My new plates. Yes, there are still vehicles with only 2, 3, 4 and 5 number plates. Mine belong to a 1975 Land Cruiser FJ40 original.
The new license plates.

COSTA RICA NEWS — The deadline for changing over the old license plates ending in 5 was Friday, October 31, as the Registro Nacional continues with its  ‘cambio de placas metalicas’ program to replace the vehicular fleet with new and more tamper proof license plates.

The new plate system is in two parts: the metallic plate and a sticker to be placed on the windshield. The sticker includes the license plate number and other information corresponding to the vehicle registration.

Starting last Saturday, November 1, the Policia de Tránsito (traffic police) officials are on the lookout for the old plates and ready to issue tickets for ¢22.000 colones, plus costs.

As of record, the Registro estimates some 38.000 of the 121.900 registered license plates weren’t update as of last Friday,

The program continues for the next three months (November, December and January 2015) with plates ending in 6, then 7 (February, March and April) for 7, then 8 (May, June and July), 9 (August, September, October) and finally 0 (November, December and January 2016).

The process of changeover is simple: 1, visit the nearest Registro Nacional office, with the old places in hand and ¢15.000 colones; 2, fill out the form; and 3, return the next day to pick up the new plates. For those who don’t have time or are too far away from a Registro office, the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), Banco Promérica, Lafise, Banco Cathay, and Correos (post office) will do the legwork for usually ¢5.000 colones.

For more info on the process and nearest Registro office to your, visit

Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.