Expats who are legal residents know about the fingerprint facilities. A trip to the security ministry was a ritual that most applicants for residency have to make.
But there are plenty of other reasons individuals submit to fingerprinting in Costa Rica. And there are several reasons why they should not.
The section of the ministry that does fingerprints is called Dactiloscopía in Spanish. And workers there still use a system based on ink.
That may be why some 72 applicants for pistol permits last year were bold enough to provide their prints. The ministry reported that this is the number of individuals who were snagged on outstanding criminal warrants.
The most recent was last week when a man seeking a pistol permit was detained at the issuing office in Barrio Francisco Peralta. The man was the subject of two warrants, each alleging that he abused a minor. They were from courts in Turrialba and Guápiles.
The bulk of those seeking pistol permits are individuals who are seeking jobs as guards. Some expats who seek to carry weapons for self protection have complained about the delays in issuing.