When a Costa Rican citizen lives in another country and needs the issuance of their identity card, they have the possibility of obtaining it at the 141 Costa Rican consulates and embassies located around the world. Thanks to existing coordination with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), these dependencies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been authorized to meet this requirement, outside our borders.
In 2022, 5,593 identity card applications were processed, and most of them came from the United States (3,589), Nicaragua (296), Spain (187), Canada (186), Mexico (173), Panama (169) and Colombia (134).
The estimated time to send the complete documentation, from the nation where the process begins to the central headquarters of the TSE, varies according to its origin; In approximately 30 days, citizens will receive their identity card, but they also have the possibility of paying for the transfer through private courier, and shortening the waiting period, between three and five days.
If the citizen requires a duplicate of their identity card due to expiration, deterioration or loss, they must only attach two passport size photographs when making the request.
Young people who need to apply for their identity card for the first time must go to the consulate or embassy, with a close relative (parents, grandparents or siblings); if they do not comply with the previous requirement, they can appear with two witnesses (uncles or cousins), so that they can corroborate their identity.
Similarly, since 2021 there is an alternative called “Friendly Consulate”, which is used when it is difficult for Costa Ricans living abroad to travel to the nearest diplomatic representation, given the distance to travel, or when they are in a nation that lacks such instance.
In these circumstances, the person can call the consulate closest to his residence, and request that his procedure be carried out at the headquarters of another country that he considers more convenient, depending on his needs. It should be taken into consideration that the interested party will bear the costs of sending the documentation, withdrawal and signature of the receipt according to his identity document.
To raise doubts or queries, users can write to [email protected]or call 2287-5460, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
In addition to cedular management, consular officials are able to offer all the civil and electoral services provided by the TSE, for example, the registration of births, marriages, deaths, ocursos (correction in registration entries), naturalizations, and paternity acknowledgments.