Revision Tecnica (Riteve) in Costa Rica
The Revision Tecnica, commonly known as the Riteve, is a mandatory inspection required for all vehicles in Costa Rica. To save time and hassle, many expats opt to pay their trusted mechanic to take their vehicle for them. For an additional fee, mechanics will also do a pre-Riteve emissions test to ensure the car will pass on the first try. This extra money is well spent and recommended for anyone who owns an older car or truck.
There are 13 official Riteve inspection facilities throughout the country. These include: Alajuela, Alajuelita, Canas, Cartago, Guapiles, Heredia, Liberia, Limon, Nicoya, San Isidro del General, Puntarenas, San Carlos, and San Miguel. An additional four mobile units service remote parts of the country.
Riteve inspections are offered from January through October. The last digit on your license plate determines your inspection month. You have until the last day of the month to pass the inspection. For example, if your plate ends in an "8," your inspection month is August. The Riteve is required every two years for cars less than five years old; for all other vehicle owners, the inspection is an annual event.
Without it you can expect a very costly ticket, and your car may be impounded. Traffic police routinely check your windshield for current Riteve stickers, and you must show proof of current Riteve to pay your annual Marchamo, a vehicle circulation permit, due December 31 every year.
Attendants will run a battery of tests on brake lights, turn signals, seat belts, windshield wipers, fenders, doors, lights, tires and other basic features as well as smoke and emission tests. Always make sure your fluid levels are topped off; a fresh oil change before your appointment is also recommended.
The inspection costs around 10,000 CRC, or $20. If you fail the inspection the first time, the fee is $10 the second time around. It's recommended to set your appointment a few weeks before your month ends, so you have time to address the repairs needed to pass the inspection. Visit rtv.co.cr, and make an appointment online at your nearest location. Be sure to take a book, as they are often backed up. Bring the vehicle's original title and printed proof of your appointment.