How to Renew your Marbete
If you want to drive your car in Puerto Rico, you are going to need a marbete, your car’s vehicle registration. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to renew it.
A marbete, or car tag, is your car’s vehicle registration, which should be renewed annually. It is issued by The Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP, the Spanish acronym), or an authorized location. All authorized locations must have a sign that indicates they are authorized by the DTOP.
You will notice the current marbete in your car has one month punched, the month you are required to renew it yearly. DTOP usually does not mail out renewal reminders, so it is up to you to remember. However, if you download the CESCO app (Centros de Servicios al Conductor, the DMV of Puerto Rico), you will receive a notice of renewal through the app.
Good news! Your marbete is going digital! Marbete Digital is the new electronic tag that will replace the traditional marbete. Read more about that here.
To renew your car’s marbete, you will need: your car’s vehicle license, a car inspection, a certificate of insurance (request ahead of time!) or compulsory insurance, and the marbete fee.
Step 1: Vehicle license
You need to print your vehicle’s license at DTOP’s website, CESCO digital, or download the CESCO app on your phone. Here’s how:
- Enter the Driver Services Portal here or download the CESCO app on your phone.
- To log in you will need your driver’s license or license plate number, the last 4 digits of your social security number, and your birthdate. Place the information requested in the corresponding boxes and click Login. (If you also need to get your driver’s license in Puerto Rico, read about the process here!)
- Once you are in the portal, you will be able to access documents related to your vehicle, such as your vehicle license. Go ahead and print the vehicle license, which you need to present at your car inspection.
- In this portal you can also access your certificate of fines. Be aware that you will need to pay any tickets and fines, including any surcharges and interests, you have against your license before you can renew your marbete. You can pay your fines at a bank, collections office, or DTOP service center. Make sure you save your receipt to show proof of payment in case it’s not recorded.
Step 2: Vehicle Inspection
Next, you need to have your car inspected and checked for emissions if your car is over 2 years old. The inspection can be done at Vehicle Inspection Centers with testing facilities authorized by the DTOP, which must have a sign that indicates they are authorized by the DTOP.
The person inspecting your car will ask for your vehicle license, so make sure you take it with you. Once the car passes the check-up and your vehicle license is stamped, the person inspecting your car will give you a certificate you use to buy your marbete.
You can purchase the marbete at most authorized Vehicle Inspection Centers. You can also purchase it at any bank or Department of Treasury (Hacienda) collections office.
Step 3: Auto Insurance
The Government of Puerto Rico requires all private vehicles that travel on the island to have auto insurance, either private or compulsory insurance.
If you have private insurance, request a certificate of insurance from your insurance broker or insurance company prior to getting your car inspected. A certificate of insurance is a document that provides proof of insurance coverage. You will need to present the certificate when you are paying for your marbete.
If you do not have private insurance, you must sign up for compulsory liability insurance, also known as compulsory insurance. This insurance, which is contracted at the time of renewing your vehicle’s registration, costs $99 and is active for a year. At the time of purchase, you will receive a list for you to choose the insurance company of your preference. If you opt-out of insurance, you will be fined $500 and your vehicle’s license plate will be taken.
To place your marbete, take off the previous one and adhere the new one on the passenger side of your car. Don’t place the marbete ahead of time when it is for a future date, only on the month of renewal.
Don’t leave it until the last minute! Make sure you get your marbete and place it on time to avoid a hefty fine or having your car towed.