Within three months the “dictamen médico” (medical opinion) that is mandatory obtain a driver’s license and its renewal, will not be issued to persons with certain medical conditions or history.
This was confirmed by Dr. Andrés Castillo, president of the Colegio de Médicos de Costa Rica (College of Physicians of Costa Rica).
“A morbid obesity, certain spinal injuries, traumas due to accidents, cardiovascular diseases, movement disorders, very old age, deep visual disorders, will not receive the opinion. Of course, each case will be seen separately, but in Costa Rica, not everyone can be given the medical opinion to a drivers license how it is happening today, that must change,” said Dr. Castillo.
The Comisión de Medicina del Colegio de Médicos Ticos (Medical Committee of the College of Costa Rican Doctors) designed a new course that must be completed by all doctors in the country that provide a “dictamen médico” for a driver’s license, that now it will include a review of the mental abilities of the examiner.
The main objective of the changes is to avoid the many traffic accident deaths and injuries. Last year alone the INS- the state insurer – treated 35,843 injured due to traffic accidents, more than half of them motorcyclists.
This change is part a joint effort by the College of Physicians, Ministry of Health, MOPT, Conavi, Policia de Transito (Traffic Police), the Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Instituto sobre Alcoholismo y Farmacodependencia – IAFA) – and the national insure, the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS).
Currently, getting the “dictamen médico” or medical certificate is ‘as easy as pie’. The hardest part of the dictamen, if you are not near a licensing center, is finding a doctor licensed to issue the document, which is now issued online and linked directly to the MOPT licensing database.
No appointment is necessary, the service is on a first come first served basis. If there is no one in line, you are out of the exam in less than 5 minutes, in which a good part of that time is verifying ID and completing the online form.
A few questions, a cursory eye exam and you are done. If for the first time, confirmation of blood type is required. Pay the ¢20,000 colones (current cost fo the Dictamen Médico), wait for the medical practitioner to complete the online form and you are done.
There is no verifying if the patient (driver) is lying, as in hiding any serious medical condition, there is not follow up.
At the licensing center, the database confirms the medical exam and your renewed or first driver’s license, for multiple years, is issued.