- Ministry of Public Transport photo -

Published on Thursday, September 16, 2021
By the AM Costa Rica staff

Due to more than 29,000 drivers with accumulated penalty points on their driver's licenses for breaking the pandemic driving restrictions, the Ministry of Transportation issued a resolution to clear drivers' records of these punishment points.

According to the ministry, the resolution applies to driver's licenses that have accumulated 6 points for violating the emergency driving restrictions before November 2, 2020. As of Nov. 2, the point penalty was no longer registered on the driver license record. Instead, drivers caught disregarding the driving restrictions must pay a fine of about $180.

Authorities warn that the process of erasing these accumulated points will not be fast. As of Wednesday, 14,274 licenses had been reported with the reversion of the points, so more than 14,000 licenses have yet to be processed.

After getting the penalty points cleared in the driver's record, they will be able to renew their license.

People interested in checking to see if their negative points on their driver's license were eliminated, can do so by calling the ministry line 2522-0900 extension 5. An automated answering system will request the ID number and then provide the driver's license status.

Currently, the National Emergency Commission ordered more severe driving restrictions for this week to try to contain the spread of the covid-19 in the country.

From today through Sunday, Sept. 19, the driving restrictions apply as follows:

Thursday, Sept. 16: plates ending in 7 or 8 are banned from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 17: plates ending in 9 or 0 are banned from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 18: plates ending in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7 or 9) are banned from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

. Sunday, Sept. 19: plates ending in even numbers (0, 2, 4, 6 or 8) are banned from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

There should be no cars on the roads, except those traveling to authorized places such as the airport, a clinic, work, school, hotel, among others. The list of exceptions that allow any vehicle to drive at night is available on the government website under Vehicle Exceptions.

A practical solution to avoid driving is to request a ride-hailing service or use public transportation. Drivers should print and keep the ban-on-driving schedule displayed below with them at all times.

The driving and commerce restrictions should continue until herd immunity can be achieved, which is at least 83% of the population, approximately 4,274,344 million people vaccinated, the government said.

Costa Rica still has a long way to go to reach herd immunity. So far, about 1,7 million people have completed their two-dose treatment, approximately 34% of the population.

Drivers who want to appeal a fine made by traffic police have the option of claiming by email.

Also, vehicle owners whose license plates were seized by traffic officers could recover them through home delivery services provided by Correos de Costa Rica.

What have you heard of expats fined for breaking the driving rule? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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