Sunday 7 March 2021

The New Traffic Law And How It Affects Foreigners in Costa Rica

Saturday 27 October 2012  | QNews Costa Rica | Source: Traffic Law Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a new traffic law that aims to correct the problems of the 2008 law and aims to reduce carnage on the country’s roads, there are a couple of points that are EXTREMELY important to foreigners living and/or visiting Costa Rica.
Foreigners living (called expats)  and visitors alike can drive in Costa Rica for the duration of their “legal” stay with a license issued by their home country.

Lack of Decree Suspends Fines For Vehicle Restrictions Of San José

North Americans (residents of the US and Canada, not including Mexico), Europeans and many other countries have a legal stay (visitor) of up to three months, all other countries, 30 days.

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In the old days it was recommended that a foreigners overstaying his or her visitors status obtain a Costa Rican driver’s license, which simply meant going to the driver’s license office, filling out the forms, passing the required medical exam and paying the fees.

Many foreigners – other than short term visitors – couldn’t be bothered with the process. In effect it was never a problem. Until now.

The new law requires any foreigners in Costa Rica over 90 days to obtain a Costa Rican license, failing the fine is ¢94.000 and four (4) points – one third the way to a license suspension. Important here is that two more tickets for not having a Costa Rican license will mean a suspension even before the license is obtained.

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