Keeping your car legal in Ecuador

Got a car in Ecuador?

Worried the papers might not be up-to-date and the next time you´re pulled over might be your last?

I got several friends with cars in Ecuador and almost all of them have cars with expired registrations and are subsequently illegal for transit.

When really, it´s pretty easy to keep your car legal, I think most expats just don´t know how to do it.

Once you have a car in Ecuador, each year you have to pay the annual “matricula” or registration.  It´s more expensive for newer or more expensive cars, yet with each passing year the amount to pay goes down considerably.

For instance a $22,000 new car may have a “matricula” payment of around $600 while the same car 3 years later may only have to pay around $200 in the annual “matricula”.  You can consult by plate number how much you´ll have to pay at the folowing link.

When you have to pay in the year is determined by the last number of your license plate. For instance, plates ending in “1” have to pay in February of each year while “2” has to pay in March and so on until “0” has to pay by November.  You can pay in advance.

To pay the amount due all you have to do is go to any bigger bank in Ecuador like a Banco Pichincha with your Matricula card, hand it to the teller, and they´ll tell you how much to pay.  Make sure you keep the receipt, and that´s it for newer cars, you are done!

Now, every three years or so you will have to go into the ANT (Agencia Nacional de Transito) office nearest you and renew your Matricula card after you have paid the amount due in the bank.

For cars usually 3 years or older, after you pay in the bank you will need to get an annual car “revision” where they will check primarily for emissions, the lights, suspension, alignment and brakes and the cost for smaller cars is around $28.  Pretty straightforward.

For a car revision you will need to apply for a turn in Quito at this site.  For Guayaquil, try here.  Manta and Cuenca also have their revision points, just Google “revision vehicular MANTA” or wherever.

For newer cars, usually three years or younger the revision is not necessary, you can also verify by a sticker on the windshield if a revision is necessary for your vehicle.  It´ll say EXEMPT (Exento) 2013, 2014, 2015 or whatever.  This link helps too for general info on your vehicle and also to see when it last passed a revision.

Also, to register your car for the current year keeping it legal to transit, you will also have to pay any outstanding fines or you will be forced to do so before payng the annual registration payment at the bank, you can see if your car owes at this link.
That´s it!  Now you won´t have to sweat it next time you´re pulled over in Ecuador. You´re legal!

 

 

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