San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Building Permit Process Whittled to Two Days

Getting a construction permit for a house will take only two days if a pilot program just starting up in Curridabat, east of San José, spreads to the other municipalities.

The process can take between 26 and 45 days and cost hundreds of dollars.

That will be reduced significantly thanks to the Internet: The municipality will be putting all the application forms for construction permits online, through a system managed by the Federated Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA).

“Through the CFIA system, the professional will do the whole process … from any part of the country or the world,” CFIA President Jorge Badilla said in a statement.

The project is in its pilot stage, meaning it applies only to Curridabat and to small and medium houses.

The CFIA estimated that if the same system had been applied during 2007, it would have saved the municipality about $16,000.


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