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OK, you’ve been picked off for talking on a cellular phone, or not wearing a seat belt or driving over the limit and you get a ticket. You have two choices – nothing to do with guilt or innocence – to pay or appeal.

If you choose to appeal the traffic ticket, here is what you need to know.

One: You need to visit a Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) near you. In San José, the Cosevi is located in La Uruca, adjacent to the Banco Nacional.

Two: With the traffic ticket in hand, you will need to obtain a form and fill it out. The form has to be filled out in Spanish with completed details of what occurred.

Three: Be as specific as possible. This is the only opportunity for you tell your side of the story. There is no traffic court or judge to hear your case, the decision will be made by one of the 40 lawyers on staff for that specific purpose.

Four: Do not forget to include a way to get communication. This is the only notice you will get. If you are found guilty and didn’t get notice, you will then have to pay the fines, late penalties, etc, etc.

Five: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait….

Although you will be told that a decision is forthcoming in six months, it can take more than a year, even up to 2 years or more. Currently the Cosevi has 160.000 traffic ticket appeals to process and only a staff of 40.

Six: Once you get notice of the decision, if you are found guilty, you have to now pay up. If found not guilty, do nothing. You just saved a few hundred dollars and points on your license.