Is your car legal to drive in Costa Rica?

It is an annual mandatory payment for every vehicle (car, moto, ATV, etc.); the Marchamo includes a tax and other components, including compulsory insurance (SOA). It is collected by the National Insurance Institute (INS) but can be paid in many banks in the country. This fee changes according to the model year of a vehicle and its weight category.

It is an indispensable requirement to drive and have the right to circulate legally. Once paid, you will obtain a paper certificate and sticker that must be put on the car’s windshield. 

What is the Compulsory Insurance (SOA)?

It is insurance that covers the injury and death of persons (pedestrians and vehicle occupants) and victims of a traffic accident, which is included at the time of paying the marchamo.

The benefits of the SOA include up to 6 million colones for:

– Surgical, hospital, pharmaceutical, and rehabilitation medical assistance.

– Prosthesis and medical devices required to correct functional deficiencies.

– Cash benefits corresponding to compensation for temporary or permanent disability or death.

– Payments for transportation, lodging, and meals when the injured person, due to the provision of medical health or rehabilitation benefits, must travel to a place other than his usual residence, and the INS cannot provide the service.

– Costs incurred for the funeral and transfer of the body.

When will the 2024 Marchamo be collected?

The collection of the 2024 Marchamo began on November 3, 2023, and the deadline for payment is December 31, 2023. After that, penalties will apply. 

To consult your marchamo, call the toll-free number 800-MARCHAMO (800-6272-4266) or check the INS web page: You can pay it at any private and public banks, credit unions, and other authorized locations by INS. 


What are the fines and penalties for not paying the Marchamo?

If a vehicle circulates without a valid marchamo and is stopped by a Transit officer, a fine of ¢51,000.00 colones will be applied, and the plates or the car will be subject to removal.

In addition, the INS will apply a penalty for each day you are late paying the Obligatory Insurance.

Requirements I must fulfill to pay the marchamo:

– Identity card of the person who is going to make the payment. If the citizen does not have this identification document, they must present their residence card or passport.

– Certificate of technical revision approved and current (Riteve or Dekra). If your vehicle hasn’t been approved yet, you can pay the Marchamo, and once the technical revision is approved, you can go and obtain the sticker for the 2024 Marchamo.

– License plate number of the vehicle in force.

– ID information of the vehicle owner.

In addition, the National Registry will require the payment of the Marchamo 2024 to submit any vehicle transfer deed for its registration starting January 1, 2024.

We at GM Attorneys will be pleased to help you with legal matters in Costa Rica! You can contact us at  or visit our website and blog section at


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