In typical Costa Rican fashion, owners of vehicles with license plates ending in “1” left it to the last minute to make the mandatory changeover, enduring long lines at the National Registry (Registro Nacional) the avoid fines starting on Friday.

ArchivoLas-placas-mejores-medidas-seguridad_LNCIMA20130404_0106_27The deadline for the number 1 ends tomorrow, October 31. On Friday, and for the following three months, owners of vehicles with license plates ending in “2” will be required to make the change.

Starting Friday, the Traffic Police (Policia de Transito) will begin fining drivers and vehicles owners ¢20.000 colones for driving with the old plates. In addition, vehicles with the old plates will fail the Riteve vehicular inspection.

According to the National Registry, of yesterday a total of 89.729 of the 117.294 plates were changed.

That leaves 27.565 plates still to go. But the number of unchanged plates could actually be lower, as that number includes all registered vehicles, and does not take into account vehicles no longer in circulation but never unregistered.

The mandatory changeover of license plates began on July 15. Each number has three months according to a program that ends in January 2016 with the number “0”.

The cost of the new license plates is ¢15.000 for vehicles and ¢8.000 for motorcycles.

The changeover can also be done at the Banco de Costa Rica (BCR) and Correso de Costa Rica (Post Office) locations, with an additional cost of ¢5.000 and more for delivery.