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Published Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Recovery of seized plates
and vehicles suspended

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Recovering seized plates and vehicles will not be available for a while longer.

The offices of the Road Safety Council, COSEVI, throughout the country remain closed due to the alert ordered by the Ministry of Health this week.

According to COSEVI, during this week the services of recovering vehicles and plates are suspended.

"This service was suspended due to it being the only one that requires the presence of people in our facilities, and aims to control and reduce the exponential increase in the spread of the coronavirus," said Edwin Herrera Arias, Director of COSEVI.

To recover the vehicle, drivers first must first pay the fines and then request an appointment on their website. People who had previously obtained an appointment should wait to receive an email rescheduling the appointment, COSEVI said in its statement.

According to the Traffic Police, during the first five months of the year, from January to May, drivers have paid approximately $125,225 in fines and costs for hauling their vehicles.

Among the most recurring infractions are drunk driving, inadequate parking and driving without a license.

The Council will reopen its offices next Monday, July 20. However, inquiries about rescheduling appointments can be emailed to or by calling 506 - 2522- 0815.

During the first five months of the year, the Traffic Police have reported 9,435 vehicles plus 34,300 license plates seized due to violating the Traffic Law.

"Clearly, this increase is linked to an unusual situation, as is the ban on driving, but it is also showing that there is a tendency of Costa Ricans to break the laws," said Alberto Barquero, Deputy Director of the Traffic Police.

According to the statistics provided by the police, 23,730 license plates were seized in 2019, which was 10,500 fewer than this year.

Regarding the fines on vehicles, during the same period last year, the police reported 6,497 infractions. This was 2,938 less reported than this year.

Drivers in sedans lead the numbers of offenders for breaking the traffic law by 19,737 cars, followed by 12,575 motorcycles and 1,165 trucks.

Traffic Law allows police to seize the plates and retain the vehicle in the police facilities.

Due to this, drivers must pay for the transportation of the vehicle from the place where it was stopped to the police station, plus the cost of custody of the vehicle, which is $8 per day. That is added to the fine for breaking the ban on driving order of $185, plus a six-point deduction on the license record.

"Certainly, the fact that fewer are cars on the streets and more people are in teleworking, it considerably reduces the attention to accidents and overcrowding, which has also allowed the redirection of officers to checkpoint-type controls points, that make easier the retention of more vehicles for breaking the restriction, drunk driving, driving with no license, as a few examples," Barquero said.

More information on the Ban on Driving rules, ordered this week by the Ministry of Health, can be reached in the article, "More changes on restrictions to be released on Sunday" published on July 13.

What have you heard of expats fined for breaking the ban on driving order in your community?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to


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