Home / Beyond  / Transportation  / Am I Able to Drive Then?

Am I Able to Drive Then?

Transportation has provided a summary of their latest decision pertaining to drivers’ licenses for tourists and people with applications in progress at the Immigration Department. The official resolution is expected to be published in the

Transportation has provided a summary of their latest decision pertaining to drivers’ licenses for tourists and people with applications in progress at the Immigration Department. The official resolution is expected to be published in the official Gazette soon.

Be aware that the verbiage used is extremely confusing and we are seeking confirmation just to be sure that we are understanding this correctly.

This is what the resolution states:

  • First: There is a new grace period valid until June 1st, 2021 for tourists who entered the country after December 17th, 2019. The resolution mentions that there is a new grace period for tourists whose foreign drivers’ licenses have expired, in accordance with Resolution N° DJUR-0031-03-2021-JM issued by the Immigration Department which officially extends the validity of entry stamps until June 1st, 2021. Notice that the verbiage used does not explicitly say that the entry stamp is extended until June 1st, 2021 however, it appears that this is what MOPT meant to say. We are seeking double confirmation on this.

However, reading the entire resolution, it does appear that MOPT’s intention here is for tourists who entered the country after December 17th, 2019 to be able to legally drive with a foreign drivers’ license until June 1st, 2021 without having to complete border runs, meaning having to depart and re-enter the country. We recommend that you drive using your passport, foreign drivers’ license, and a copy of the resolution which we will publish here as soon as it becomes available.

  • Second: Grant a new grace period to foreign nationals who have filed an application at the Immigration Department and whose foreign drivers’ licenses expired from March 20th, 2020 onwards so that they can legally drive until September 30th, 2021.

Again, the intention here seems to be for people with applications in progress to be allowed to legally drive using their foreign drivers’ licenses until September 30th, 2021 without having to complete border runs, meaning having to depart and re-enter the country. We recommend that you drive using your passport, foreign drivers’ license, a copy of your application filing receipt (plantilla with expediente number) and a copy of the resolution which we will publish here as soon as it becomes available. This applies solely for people who have filed for Residency, not people with appointments to file for Residency or people who have the intention to file but are yet to do so.

  • Third: Grant an extension for Costa Rican nationals whose drivers’ licenses expired from March 20th, 2020 onwards and who can prove that they were abroad in an uninterrupted manner, starting December 2019 and who, due to various reasons, could not return to Costa Rica to renew their licenses.

These Costa Rican nationals will be able to drive with their expired drivers’ licenses until December 31st, 2021. In this case we recommend carrying the passport, the Costa Rican drivers’ license, and a copy of this resolution. The passport will help them see if you were abroad in an uninterrupted manner from December 2019 onwards and just recently had the chance to return.

We are currently exchanging communications with MOPT to confirm if the intention on points 1 and 2 are correct but it appears as if these are good news. The verbiage is not great and leads to confusion, but the intention is good.

Share

ibrenes@outlierlegal.com

Attorney with more than 10 years of experience in customer service, team management and team building at an international level. Has worked immigration cases in various countries, including Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama.

Review overview
4 COMMENTS
  • Julia March 27, 2021

    My husband and I fall into category #2. Our applications were filed last year once the immigration offices reopened in November. Do we need to carry COVID insurance in order to legally drive, or be in public, while we await a resolution?

    • Stacey Jennings March 27, 2021

      The insurance is not for driving – you do not need to get the insurance unless you leave the country and re-enter. You will need to meet all the re-entry requirements including insurance. The resolution has been published – and although the wording is still not clear – we believe you are able to drive. Make sure to have a copy of the resolution on your phone and printed and have it with your passport and license.

  • Jack April 1, 2021

    We are in a similar situation. We reentered CR on Dec28, 2019 and have successfully submitted our application for pensionardo residency. Do we have to have the Covid medical insurance? When does our “extension” run out? Thanks.

    • Stacey Jennings April 5, 2021

      If you leave the country and come back you will need to meet all the re-entry requirements including the insurance. You are extended until the date of your residency appointment.

POST A COMMENT