Drivers beware, if you get pulled over and your traffic offense is serious enough to warrant the confiscation of license plates, you may be on foot throughout this holiday season. This applies also to illegal parking.
This because the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) – Road Safety Council – will close its doors at the end of the day on Friday, December 21 and not re-open until Monday, January 7 of the new year.
That is, you will not be able to pay the fine and reclaim your plates until the new year and will not be able to use the vehicle for the 16 days. And if you think of driving without the plates, you run the risk of having the vehicle confiscated, which adds about ¢72,000 colones for storage to the cost of the fine and tow.
According to the Cosevi, one of the most frequent infraction for plate confiscation is illegal parking.
Also, keep in mind that the Cosevi holiday closure affects “impugnaciones” (appealing fines).
A traffic ticket can be appealed within 10 business days. The holiday closure means the appeal time is extended. For example, a ticket received on December 21 can be appealed by January 18.
On outstanding tickets, according to the current Ley de Tránsito (Traffic Law), fines linger for seven years before erased off the books, but, it is necessary to pay them (unless they are under appeal) to renew your drivers license.
BTW, outstanding tickets carry a penalty and interest.