References & Sources For Driving In Jamaica

  1. The age to drive - from Jamaica to Britain | News,  
  2. How to Obtain a Driver's Licence – Jamaica Information Service,  
  3. Driving in Jamaica: Ultimate Guide + Road Trip Checklists | Simply Local,

Driving In Jamaica | Written: March 3rd, 2022

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