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Saturday 04 August  2012   | Costa Rica News Home | Colombia News



˘250.000 Bought A Drivers License in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has some pretty bad drivers. And though most know pretty much why, Judicial officials confirmed it yesterday with a raid on the licensing offices of the MOPT, where they confiscated documents that will assist their investigation into the purchase and sale of drivers licenses.



The Sección Especializada de Tránsito del OIJ (judicial agents specializing in traffic matters) descended on the COSEVI offices in La Uruca in search of evidence against at least two public officials involved in the sale of drivers licenses.

The agents are looking into allegations that people paid up to ˘250.000 (US$500) for a drivers license without having to learn to drive and proof of by taking and passing the required written exams and road test.

OIJ agents suspect that at least two managers are involved in the scheme to validate (approve) drivers licenses.

Foreigners (or Costa Ricans) with a foreign drivers license can obtain a Costa Rican drivers license just by presenting their foreign issued license and paying the respective fees.

Investigators are digging into the allegations that no such "foreign issued licenses" were ever presented to obtain the Costa Rican license. Investigators, in their research, also found that many had never left the country, making it impossible to obtain a permit abroad.

Judicial authorities believe that up to 500 licenses a month were issued in an operation that is suspected to be operating for months.

The OIJ said in a statement that they will track and investigate every "irregular" issued drivers license.

In the past, buying a drivers license for a little as ˘10.000 colones was not uncommon. Someone always had someone they knew that knew someone that was a friend or family of someone of someone in the driver licensing office. In some cases, there a was a direct connection.

Last year more than a dozen - gavilnes (hucksters) and driver testing officials - were arrested with some form or another of corruption involving drivers licenses. See
Driver Examiner and Gavilanes Arrested For "Selling" Drivers Licenses in Costa Rica.

The custom of buying a drivers license is ingrained in the culture. In the past, for many it was the only way to get a drivers license in the country, preferring to pay for the privilege instead of earning it.

Efforts by authorities to stop the rampant corruption in the motor vehicles department (the COSEVI) have gone a long way, as new processes and measures reduced corruption and as we learn now, available only to those who have deep pockets.

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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