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

Check your application package or instructions for details.

How to apply

If you live in Costa Rica

You can apply either

  • online through the judicial website (available in Spanish only)
    • You’ll be notified when your certificate is ready for pickup at the Judicial Register of the Supreme Court (check Contact information for the complete address).
  • in person at the Oficina del Registro Judicial (check Contact information for the complete address)

If you live outside of Costa Rica

If you have a family member or friend in Costa Rica

Someone in Costa Rica must pick up your certificate for you. To apply for a certificate, you must write a letter to your nearest Costa Rican consulate requesting a Certificación de Antecedentes Penales (marked “Para usos varios internacionales”).

You must include the following information in your letter:

  • your full name
  • your 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.
  • the amount of time you lived in Costa Rica
  • your place and date of birth
  • the full name of both parents
  • details about the person you’ve authorized to pick up your certificate. You must include their
    • full name
    • identity card number
    • telephone number

The consulate will send your letter to the Judicial Register of the Supreme Court in San José. The person you authorized can pick up your certificate there once it’s ready (check Contact information for the full address).

Certificate authentication

Your certificate must be authenticated by both of the offices below for it to be valid in Canada.

Your friend or family member must bring your certificate to the offices in person at the following addresses:

  • Authentication Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica
    Between avenues 7 and 9 and streets 11 and 13, San José, Costa Rica
    Phone: 2223-7555, Ext. 136, 188 or 220
  • Supreme Court of Costa Rica
    Between avenues 6 and 8 and streets 19 and 21, San José

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

If you don’t have a family member or friend in Costa Rica

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

  • the embassy or consulate of Costa Rica
  • a legal firm

Contact information

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

Address for in-person applications

Oficina del Registro Judicial
Primer piso del Edificio Anexo A, Costado noroeste de la Corte Suprema de Justicia

Calle 19, Avenida 6,
San José, Costa Rica
Phone: 800-800-3000 or 2295-3682

Pickup address for finalized certificates

Judicial Register of the Supreme Court
San José, Barrio González Lahman,
North side of the Supreme Court, Building Annex A, 1st floor
Phone: 506-2295-3649

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