The cédula and passport delivery service of Correos de Costa Rica has turned out to be a big success and a way the government postal service can insulate itself from the winds of change.
Correos said that it has delivered 150,000 passports and cédulas in the first six months of the year. It also has delivered 100,000 sets of documents for students in a special program set up by the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social, the social welfare agency.
The postal service reported that it had earnings of 6.6 billion colons in the first half of the year with net earnings of 740 million colons, about $1.46 million. That is a big turnaround from the same period in 2009 when Correos posted a deficit of 500 million, a bit less than $1 million.
The postal service does not get money from the national budget. It has to survive on what it brings in.
The postal service continues to make money on such traditional items as the delivery of bank statements and electric bills. That and the sale of stamps has increased 26 percent over last year. The expresss service EMS showed a 33 percent increase, Correos said. It competes with the private firms like DHL and Federal Express.
The Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería has expanded the way it issues passports and cédulas de residencia. Cédula renewals can be handled at Banco de Costa Rica, and the final document is processed by the immigration service which then sends it to a designated office of Correos de Costa Rica.
Applicants pick up the document there.