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Marchamo: Mandatory Vehicle Insurance


Marchamo is an obligatory yearly circulation permit and insurance for all motor vehicles in Costa Rica and funds the Seguro Obligatorio para Vehículos Automotores also known as the SOA. The purpose of the SOA is to insure any person hurt in motor vehicle accidents. After paying your Marchamo at an authorized point of sale, such as a local bank, you will receive proof of payment in the form of a permit sticker placed on the inside of the vehicle’s windshield, as well as a paper permit that you store in your glove compartment box. Please be aware that the Marchamo is required and must be paid between November 01 and December 31 every year to drive lawfully in Costa Rica for the following year.

The Insurance provides coverage for accidents involving injuries or fatalities. For the accident victim’s family members, the Insurance may function as a term life policy in the case of death. In the event of bodily injury, the Insurance will usually pay for any necessary medical care, which could include disability benefits.


What happens if I don’t make the payment before the deadline of December 31?

  1. If you are pulled over by traffic enforcement, your license plate will be taken off your vehicle;
  2. For each month that the payment is late, you will also be required to pay an extra 10% of the marchamo fee.

Note: The police will start looking to ticket you at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve to ensure you have the proper Insurance showing on your windshield.


Where can I find out how much my Marchamo will cost?

The Marchamo is managed by INS (National Insurance Company) and usually costs around 3,15% of the vehicle’s tax value. Any unpaid traffic or parking tickets associated with the vehicle’s license plate may be added and included in the Marchamo’s cost. For a more exact amount on, your specific make and model can be found by contacting them directly from the information listed below.


– Call 800-MARCHAMO for free (800-6272-4266)

– Contact number: 2243-9999

– URL:

– Text the word “marchamo” followed by the vehicle’s license plate number to 1467.


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