Owning a car in Costa Rica, and one of the hassles-Riteve Tutorial

Posted by Jul27, 2010 Comments (0)

So yesterday I drove 4 1/2 hours one way to the town of Nicoya to do my first automobile safety check or Riteve RTV(REVISIÓN TÉCNICA). Bare in mind that most of the drive is on bumpy dirt roads. This was my second trip there this month because on my first visit my 2008 truck  failed due to  bad bearings.

 In some states in the US all vehicles are required to pass a safety inspection. Hawaii is one of them. In the US you can pretty much go to any gas station and get your sticker in 15 minutes provided your car is passable. Here in Costa Rica the hoops you have to jump through blew me away.  There are many things you can get away with a simple bribe but this is not one

So here is my short tutorial on how it works.
1. First you have to call and make an appointment in advance.

2. upon arrival you go into the office and present your expired Riteve certificate, car  papers, ID( if you’re a foreigner your passport)and  pay about 10,000 Colones($20.00)  then drive to the back of the line. Tip: don’t make your appt on Monday at the end of the month because this is the most crowded

3. The building you drive through looks similar to a car wash slightly longer with four stations that you stop at for various inspections with a person manning each one.

4. Station A. They check  all your lights, tint(no front or back tint allowed), horn, wipers, quick look under the hood, tire tread(your treads need about 4-5mm minimum, smog emission, spare tire, and inside the car you must have a kit that includes jack, jumpers, reflective  triangles  and vest.

5. Station B. You roll your front tires then your back tires over a metal plate thing that checks your alignment.

6. Station C. You roll your front tires on rollers that spin your tires individually to check  your brakes for strength and evenness. You then roll your back tires and have to demonstrate your e-brake and foot brake.

7. Final Station D The pit. You then drive over a pit where a person with a flashlight and microphone inspects the under carriage of your  vehicle for any potential hazards such as over rust, loose bearings, loose stearing components or oil leaks.

8.  You then exit the building park and wait inline at a booth where all the information is fed to a computer. If all goes well, the  man in the booth hands you your papers with your new Riteve sticker. In the event you fail the man will hand you a paper with details in Spanish of  what you need to fix.

9. You have 30 days to fix what did not pass. After you get whatever fixed, you have to make another appointment pay 5,000 Colones($10.00) for your return inspection. If its within the 30 days they will only inspect what did not pass, you still have to wait in line. Whew! Hey small price to pay to live in paradise

 Pura Vida! Shakacostarica

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