The “invisibles” are all those Costa Ricans over the age of 18 and dot no have a “cedula”, a credit card-sized plastic national identification card. According to the Civil Registry (Registro Civil), the number of invisibles has reached 235.605 of which 52% (123.383) are men and 48% (122.222) women.
“The rights of every Costa Rican are inalieanble, but without applying for a cedula they are self-limiting”, says Luis Guillermo Chinchilla, director of the Registry.
Without a cedula, a Costa Rican cannot open a bank account or take out a bank loan, transact with any public institution, get a passport, a drivers license or vote, for example.
According to the National Census (Censo Nacional) taken in 2011, this group represents 8% of the adult population.
The Registro says it there is no clear reason why a person would not apply for their cedula. “We cannot speculate on the reasons…It is private and everyone has their reason”, said Chinchilla.
One reason that cannot be is that is a difficult and costly process.
To apply for the first time, a person has to only make a personal presence at the “Solicitudes Cedulares” department and their document is ready in eight days.
Source: La Nacion
- The cédulas de identidad or “ceédula” number begins with the province the person was born, San José for example is “1”. The cedula of a naturalized Costa Rican begins with an “8”.
- Foreign residents cedulas are different and are called “cedula de residencia” and is issued by the immigration service and no the Civil Registry.
- In the near future in Costa Rica, the cédulas de identidad will also be used in the digital signature process.
- Click here to consult the Civil Registry database where you can search information on cedulas, names, marriages and deaths.