San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
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Civil Registry now issues digital birth, marriage and death certificates

Costa Ricans who are living abroad or outside the capital – or those who just want to avoid waiting in line – can now request and receive digital birth, marriage and death certificates online.

The Supreme Elections Tribunal’s (TSE) Civil Registry launched a new service last week that allows people to request and receive digital versions of these documents.

TSE Director of Technological Strategies Dennis Cascante Hernández told The Tico Times that the digital certificates have the same legal validity as printed ones issued at TSE offices.

Each digital certificate costs ₡1,575 (about $3), which covers the costs of processing the online transaction and the stamps that validate the legal document.

The digital documents come in PDF format and include an alphanumeric security code. That code allows any interested party to confirm the certificate’s validity for up to 30 days from the day it was issued.

Cascante noted that while certificates do not have an expiration date, some public agencies and private companies request people to submit certificates issued within a certain period of time.

“For that reason, we only allow validation for up to 30 calendar days,” he said.

How does it work?

The new service is available from the TSE website under the “Certificaciones Digitales” tab. The page can be accessed on computers, smartphones and tablets.

The link takes users to an online form where they can select the type of certificate they require and fill out their personal information.

The system then will ask users for credit or debit card information. The online platform takes Visa or Mastercard, issued in Costa Rica or in any other authorized country.

Finally, the system requires a valid email address. Upon completion, the TSE will send an email confirming payment details and with the digital certificate attached.

“The confirmation message containing the PDF document will arrive within minutes,” Cascante said.

The same link also allows users to confirm the certificate’s validity at no additional charge, using the security code provided in the PDF document.

The TSE’s Civil Registry issues nearly three million printed certificates each year, Cascante said. The agency expects the new system to allow them to issue some 90,000 digital certificates per year.

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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