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When can I drive? Breaking down Costa Rica’s new vehicular restrictions

April 11, 2020

Costa Rica has announced new driving restrictions that will be enforced starting Monday, April 13, and ending April 30 at the earliest.

The following restrictions will be enforced nationwide.

Costa Rica driving chart
Use the above chart to determine when you can or cannot drive. Tico Times chart

Daytime driving restrictions

The following vehicular restrictions will be enforced between the hours of 5 a.m. and 7 p.m.:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 and 2 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 and 4 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 and 6 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 and 8 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 and 0 cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in all other numbers can transit freely.
  • Saturdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in an odd number can drive to supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and health centers only.
  • Sundays: Vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers cannot drive. Vehicles with license plates ending in an even number can drive to supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies and health centers only.

Drivers who violate these restrictions will be fined 110,000 colones (about $195).

Nighttime driving restrictions

A total vehicular restriction — with a few exceptions — will be enforced nationwide every night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning.

The full list of valid exceptions for nighttime driving are enumerated here. They include people transiting to work or to a health center. (Proof must be provided.)

Drivers who violate these restrictions will be fined 110,000 colones (about $195).

Public transportation

Public transportation will resume on Monday, April 13 and can operate between 4 a.m. and 11 p.m. Buses will operate with a limited capacity for riders.

Taxis can continue to operate at all hours of every day.

Servicios Especiales, including buses and microbuses that transport students and tourists, are not allowed at any time.

Confirming when you can drive

If you’re confused about when you will or won’t be able to drive, you’re not alone. Thankfully, the website La Restricción clears up any confusion. Simply provide the last digit of your license plate, and the website will provide a personalized calendar for that vehicle.

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