How to Get a CPF Number in 5 Simple Steps

Brazil How to Get a Cpf-Number

Brazil’s Favorite Drink, The Caipirinha

I was surprised to find out that getting a CPF number for Brazil is extremely easy.  In fact, it takes just 5 simple steps.

In case you didn’t know, a CPF number (Cadastro de Pessoa Física) is needed in Brazil to purchase just about anything from a cell phone plan to purchasing furniture to investing in property.  It is similar to the Social Security number for Americans. Note that, like the U.S. Social Security Number for Americans, once you get your CPF, you will have that same CPF number for life. Despite what you might read on other sites on the web, there is no such thing as a temporary or permanent CPF number.

Getting a CPF number is very easy as a foreigner.  The great thing is that you can get it on a Brazil Tourist Visa.  You can also get a CPF number if you are on other visa types, such as the Brazil Student Visa or Brazil Work Visa.

I am American and was able to get a CPF number in 2 days on a simple Brazilian Tourist Visa.  So, without further ado, let me explain below the simple process.

Note that if you want to get a CPF number from outside of Brazil, check out my post on “How to Get a CPF Number if You Are Outside of Brazil.”

  • Make sure you have a valid passport.
Post Office ("Correios" in Portuguese)
  • With passport in hand, go to the nearest Correios (or Post Office in English). They are all around Brazil.
  • Tell the attendant at the Correios that you want a CPF number…. “Eu sou um estrangeiro, e eu quero um CPF” (I am a foreigner, and I want a CPF).
  • The attendant will ask you a bunch of questions like your address in Brazil (apartment, hotel, hostel, etc.), your mother’s name, your contact telephone number, etc.
  • You will need to pay a fee (note that this fee is subject to change, so confirm with the Correios), and the attendant will give you a long yellow receipt.
Receita Federal
  • Take your passport and yellow receipt to the closest “Receita Federal.” This is like the IRS in the United States.
  • If you are in Rio De Janeiro, the Receita Federal branch I went to was located on Avenida Presidente Antônio Carlos, 375 – Centro Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20020-010.
  • At the Receita Federal, they will usually ask you to take a number (“senha” in Portuguese”) and have a seat.
  • Depending on how many people are there, you will probably have to wait for a few hours, so bring a good book or reading material.
  • When your number is called, tell the attendant that you want a CPF number. They will ask to see your passport and yellow receipt.
Congratulations! You have a CPF number!
  • Congratulations! The attendant will hand you your brand new CPF number!
Check Out My Other Resources for Brazil

Further Reading

About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. You can learn more about me here. Connect with me by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or check out my website Automatic Addison where I build robots and embedded systems. accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the accuracy of the information contained on this site. Please read the Visitor Agreement and Disclaimer. If you think there is an error in the information, please bring it to our attention so that we can correct it. Also, some of the links above could be advertisements or affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) should you decide to click on the links and make a purchase. I recommend sites from time to time, not because I earn money or get a tiny commission if you click on the affiliate links and make a purchase, but because, I want you to focus on the places that will deliver you the most value and the best results. Good luck!