San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Lawmakers to approve decrease in circulation permit cost for bikers

With 44 votes in favor, Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly on Monday unanimously approved a waiver of all voting procedures on Bill 18,670, which aims to reduce the mandatory circulation permit tariff – known as a marchamo – for motorcyclists.

The agreement replaces the current fixed rate of 33 percent, and distributes the difference evenly among all vehicle owners.

The bill could be approved in a first round of debate on Tuesday, meaning this year’s tariffs would be ₡9,500 ($19) for vehicles and ₡ 7,000 ($14) for motorcycles.

Top National Liberation Party lawmaker Fabio Molina said he expected the bill would be approved and published in the official newspaper La Gaceta on Tuesday, and in a second-round debate on Thursday.

By 2014, marchamo tariffs will increase to ₡10,000 ($20) for cars and will drop to ₡5,000 ($10) for motorcycles.

In coming years the amounts will be adjusted by an executive decree, according to variations in the Consumer Price Index.

Last month, bikers held several demonstrations, saying they were being unfairly charged for circulation permits. One of the protests, which blocked several streets, including a major highway, turned violent when motorcyclists attacked drivers, damaging cars and a bus. No one was injured.

Contact L. Arias at

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