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Costa Rica Looks to Update ID Cards

cedula
A Costa Rican ID Card, Courtesy of the TSE Website.

The Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) urged the Costa Rican Hacienda (Treasury) to find $18 million to modernize its ancient system for producing citizenship and residency cards (cedulas). The President of the TSE, Luis Antonio explained that the equipment that is used to make the documentation usually has a life span of six years, however the Hacienda has currently been using it for over a decade. “The equipment is old, we have been repairing parts of it and if it stops, its effects would be devastating for all of society,” he said.

The TSE magistrates completed a feasibility study for the modernization of the Costa Rican ID cards and presented it to the Minister of the Hacienda in mid November. Though the study has been reviewed, the Minister has yet to issue an official answer to the TSE.

If the plan is approved, the system would not be modernized until two years after the funds are collected. Based on that, you will most likely will not be seeing any new cedulas in Costa Rica for another three years.

The new identification cards would allow Costa Rica residents to be identified by their picture as well as a digital signature and finger print thanks to a computer chip that will be placed in each one. The cards will be issued in all the 21 regional offices of the TSE. The price for these new IDs will not raise from the regular $14.

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Written by Richard Bexon

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