San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Traffic fines

Costa Rica approves stricter regulations for noise control from vehicles

Costa Rica’s roads may be a bit quieter in the future. A new law outlining stricter noise control regulations for vehicles will take effect in late October.

Executive decree Nº 38937-MOPT, which was published last week in the official newspaper La Gaceta, sets new, lower limits on the volume of noise pollution different vehicles are allowed to emit. The existing regulation dates back to 1993.

The fine for surpassing noise limits is ₡21,964 ($40), according to the country’s Traffic Law.

The Traffic Administration is currently in the process of buying more sound level meters. Currently traffic police only have 23 of these devices for all seven provinces, but the administration hopes to at least double that number. Each meter costs around $7,000.

The new law also establishes specific protocols and procedures for testing noise emissions in car exhaust systems, either on the road or at the mandatory technical vehicle inspection (RITEVE) stations.

Contact L. Arias at

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I forgot to mention all of the motorcycles with NO MUFFLERS. You don’t need a noise meter to site these people for noise pollution and the Big Rigs that run everywhere with their “J” brakes, POW-POW-POW-POW……

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Here we go again!!!!!Gringos complaining to Gringos. We need to get on “La Nacion” in Spanish if we want to make a difference in Costa Rica.
$7,000 for a noise meter!!!!!!!!!!!!come on folks, as one commenter already noted, there are free apps for your iphone that do the same thing….or you can purchase a portable device from Amazon for $27.92
Who is pocketing the $6,970+ difference.
I thought it was just the US government that purchased $10,000 hammers and toilet seats!

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Curious if this applies to all the vehicles with loud speakers blaring advertising. I hate noise pollution, but I also hate to see more regulations costing taxpayers and less freedoms in Costa Rica even more.

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Street Spirit CR

why is this even being considered an issue? we want to get the roads fixed and not have money wasted on sound level meters this is a joke

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Robert S

“We”?! The noise is an important issue! People trying to live a normal life, an 8-5 office job, and need to sleep at night, i.e. any normal family with young kids, pets, or elderly people do not care about some Street Spirit huligans wishes to make noise. Everyone wants better roads in CR, but there are a few things that the Traficos could check and punish HARD and those are 1. Noise from cars, MCs, buses, trucks… 2. All those morons driving around with cheap Chinese Xenon-lights (some idiots even put these as fog lights and keep both lights on) with far too high wattage that are both annoying and dangerous 3. Those stupid LED-panels that have become popular in this third world country, also with far to strong light. If you think you are a master of car styling and tuning by replacing the standard bulbs with Chinese blue light LED bulbs and mounting LED panels in the front you are just showing everyone how stupid and disrespectful you are to the rest of the people sharing the roads. This country needs education on ALL levels.

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Murray Greer

What about the cars with the amplifiers cruising around towns with advertising audio ???
Or when there is some kind of promotion at a grocery store ??? The music is played at ear damaging decible levels. In my 9 years, this is the first time Costa Rica has EVER recognized “NOISE POLLUTION” … unreal !

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