Criminal Record Certificate: Application, Steps and MORE

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Have you ever been asked for the Criminal record to do a procedure? Normally, this type of document is one of the most requested when it comes to obtaining documentation, processing a permit or applying for a job, for example. However, the requirements and information on this document may be unfamiliar to many people. If that is your case, in this article you will be able to find everything you need to know about this procedure.

In the following lines you will find information to request the Criminal Record Certificate application, as well as the step by step to get this document. In addition, we present information such as: the validity of the criminal record and the functions that this procedure has. So, if you are interested in getting your background, we invite you to continue reading about this article made for you.

Read carefully, this document may be the key to other procedures!

Criminal Record Certificate Request

To be able to get your Costa Rican criminal record certificate, you will first need to know the requirements that are requested to carry out the process of this document.

Now, these requirements are very simple to meet, since the criminal record is one of the most requested documents to process; because are used to carry out different procedures. So, if you are looking to obtain your criminal record, these are the situations that you must meet:

  • You must be a Costa Rican citizen.
  • You must have reached the age of majority (18 years old).
  • When you go to submit the application, you must bring the valid identity card.
  • In addition, to submit the request for the background, You must be the one to file the petition.

Note: There is the possibility that someone else will file the background request for you. In those cases, the person involved must have a legal authorization with your signature, a copy of your identity card and the certification of a notary.

How to request a criminal record?

Once we know the requirements that are required to launch the application for the Criminal record, we must choose the way in which we will request the document.

The procedure to obtain a criminal record in Costa Rica has the particularity of offering different ways to carry out the process. In this way, citizens can choose the way to request their criminal record that best suits them at the time.

Next, we will present the forms that you will have at your disposal to request the Criminal Record Certificate and, thus, you can implement the easiest option for you:

  1. You can go directly to one of the headquarters of the country’s Judicial Registry.
  2. Also, you can access the web portal of the Judicial Registry and fill out the online form for the background. Of course, after you have five business days to attend the selected Registry headquarters, to collect the certificate.
  3. Finally, you can make use of the mobile app «Power of attorney» to request a criminal record. The app can be found available for Android and iOS systems.

Venues to Submit the Application

Regardless of which way you choose to apply for a criminal record, you will have to attend an office of the Judicial Branch of Costa Rica, to present the petition for your criminal record.

Now, you have several locations to choose from and go to present your request for the background.

Find the one near you and come when you can!

  • First, Second and Third Judicial Circuit of San José.
  • First and Second Judicial Circuit of Guanacaste.
  • Cartago Judicial Circuit.
  • First Judicial Circuit of Puntarenas.
  • First and Second Judicial Circuit of the South Zone.
  • Judicial Circuit of Heredia.
  • First, Second and Third Judicial Circuit of Alajuela.
  • First and Second Judicial Circuit of the Atlantic Zone

On the other hand, the opening hours of these venues are Monday to Friday from the 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. The day is interrupted, so you can attend at any time of the day that is within the working hours presented.

Application for Costa Ricans in Other Countries

In the event that you are in another country and need to obtain a criminal record from Costa Rica, you can do through the Costa Rican embassy, which is in the country where you are. Just go to the consulate and present the following requirements:

  • Valid Identity Card or Passport (In case you are a foreigner).
  • Request letter addressed to the Consulate (It must be written in Spanish).

Now, this application that you are going to present to the Consulate, must have the following information indicated inside:

  • Full names and surnames.
  • The number of the identity card or passport.
  • The date and place of birth of the applicant.
  • The names and surnames of both parents.
  • The personal data of the person in Costa Rica who is going to remove the background in the Central American country.
  • In the case of being a foreigner, you must indicate the period you stayed in the country.

Once you submit your application with these requirements, the Consulate will accept and forward the request to the Judicial Registry of Costa Rica. Then, you must look for the certificate past five business days, after you have submitted the application.

Finally, for this document to be valid outside the country and accepted in other nations, must be authenticated by:

  • The Authentication Office of the Foreign Ministry of Costa Rica.
  • The Embassy of the country in which you are located.

Steps to Request a Criminal Record Certificate

The process for submitting the application for Criminal record it is short and simple; which allows citizens to do it without much trouble. However, it tends to change depending on how you have chosen to apply.

There are two main ways to do this procedure: the face-to-face mode and the virtual mode. Next, we will present you the step by step of both, so that you can be aware of both processes.

Via Online
  1. Attend one of the offices / headquarters of the Judicial Registry of Costa Rica, to obtain the password and personal user of the institution’s web portal.
  2. Enter the web portal of the Judicial Registry and access the Online Management System.
  3. Select the option «Request for a Criminal Record Sheet».
  4. Enter the information that was provided to you in the Judicial Registry.
  5. A link will be sent to your personal email with the link to download your criminal record.
  6. Now, if you want to have a physical backup, enter the headquarters of the Judicial Registry you are going to attend to remove your criminal record certificate.

Congratulations, you are done with the online process!

Via Presential
  1. Attend one of the offices / headquarters of the Costa Rican Judicial Registry.
  2. Go to the window corresponding to your case.
  3. Provide your identity card and specify the procedure you want to request.
  4. Request more than two copies from the official.

Congratulations, you are done with the face-to-face process!


Now, one of the doubts that arises regarding the issue of the criminal record certificate is: «How long is this document valid for?»

To begin with, this document is one of the most requested to carry out other procedures; so it has a quick and easy application process. In this way, it is allowed to be used quickly and on the spot.

However, also a period of validity «short»; since the document only has three months or ninety days of legal validity. Once that time expires, the document is invalid. However, according to some institutions or procedures, it could be used despite having passed that time.

Therefore, it is recommended to calculate the times of use and the procedure that needs to be processed, to request the antecedents and that they do not lose validity during the waiting process.

What is the Criminal Record Certificate for?

We have talked a lot that criminal records are requested for many other procedures, but we have not delved into the subject. So, in this next section, we want to tell you the functions that this document has:

  • It is normally used as a proof of criminal conduct for work or travel cases.
  • It serves for apply for benefits abroad such as: Visas or residence permits.
  • In addition, it is a important requirement to graduate from a university in Costa Rica.
  • It serves as voucher that you have not committed crimes in a country or, on the other hand, of the conditions of your sentences.
  • It serves as sure you’re not being chased by laws and security forces of a country.

This information could interest you: «Requirements to Obtain the Passport in Costa Rica»

What is it?

Finally, to close this article on the Costa Rica Criminal Record Certificate, we want to present you a kind of brief summary on the subject. To begin, we will detail what is a criminal record.

The criminal record is a document that is issued to show how your criminal conduct has been in a country, region or state. Normally, the sentences, crimes and conditions to be met are reflected.

On the other hand, its application process is very simple and fast; since it is a highly requested document for other types of procedures. So if you want to get the criminal record certificateWe invite you to reread this article more calmly, so that you can better process the information.


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