Driving to Ecuador




Hi Dom! A few issues back you told a story a someone driving their RV down to Panama and taking a ferry to Cartegena, Colombia. Then driving through Colombia across the Ecuadorian border.

My question is how long of a visa does Ecuador give a vehicle that enters the country?

How long would it have to leave the country once the visa expires to receive another?

Also, what if the plates expire on the vehicle from the states? Would the police give you a hard time?

It almost seems like the rules are meant to protect the government from losing money on taxation of the sale rather than haveing a vehicle with proper regristration and visas.

Me and my family are planning to drive down in August but only if the truck we’re taking can stay with us indefintely. We are not planning to sale it once there, only use it as a personal vehicle.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.




In: Ecuador Living Asked By: [4 Grey Star Level]
Answer #1

I will check with my attorney on that, but..the first thought is..you will be given a T-3 visa upon entering the country which will only be good for 90 days per year. You may be able to extend that to 6 months. You can not stay permanently without a resident visa of some type which you will have to qualify for. One of the easiest ways is to deposit a minimum of $25,000 for a single, $26,000 for a couple into a CD which is connected to that visa…which can be used to secure real estate if planning to stay. The vehicle is quite another story though since you can not import a vehicle into this country that is over 4 years old from date of manufacture, and you must be a resident to do that. There is some confusion in the law about this and I have heard it now MUST be current model year…so best to check with an attorney before making the trip since rules and law can change rapidly here. Of course it also depends on who stops you along the way and how they perceive what and how the law reads and how it should be applied. You wont have many options once stopped and asked for your passports, papers of the vehicle etc and you hand them over. You will be there until the police decide to give them back ….or not. Nothing you can do about that either, except possibly pay (I am not advocating that but it does happen here). I am legal here and have been stopped many times, yet this last time the cop gave me a real hard time about my international license being not valid here, which it is. I had my attorney with me and even then, he had to give him $20 just to get my papers back so we could be on our way. Just letting you know some possible pit falls.

Hope that helps


Answers Answered By: LarryP [836 Orange Star Level]

Answer this Question

You must be Logged In to post an Answer.

Not a member yet? Sign Up Now »

Other Top Ecuador Sites

Star Points Scale

Earn points for Asking and Answering Questions!

Grey Sta Levelr [1 - 25 Grey Star Level]
Green Star Level [26 - 50 Green Star Level]
Blue Star Level [51 - 500 Blue Star Level]
Orange Star Level [501 - 5000 Orange Star Level]
Red Star Level [5001 - 25000 Red Star Level]
Black Star Level [25001+ Black Star Level]