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New Traffic Law


Driving in Costa Rica –  New Traffic Law




New Traffic Law Passed

 The Costa Rican Legislature recently passed a New Traffic Law No. 8696 (Reforma Parcial a la Ley de Transito por Vias Publicas Terrestres). 

Effective immediately the following dispositions of the new law are already in effect.


Drunk Driving –  No more slaps on the wrist as was customary in the past.  Under the new law there is now a prison sentence which can range from 1 to 3 years if your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit which is 0.75 grams.  The repeat offender can face sentences of 2 to 8 years in prison.

Reckless Driving.   Driving over 150 Km per hour is considered Reckless Driving and is subject to imprisonment for a term of 1 to 3 years.


Street Racing.   Those caught racing on public roads could face jail time.  The law imposes terms of 1 to 3 years in prison and loss of the drivers licenses for up to 5 years.


The balance of the law which provides stiffer monetary fines for traffic violations become effective in November of 2009.   The law also creates a license point system whereby a loss of points on your license could result in the loss of driving privileges.

 An example of some of the new fines that will be imposed include :


Offense                                                         Fine in               Points Lost

                                                                     Colones            on License


  • Disobeying a stop sign                                165,000                      20
    • Passing in a Prohibited Area                        113,500                      25
  • Making a U Turn                                         165,000                      20
  • Bribing a Transit Police                                227,000                      20
    • Not having your Vehicle Registration             170,000                      20
  • Driver’s Making unlawful stops                      227,000                      10
  • Driving Without a License                             227,000                      –
  • Not carrying a Drivers License                       45,400                 


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