Bringing a Vehicle Across the Border
Submitted by fyl on Sun, 2011/11/13 - 11:09.
This page is a supplement to the other border crossing by land pages. It offers the additional considerations for dealing with a vehicle. (Like the other pages in this section, this is a work in progress. Please add comments for additions and corrections. They will be incorporated into this page.) First, the following questions need to be answered:
- Is the vehicle registered in your name (vs. someone else's name or the name of a company)?
- In what country is it registered?
- Is it wherever it is legally?
Traveling with Your CA-4 Registered Vehicle in the CA-4This should just work. That is, as long as you are legal (plates and insurance) and the vehicle is in your name, there should be no issue crossing the border and no fees. As for what you have in your vehicle, that's up for debate. Common information indicates that you and your significant other and some luggage is a non-problem. A pickup full of boxes of stuff probably means you get checked over and, maybe, taxed. More likely, you will probably say they are for your mother, hand the official an action certificate and be on your way.
Generic Considerations Crossing the Nicaragua/CR Border
- Spraying—Vehicles are sprayed in both directions. The good news is that both spray facilities take colones, córdobas and US dollars.
- Content inspection—In both directions, the content of your vehicle must be inspected. In practice, this tends to mean about nothing other than it has to be done.
- Entering CR at Peñas Blancas—There is a little building across the road from the main border crossing point. Bring your insurance certificate, copy of your license and registration there. The guy usually doesn't want to go look at the car but will stamp stuff, log stuff. You then need to take that paperwork to another building near the border to get the real paperwork to drive in CR. Not hard but you can waste 1-2 hours with this.
- A person (a cop, as I remember) will look at your car in the parking lot and give you an OK slip you need to bring inside with your other paperwork.
- Possible mechanical inspection—I had this happen once entering Nicaragua from Costa Rica. Never in the other direction.
- Insurance—You need insurance for the country you are entering. On the CR site, you purchase the insurance (only one vendor as the government is the insurance company) inside the main building. On the Nicaragua side you will find multiple insurance vendors. Generally you purchase insurance for 30 days. Prices are around $15.