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Nearly one-quarter of car owners fail to pay marchamo on time

December 31, 2014

At noon today, the National Insurance Institute (INS) Wednesday closed collection at their facilities of the year-end auto registration fee and mandatory vehicle circulation permits, known as marchamos, and reported that some 78.9 percent of motorists made the payment on time.

As usual, many of them waited until the last minute to make the payment, as demonstrated by large lines at INS offices in downtown San José.

At closing time, a total of 990.774 vehicle owners had paid the marchamo, while 264.616 were still pending, the INS reported.

The deadline for paying the marchamo ends at midnight on Dec. 31, but payments after noon can only be made online on the INS website; motorists who pay that way will not receive their marchamo sticker until Jan. 5, meaning they are subject to a ₡49,000 (some $92) fine if caught without the sticker before that date.

All vehicle owners paying after Dec. 31 will also have to pay daily interest.

According to INS reports, one of the main reasons for not paying the marchamo on time is that motorists also failed to pay or pass the mandatory technical vehicle inspection (RITEVE).

RITEVE SyC, the Spanish-Costa Rican company in charge of the inspections, also closed their offices at noon. According to their spokeswoman Jennifer Hidalgo, some 100,000 vehicles are still pending inspection.

Starting on Jan. 1 all motorists caught without the RITEVE sticker will be fined ₡51,000 ($95) plus daily interest.

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