San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
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Government seeks to curb reselling of online appointments for driving tests

At 8 a.m. on Monday the Roadway Safety Council’s (COSEVI) website made available 5,000 new appointments to take the required behind-the-wheel test to get a Costa Rican driver license. By 9:30 a.m. all appointments were taken.

It’s a situation that repeats itself time after time, but not because 5,000 new drivers sign up each time COSEVI offers the appointments (twice a month). Rather, individuals and companies snatch up appointments in bulk and sell them for a fee to individuals who have to take the test.

But officials from the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) want to curb the resale business. They’re working on modifications to COSEVI’s online registration system to prevent people from reserving more than one appointment each.

The changes aim to identify registered users and their computers in order to log the appointments issued. Officials hope the new system will be operational in a few weeks, MOPT’s Vice Minister Sebastian Urbina Cañas said.

Currently, new drivers who need to make an appointment to take the test can do so through the call center (900-010-1010) or at COSEVI’s website: www.csv.go.cr. The call center, however, has a per-minute cost of ₡220 ($0.40) while the online system is free.

Users frequently complain about persistant website failures and of being left on hold for long periods by the automated call center, even if all available spots have already been granted.

COSEVI currently has 12 driving test tracks across the country — where the tests are taken — and appointments are issued every two weeks. New spots will be available March 30.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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