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Here we are forced into buying new license plates for our vehicles, not because the existing plates need to be replaced, but for the inefficiency and inability of the Registro Nacional to have maintained a secure registration system.

So, rather than work on fixing the problem on their end, the solution is to force every vehicle owner to buy new license plates, each pair costing ¢15.000 colones (US$30) dollars.

If you do the math, more than 1 million vehicles multiplied by ¢15.000 equals ¢15.000.000 colones in revenue.

But that isn’t the business.

The real business is the other state agencies cashing in, like the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) and the Correos de Costa Rica (the Post Office), so far.

For ¢5.000 colones (US$10) – total cost for the new plates ¢20.000 –  the BCR will process your order at any of its branches. The post office charges ¢4.600 (¢400 colones less for the same process) at any of its post office loations in the Gran Área Metropolitana (GAM) – Greater San José Area and ¢5.570 at all other post offices.  In San José, for ¢10.000 they will deliver the new plates to the customer.

Several delivery companies have also gotten into the game, though their cost is on average more than double that the BCR or Post Office. One company will come to your home or office to pick up the order and the deliver the plates.

In reality, it makes sense – if you can afford it – to spend a little extra and avoid the mayhem of long lines and save the time to go to the Registro.

But, wait, why are we doing this again?