• Costa Rica Real Estate

Collection of ‘marchamo,’ vehicle circulation fee, starts Monday

November 21, 2015

The National Insurance Institute (INS) will begin collecting payments next week for mandatory vehicle circulation permits, or marchamos. This year, motorcyclists will pay ₡16.284 ($30) less compared to the past year, INS reported Friday.

The cut comes from a drop in the Mandatory Automobile Insurance (SOA), which represents some 20 percent of the total cost of the marchamo.

The SOA for vehicles will increase by 5.2 percent from ₡18.975 ($35) to ₡19.958 ($37). The marchamo cost varies according to the year, make and use of a vehicle. It includes mandatory insurance, property tax, sales tax and other taxes, as well as unpaid traffic fines.

Deadline to pay is Dec. 31, and starting Jan. 1 drivers without the 2016 marchamo sticker displayed on their vehicles will be fined ₡49.000 ($90) and have their license plates removed.

Paying after the deadline also entails a daily fine of a certain percentage of every tax that is part of the marchamo, plus a monthly fine of 3 percent of the value of all insurance charges.

Vehicle owners can find out exactly what they owe starting Monday on the INS website. You can also send a text with the word MARCHAMO followed by your license plate number to 1467, or call, toll free, 800-MARCHAMO (800-6272-4266).

Vehicle owners can pay their marchamo at 1,901 authorized collection points, including INS branches, banks and many businesses, according to INS Executive President Elián Villegas.

Insurance Superintendent Tomás Soley said the decreased permit fee for motorcyclists is mostly due to an increase in the number of motorcycles on the road. That means the cost of insuring these type of vehicles is distributed among more drivers.

A reduction in the number of motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents also influenced the final figure.

Data from INS and the Insurance Superintendency state that a total of 1,306,000 vehicles will pay the marchamo this year, representing a collection of ₡34 billion ($63 million).

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