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New changes to traffic laws go into effect

Published on August 17, 2021

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A set of at least 65 changes included in the reforms of the Organic Law on Traffic, Land Transportation and Road Safety (LOTTSV), came into effect this past Tuesday.

For example, as of August 10th, drivers have 90 business days to pay their pending violations and the monthly surcharges imposed by the previous law will be waived.

This applies to fines issued by any control entity and regardless of the year. The interest determined by the past regulations was 2% per month. This has been eliminated.

A few changes will be extremely welcomed by the expat community, including:

  • Ecuadorians residing abroad and foreigners may drive within the national territory with licenses or driving permits issued in their country of residence.
  • Digital fare meters will be mandatory in taxis, and riders will be able to access the application on their phones to check that the charge is correct.
  • Cyclists have the right to travel on all public roads in the country, with privileged circulation arteries and bicycle lanes and free and obstacle-free spaces for bicycle parking.

Other changes include:

  • Radar monitors can no longer be installed without a technical report to support them. The systems must be calibrated and marked and be socialized. They also cannot be located on curves or slopes.
  • Drivers can now recover up to 15 points on their license each year with a course of awareness, re-education, and behavior rehabilitation.
  • Drivers who have not been sanctioned in at least one year will receive up to four extra points on their driver’s license. Likewise, drivers who have not been sanctioned before renewing their license, will be get a 50% discount on license renewal fees.
  • Motorcyclists will not be able to hold onto another vehicle, pass on the right, carry cargo that hinders their visibility or balance, turn without turning on the turn signals, or circulate on the sidewalks.
  • Vehicle technical review made in any part of the national territory will be sufficient and valid to move freely throughout the country.
  • Municipalities that cannot implement a vehicle technical inspection center can delegate this to authorized private workshops.
  • Traffic control agencies will prioritize the provision of cameras for patrols and personal cameras to their personnel, to record the procedures to guarantee transparency.
  • Those who pay any fines before 20 days will benefit from a 50% reduction, and the municipalities may substitute the fines derived from their ordinances for community service.
  • The ANT will issue regulations that every vehicle in the country has at least airbags, anti-lock braking, stability control systems and three-point seat belts in all seats. Cars must also have child restraint systems, automatic lighting equipment and other mechanisms to reduce mortality and injury rates.
  • The new law eliminates the penalty of reduction of points from the driver’s license in all traffic offenses ranging from third to seventh class.

More changes

  • Every two years the National Transit Agency (ANT) and the municipalities will have to carry out technical studies to guarantee a fair payment of the public transport service ticket.
  • Public transport units must have all accessibility elements for people with disabilities, to ensure their right to mobility.
  • The ANT and the municipalities will issue free identification of vehicles for the use and transfer of people with disabilities and will replace any safe conduct.
  • Public transport must guarantee the protection and safety of users, including the physical, psychological, and sexual integrity of women and girls.
  • The public transport service may be provided with completion of a technical report based on a route and frequency plan, approved by the National Transit Agency (ANT) or the municipalities.
  • From now on, the municipalities will oversee regulating and authorizing the operation of digital platforms for the transport service within their territories.
  • The new law promotes automatic tolls, payment through technological means, and preferential rates for frequent users on the different roads.
  • The working day of professional drivers, in no case may exceed the number of daily hours determined by the Ministry of Labor (MDT).
  • Operators that do not comply with the obligation to affiliate their workers and employees with the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS) will be intervened by the competent control entity.
  • 16 year-olds can obtain a driving license if they are accompanied by a licensed adult, who guarantees payment of damages and compliance with penalties in case of traffic offenses.
  • Municipalities that obtain authorization from the National Transit Agency (ANT) may issue driving licenses in their own city. They will also make and issue badges.
  • Automotive marketers must deliver to their customers the vehicle duly registered and with plates. Also, they will have to include along with the delivery of motorcycles, a certified helmet.
  • Any infringement against the vehicle, after the recognition of signatures in the contract of sale, will be automatically transferred to the buyer.
  • Electric vehicles will not have restrictions on their circulation, in addition, they must have preferential spaces in public parking spaces.
  • Tricimotos may work only where their provision is safe and they are subject to the restrictions determined by the municipalities.
  • Traffic officers must undergo an annual performance, labor, cognitive, health, psychological evaluation and technical safety and confidence tests (polygraph).


  1. Can you obtain driving licence if you take driving course and pass all tests ??

  2. I would like to know the source of this information. I have seen some of this information in emails from Ecuadorian newspapers. I haven’t seen some of this information before and would like to check the source.

  3. Because the renewal of licenses was backed up to about May, there has been a new law put in place. All you must do is go and pay a renewal fee, and you are given a paper saying that you paid the fee. Also, this paper must be included in case you are asked for your license.

  4. There has been a change for renewals.

    Because the list for renewals had backed up until May, now all a driver must do is to pay a renewal fee. The fee runs about $35.


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