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Deregistration of a Vehicle in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, a vehicle can be unregistered if it is stolen, lost, suffers total loss due to an accident or if the owner wishes to unregister because he/she will not use the vehicle for

In Costa Rica, a vehicle can be unregistered if it is stolen, lost, suffers total loss due to an accident or if the owner wishes to unregister because he/she will not use the vehicle for a definite or indefinite period of time.

The requirements established by the National Registry, section of movable property are:

  1. It must be free of judicial and pledge encumbrances, annotations and infractions, except in the case of a theft report from the Judicial Investigation Agency.
  2. The owner of the property (either a natural person or legal representative of a legal entity) must appear before a notary public, who will advise them on the best course of action, either through a public deed or as a simple deed on security paper.
  3. The license plates must be deposited in the National Registry. In case of theft, misplacement or loss, a sworn statement in a public deed must be attached, along with the certificate issued by COSEVI stating that the plates are not detained.
  4. The trademark must be paid and valid at the time of the process, this means that you cannot have pending trademark debts.
  5. For cases in which the owner is a legal person, it must be verified that the Transparency and Final Beneficiaries Registry has been carried out. Additionally, the tax on legal persons must be up to date. The diligence must be carried out by the legal representative with the powers to proceed.
  6. Specific requirements: 1.- For motor vehicles that owe customs duties: The note from the Ministry of Finance or customs resolution that modifies the tax status in the registration policy must be provided. It will be processed by email if the vehicle was registered after November 10, 1993.
  7. Disenrollment of loss of vehicle due to theft: When an insurance company declares the loss of vehicle due to theft, it may manage the deregistration of the motor vehicle by proving that it acquired the right of ownership in a public deed and the insurance company must therefore carry out the deregistration process.

(*When the assessment of a complaint issued by the Judicial Investigation Agency is finalized and the vehicle is not located or is found to be destroyed, the deposit of the license plate, affidavit or proof of COSEVI is not required.)

  1. Mandatory deregistration of vehicles not claimed before the Judicial or Administrative Authority: The car must be free of liens, except for infractions.

In accordance with article 155 of Traffic Law No. 9078, the following will proceed as follows: The Judicial or Administrative Authority must issue a resolution to disenroll the vehicle and deposit the metal license plates, when appropriate.

The Judicial or Administrative Authority must expressly order the lifting of the annotations or encumbrances that weigh on the vehicle.

If you want to de-enroll your vehicle for the above reasons so as to stop paying for a vehicle label that you do not use and avoid finding yourself in debt with a government institution, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be your best advisers.

In addition, if you have questions about processes with movable property, whether it be a vehicle, a motor home, boat, yacht, motorcycles, cars, trucks and others, do not hesitate to reach out.



Karen Ulate serves as the Senior Business Attorney and Notary Public at Outlier Legal. She has a Postgraduate Degree in Notary and Registry Law, and is currently studying her Master's in Business Administration. With over 10 years of experience in Corporate Law, Real Estate, Customer Service and Team Management. Positive and proactive, are some adjectives that fit her perfectly.

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