Renewal of Cedula or Residential Card Accomplished Today

This two-year one expires in May
and the new one is also good for two years.
Then I qualify for a “permanent” Cedula
good for up to 5 years.

To get my first Cedula I used a lawyer and spent a lot of money! This time was less complicated but still involved knowing where to go and what to do and all in the Spanish language which I am still not adept at conversationally. So I used a less expensive source whom I highly recommend, who charges a very fair price by the hour and speaks fluent Spanish. I used a local school teacher, Belinda Seabrook, originally from England. It was a delightful and easy half day trip to Alajuela Post Office where I was interviewed and photographed. Doing this at the Post Office is NEW this year and everyone says is easier than renewing at Immigration in San Jose. BUT . . . you must be prepared and here are the six things Belinda asked me to have for the interview:

  1. My current Cedula
  2. My CAJA or health insurance number
  3. Proof that I have paid my CAJA charge each month for the past 3 months (receipts)
  4. “Comprobante de pension” or letter from my Costa Rica bank proving that I have deposited a minimum of $1,000 a month into a bank here. (I have my SS check auto-deposited here,)
  5. Receipt from a different bank, BCR, showing I have paid $123 USD into a given Immigration bank account number in payment for this new Cedula (within 24 hrs off interview).
  6. And lastly come to the interview with ₡7,515 (=$13.23) cash which might be the fee that the post office is charging for the service, but I don’t know for sure. 
Correos de Alajuela – Alajuela Post Office

We waited less than 10 minutes for one of their 2 interviewers and in maybe another 10 minutes we were finished including the photo. It went smoothly & quickly because I had Belinda with me as a fluent Spanish speaker. Without her I would have been a nervous wreck! I highly recommend Belinda for this essential service for you expats here in the Atenas area. And she has a car which made the trip to Alajuela quicker and easier for me who depends on the buses. Call or email me for contact information on Belinda.

And I was informed that I could pick up my new Cedula at the Atenas Post Office on April 2. I then take it to the Clinic to register my new Cedula with the CAJA medical services. And I have a one month cushion since my current Cedula doesn’t expire until May 13. Until this year we had a separate medical card called a Carnet, but now we use the Cedula for everything! A national ID card of sort. Glad to have this bureaucracy requirement behind me for another two years, though I can apply for the permanent one in another one year if I wish. 
¡Pura Vida!
¡Costa Rica!

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0 Replies to “Renewal of Cedula or Residential Card Accomplished Today”

  1. Nice smiling face, Charles Everett! Delighted things went better for you this time around. You have a birthday soon – and, we'll have to celebrate it at the orphanage. (We can celebrate together-mine is four days later.) Excited about the mission trip and so delighted things worked out for me to be a part of it.

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