Legal expats will be able to renew cédulas at local post offices

The postal service is setting up a system so that expats can renew their residency cédulas there. And Costa Ricans will be able to apply for and get a passport.

The system for expats will work the same way that the current system does at the Banco de Costa Rica. Foreigners who need to renew their cédula, called a DIMEX, can obtain an appointment by telephone to 9000-7672666 and then show up at the specified post office.

Unlike the Banco de Costa Rica service, expats will have to make a payment beforehand and bring proof of the payment to the appointment. Also required is proof of insurance with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social. Banco de Costa Rica will accept payment during the appointment.

Costa Ricans can apply for their first passport at the post office under this system by making an appointment with the same number.

Delivery of the finished cédula or passport will be made by Correos de Costa Rica in about 10 days.

The system is being put into service in post offices in Heredia, Cartago, Curridabat, San Pedro, downtown San José, Zapote, Desamparados, Tibás, Guadalupe, Santa Ana, Escazú,  Alajuela, Pavas, La Cruz, Cañas, Guatuso, Ciudad Quesada, Cóbano, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Guápiles and Ciudad Neily.

Until now, Costa Ricans had to go to an immigration office to obtain a passport.

The agency said that soon passport applications for minors can be made at the post office, too.

Kathya Rodríguez Araica, director of immigration, noted that her agency issued 170,000 passports so far this year, an increase of 26,000 from the previous year.

Part of the reason is because Costa Rican passports expire after six years instead of at the end of the previous term of 10 years.

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