The CPF Number (Cadastro de Pessoa Física) in Brazil

Understand how to register for the compulsory CPF tax number...

The Cadastro de Pessoa Física - CPF is the Individual Taxpayer's Number and is required for many everyday transactions in Brazil, including opening a bank account, applying for a job, subscribing to a mobile phone company and when buying a car or property. The CPF is a blue plastic credit card style card and is often accepted as a form of identification in Brazil.

Who Must Apply For a CPF Number?

Any individual, including a minor, regardless of their place of residence, who has a bank account, owns a vehicle, real estate, goods, or financial or capital investments in Brazil must apply for registration in the Cadastro de Pessoa Física. Once registration is complete, a CPF number will be issued. The CPF is a unique number and is only issued once.

Registration for Foreigners Resident in Brazil

To register for a CPF in Brazil, an individual will need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Proof of address (utilities bill)
  • Completed application form
  • Birth certificate (if under 16 years old)
  • Proof of parentage, custody or guardianship (if applicant is a minor)
  • Receipt of payment of the administration fee, issued by bank / post office

A CPF application form can be completed and printed online via the Federal Revenue (Receita Federal’s) website.

The application needs to be submitted to a local Federal Revenue office (Receita Federal) within 15 days, along with proof that the fee has been paid at a Post Office (Correios), Banco do Brasil or Caixa Econômica Federal. Proof of address is required when paying the administration fee.

In São Paulo, registration is possible at a Post Office, branch of Banco do Brasil, branch of the Caixa Econômica Federal or at a Poupatempo office (citizen service center).

In other states of Brazil, registration can be done at a number of locations.

At Receita Federal offices, applicants waiting to register who are accompanied by children are usually given priority assistance.

The status of a CPF application can be checked via the Federal Revenue (Receita Federal) website.

Registration for Individuals Living Outside of Brazil

Individuals who are not resident in Brazil may begin the application process at the Brazilian Consulate of their place of residence.

Applicants will need to fill out an application form and take this along, with proof of identity (the original and a photocopy) that includes the names of the applicant's parents, to the Brazilian Consulate that has jurisdiction in their place of residence. The individual may also apply for the issuance of a CPF number through a lawyer in Brazil.

The application form should be presented to a Brazilian Consulate within 15 days along with the required documentation.

The Consulate General will send the application form (with a certified photocopy of the passport) to the Brazilian Federal Revenue Office in Brazil, which is responsible for issuing this number. The applicant can check the status of their request at any time on the Federal Revenue website.

  • To check the status of a CPF application visit: The Federal Revenue website select Exterior, and then enter the receipt code number in the Código de Atendimento field and the date on the consular receipt in the Data de Atendimento field.

Once the CPF number is issued (usually within two months), the foreigner must file an annual income tax statement with the Federal Revenue Service or a tax exemption statement (Declaração de Ajuste Anual do Imposto de Renda e Declaração Anual de Isento).

Note: failure to do so will lead to the cancelation of the CPF number.

Any change of name, address or cancelation of the CPF number can be done at the Brazilian Consulate of the person's place of residence.

  • The Federal Revenue office has more information regarding the application of a CPF number by foreigners living in Brazil (in Portuguese)

The e-CPF

The Federal Revenue has created the e-CPF:an online version of the Cadastro de Pessoa Física (CPF). Once registered, private individuals or businesses can access Federal Government services, submit an income tax return online and view statements. Access to the site is via a secure server.

The Receita Federal has created a video guide of how this service works and how to register (in Portuguese)