You can drive with your foreign diver's license in Belize indefinitely, so you don't need a Belize driver's license in order to drive in Belize. If you would like a Belize driver's license, you have to live here for about a year, after which time, you can apply for it. If you get a Belize driver's license, you can still keep the license you have from your country of origin. So, you should keep your license from wherever you are from, because you may need it when you go back there.
The license that we get from San Ignacio in the Cayo District (where I live in Belize) is just a printed piece of paper with a cut out picture of you in front of it. Then they laminate it together and that's it. Driver’s licenses here in Belize do not look like the ones we are used to in North America.
My daughter is 17. When she went to Florida in the US and was in a car driving, a police officer stopped her and the police said, “May I see your license?”
My daughter said, “Certainly,” and gave her Belize license to the police officer.
I heard about this, when my daughter called me on the phone, frantic because she got pulled over, which is an anomaly for her. When the police officer looked at my daughter's Belize license, he said “What? This is a Mickey Mouse license. Anybody could have made this.”
My daughter was insulted and said, “That is my license from Belize. That is a real driver’s license.”
The police officer gave her a citation and made her go to court, because, he said, my daughter was driving without a license. I was on the phone with her and told her to stop crying and to calm down. I told her that I would go to the San Ignacio Transport Department and get them to print a letter stating that she actually does have a driver’s license from here. I told her to just go to court and show them the letter.
My daughter said, “Well, maybe I should just pay the ticket.”
I said, “Heck no! You have a legal driver’s license from our country, Belize.”
She went to court, not because she wanted to, but because I told her that was the right thing to do – to stand up. She took the documentation that I had notarized in Belize and sent to her via FedEx. The judge looked at it, and laughed at the police officer, knowing that he was way out of line, and of course, the judge threw out the case against my daughter.
So, in order to avoid these types of situations, if you get a Belizean driver's license and you already have a driver’s license from where you come from, you may want to keep both. I have my Florida driver’s license and I have my Belize driver’s license.
You renew your Belize driver’s license every year on your birthday. When I moved from Florida, I used my Florida driver’s license for identification, for example, for when I was using a credit card. I have a Belize driver’s license because I am in Belize, but I wouldn’t need to have it because I already have a Florida driver’s license. I have lived in Belize for 12 years and I always get my license renewed here.
(License plate for a car in the Cayo District, Belize, pictured.)