Buying and Selling a Vehicle in Costa Rica: A Complete Guide
If you’re planning to buy or sell a vehicle in Costa Rica, it’s important to understand the process involved in transferring ownership. At our company, we offer a comprehensive service to help you with the Vehicle Registration-Transfer Process.
Transferring a car’s title in Costa Rica requires the assistance of a lawyer or notary public, which is where we come in. Our team can help you navigate the paperwork involved in transferring ownership, ensuring that everything is completed accurately and efficiently.
Checking the Car’s Title
One of the key steps in transferring a car’s title in Costa Rica is checking the vehicle’s title on the Public Registry (Registro Nacional). Our team will verify that the car does not have another owner and that there are no outstanding fees due.
Documents Required for Buying or Selling a Used Vehicle
When buying or selling a used vehicle in Costa Rica, several documents are required. The seller must provide the original car title (Certificado de Propiedad), while both the buyer and seller must have an official ID such as a passport or cédula. The Notary Public will then create a bill of sale (Escritura de Traspaso), which both the buyer and seller must sign. This document is submitted to and recorded in the National Registry (Registro Nacional), which takes approximately a month. Once completed, the Notary Public will return the new title to the new owner.
Driving License in Costa Rica
If you plan on driving in Costa Rica, it’s essential to have a valid driver’s license. However, as a tourist, your foreign driver’s license is only valid for about three months, the same duration as your tourist visa. To renew your license’s validity, you’ll need to leave Costa Rica and re-enter the country. This process applies even if you have a residency application in process.
At our company, we understand the complexities involved in buying and selling a vehicle in Costa Rica. Our expert team can help guide you through the process, ensuring that everything is completed accurately and efficiently. From verifying the car’s title to preparing the necessary documents, we are here to make the process as stress-free as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your vehicle registration-transfer needs in Costa Rica.
-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a lawyer or notary to transfer vehicle ownership in Costa Rica?
Yes, according to Costa Rican law, a lawyer or notary public is required to transfer vehicle ownership.
How long does it take to transfer a vehicle’s ownership in Costa Rica?
The process of transferring vehicle ownership in Costa Rica typically takes about a month.
Can I drive with a foreign driver’s license in Costa Rica?
Yes, as a tourist, you can drive with a foreign driver’s license for up to three months. After that, you’ll need to leave the country and re-enter to renew your license’s validity.
What documents do I need to buy or sell a used vehicle in Costa Rica?
You’ll need the original car title (Certificado de Propiedad), an official ID such as a passport or cédula, and a bill of sale (Escritura de Traspaso) signed by both the buyer and seller.
Can I buy a car in Costa Rica as a foreigner?
Yes, as a foreigner, you can buy a car in Costa Rica. However, you’ll need to have a valid residency or be in the country on a tourist visa.
Do I need to pay taxes when buying or selling a vehicle in Costa Rica?
Yes, there is a transfer tax of 2.5% on the vehicle’s value when buying or selling a vehicle in Costa Rica.
What should I look for when buying a used car in Costa Rica?
When buying a used car in Costa Rica, it’s essential to check the car’s title, registration, and insurance. You should also have the car inspected by a mechanic to ensure it’s in good condition.
Can I sell my car in Costa Rica if I still have a loan on it?
Yes, you can sell your car in Costa Rica even if you still have a loan on it. However, you’ll need to pay off the loan before transferring ownership to the new buyer.
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What is the cost for car title documents?
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Can I get more information on transferring a vehicle from the US? I’m wanting to sell a motorcycle in CR.
HI. Can you share your experience with us?
Where is the vehical titling office located in San Jose to get a passport number updated from old passport to new?
Number was changed after receiving a new passport.
Hello, David! In this case, first, you will need to go to your notary and the notary has to go to Registro Nacional. You will have to use a lawyer to be able to change your passport number to a new one.