Thursday, January 29, 2009

Drivers License Renewal Sets RECORD in Costa Rica

Someone needs to alert the folks at Guinness (World Records, not Beer) because I’m certain we broke some sort of record today. Possibly in the category of: ‘Gringo Completing ‘ANYTHING’ in a timely manner while living in Costa Rica.’ Well, whatever, if it's not a category, it should be.

Why Record Breaking? Because on this date:

3 Gringos (that’s right, 3) got their Drivers Licenses renewed in LESS than 25 minutes…in Costa Rica. This is unheard of. Like I said, someone dial-up Guinness.

Basically we started the day like any other when you have to complete paperwork in Costa Rica. Read that as 'EARLY!'

We planned on leaving early so we could be waiting in line when the place opened up- and like many ‘processes’ in Costa Rica, a lengthy drive is ALSO a prerequisite- this case was no exception.

Like before any Costa Rican process is undertaken, we turned off the electricity in our apartment, put covers over the furniture to protect from dust and then asked the neighbors to watch the place because we weren’t sure when we’d be back. We also loaded up on snacks and packed lunches anticipating the inevitable Tico-time mentality one is forced to deal with here during any governmental process, or any process for that matter; but ESPECIALLY as the process pertains to Gringos. Last time I prepared to ‘WAIT’ like this, it had something to do with ‘Guns and Roses’ and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ meant something TOTALLY different…..oh, and standing in line was SO much more enlightening and reflective back then *wink wink*

I got nothing more to say. We arrived (not even on time mind you) and were IN ‘n OUT in a record 23 minutes and 53 seconds. There was a slight scare with my passport, it being a new model and all, it seemed to have caused a bit of confusion- just long enough for me to grab a PB&J out of the bag, anticipate the worst…and start thinking, ‘….just a little PATIENCE, YYEEAAAAHHHH, just a little PATIENCE, YYEEAAAAHHH’

He was back before the first bite and I couldn’t help but smile when he took my picture. Talk about GAY.

So is Costa Rica turning the page? Is Tico-time a thing of the past? Will my pessimism be replaced?

Let’s put it this way- Axl, Slash, Izzy, Duff and Matt have a better chance of re-uniting.............. and that ain’t happening either.

FOR THE RECORD- to RENEW a Costa Rica Drivers License

• YOUR BLOOD TYPE CERTIFIED BY a DOCTOR (this is a new requirement) - We’ve heard some people can just tell the doctor their blood type, but on this one we didn’t take the risk. It cost $20.00 each. We later found out we had been GRINGO PRICED.

• PHYSICAL also CERTIFIED AND STAMPED by a DOCTOR. This is totally a BULLSHIT physical. Blood Pressure and a bunch of questions about how much you drink or if you can move all your extremities, or if you’ve ever been a mental patient etc. Doctors take your word for this, or maybe he just didn’t see the bottle of Cacique in my pocket….hehe. This takes maybe 10 minutes and there are plenty of places in close proximity to the License place, if you haven’t taken care of this prior. This cost $20.00

• PASSPORT and CURRENT COSTA RICA DRIVERS LICENSE and it’s good to take copies, you never know.

• The RECEIPT from the bank, such as Banco Nacional. It is AT THE BANK you actually pay the fee for your Drivers License. This is done BEFORE hand. The Receipt is obviously the proof you have paid. Also $20.00.
Your renewal is GOOD for 5 years as opposed to only 2 years when you get your FIRST Costa Rican Drivers License.

Hundreds of Videos about Costa Rica at the Costa Rica Travel Channel and TONS of INFO about Traveling and Living in Costa Rica at Travel Costa Rica NOW And as Always, HOPE IT HELPS!