Costa Rica Issues New License Plates
Costa Rica has implemented a new license plate numbering system which introduces new license plates which are a combination of numbers and numbers as opposed to the old license plate which was only number based. The licensing department is slowly phasing in the new license plates. At some point in the future it will become mandatory to have the new plates so here is the process that you must follow to exchange your old license plate number for the new format.
If the vehicle is titled in your personal name then you can personally appear before the licensing agency to do the process. If the vehicle is in the name of a corporation then the legal representative of the corporation can do the process. It is also possible to issue a Power of Attorney to a third party who can then appear in representation of either the individual or the corporation to apply and then retrieve the new license plates. The Power of Attorney must be prepared by a Costa Rican Notary Public and the Power of Attorney must have attached to it the blue Notary security ticket or it will not be accepted by the National Registrar.
The actual application for a new license plate can be done in several locations. The main office of the License Plate Department (Departamento de Placas) is located in the National Registry of Costa Rica in Zapote, San Jose. The National Registry also has regional offices throughout Costa Rica and you can inquire at those regional offices as well.
Your request for a new license plates must include :
(1) The application form DSR 08. Download the form here: DSR-08 FORM
(2) Turn in the old license plates that you are substituting.
(3) Pay the fee for the new license plates which is currently 15,000 Colones for Vehicles and 8,000 for Motorcycles
(4) You must attach a certification from COSEVI (Consejo de Seguridad Vial) indicating that the vehicle is free from any ticket infractions.
(5) The vehicle must be current in the road registration payment (Marchamo).
According to the National Registry once you submit the application at one of the 7 windows in the National Registry you will then have to wait around 1 to 2 hours in order to leave with your newly issued license plate.