How to get a police certificate - Costa Rica

If you need to give your fingerprints for a police certificate, this isn’t the same as giving your biometrics (fingerprints and photo) for an application.

Name of the document you need

Certificacion de Antecedentes Penales (valido: para usos varios internacionales)

Police certificate and IRCC requirements

You must provide a police certificate when you apply for

  • permanent residence
  • citizenship
  • some temporary residence programs

See the document checklist or visa office requirements for details.

How to apply

If you live in Costa Rica

You can apply

  • in person at the Oficina del Registro Judicial (see below for the complete address) or
  • online through the judicial website (available in Spanish only)
    • You’ll be notified when your certificate is ready for pick up.

If you live outside of Costa Rica

You must

  • write a letter to your nearest Costa Rican consulate
  • request a Certificacion de Antecedentes Penales (valido: para usos varios internacionales)

You must include the following information in your letter:

  • your full name
  • Costa Rican identity card number and a photocopy of both sides of your identity card
    • If you’re not a Costa Rican citizen, include your passport number.
    • You must also include when and how long you lived in Costa Rica.
  • place and date of birth
  • full name of both parents
  • full name, identity card number and telephone number of someone in Costa Rica who you've authorized to pick up your certificate

The Consulate will send your letter to the Judicial Register of the Supreme Court in San José. This is where the person you authorized will pick up your certificate once it’s ready. See the full address below.

If you don’t have someone in Costa Rica who can pick up your document, you can contact any of the following to help with the process:

  • your embassy
  • your consulate
  • a legal firm

In order for your certificate to be valid in Canada, it must be authenticated by the following:

Authentication Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica
Avenue 7-9, Street 11-13, San José, Costa Rica
Tel. 2223 7555. Ext. 136, 188 or 220

For more information, visit the Embassy of Costa Rica website.

Information and documents you need

  • Applicable fees
    • You can pay your fees at the Edificio de los Tribunales, ground floor, in front of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial.
  • Valid identity document

Contact information

For more information, please consult directly with the Oficina del Registro Judicial:

Primer piso de Edificio Anexo A, Costado noroeste de la Corte Suprema de Justicia
Calle 19, Avenida 6,
San José, Costa Rica
Telephone: 800-800-3000 or 2295-3682

Judicial Register of the Supreme Court
San José, Barrio González Lahman,
North side of the Supreme Court, Building Annex A, 1st floor
Telephone: (506) 2295-4737, 2295-3923 or 2295-4764

For more information on requesting a certificate online, please visit the judicial website (available in Spanish only).

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