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.”

1
Passport
  • Make sure you have a valid passport.
2
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.
3
Fee
  • 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.
4
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.
5
Congratulations! You have a CPF number!
  • Congratulations! The attendant will hand you your brand new CPF number!
6
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About Addison Sears-Collins

Hey! I'm Addison Sears-Collins, the founder of Visa Hunter. My dream is for a border-free world. I seek to destroy the barriers that prevent people from traveling or living in another country. You can learn more about me here. Join me in the border-free movement by liking my fan page on Facebook, connecting with me on Twitter, or adding me to your circle on Google+.

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