Brazilian Administrative Offices

Contact information for the national and local administrative centers of Brazil, including where to go for residency papers, vehicle registration papers, driving licenses and more...

Many government departments have information relevant to foreigners living in Brazil. Some information is available in English and further information may be obtained by telephoning or visiting the relevant department, although there is no guarantee that someone will speak English.

One-stop Citizen Service Centers

Until recent years, personal documents such as driving licenses (Carteira Nacional de Habilitacao - CNH), vehicle registration papers (Certificado de Registro e Licenciamento do Veículo - CRLV) and many others had to be renewed or updated at different locations. The few locations were inadequate, with poorly trained staff, long lines and a lack of information and orientation.

In response to complaints about the system, the Brazilian government has created one-stop citizen service centers. These citizen service centers are known by different names in different parts of the country. The main centers in the state of Bahia, for example, as well as some other Brazilian states are called Serviço de Atendimento ao Cidadão - SAC, while in the state of São Paulo they are known as Poupatempo (literally meaning "timesaver").

Identity Cards

All applications for a Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro - CIE which contains the Registro National De Estrangeiro - RNE (the identity number for non-nationals) must be submitted at the Federal Police (Polícia Federal) office, closest to the applicant's place of residence.

In the event of a change in personal details (for example change of address), the card must be updated at the local Federal Police office within 30 days,

Visitors in Brazil on a 90-day tourist visa can extend their visa by an additional 90 days once in a twelve month period at a Federal Police office. They will need to take their Embarkation/Disembarkation Card and passport and pay a small fee.

For more information see Angloinfo’s Extending a Tourist Visa in Brazil section.

Registry Offices (Cartórios)

Every region, district or municipality in Brazil has a Registry Office, which is responsible for the registration and documentation of the general public’s civil affairs, such as births, marriages and deaths.

Transport Department

The Brazilian State Transport Department (Departamento Estadual de Trânsito), known as DETRAN, is responsible for issuing driving licenses and car registration documents, among other things.

Social Security

Brazil has a comprehensive Social Security system (Segurança Social), with employees, self-employed people and employers in Brazil making compulsory contributions. These contributions are made as insurance against loss of wages, pension planning or in the event of injury, pregnancy, accident or illness.

Foreigners who contribute are entitled to the same social security benefits as Brazilians. There are over 1,200 agencies of the Social Security National Institute (Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social - INSS), called Agências da Previdência Social, across Brazil.

Poupatempo centers can offer administration services connected with unemployment and the labor card but social security issues should be verified with the INSS at one of the agencies listed above.

  • Online registration for social security is available via the government Dataprev portal (in Portuguese)