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CPF Brazil

CPF Brazil

What is the CPF Number?

A CPF number is the Tax ID generated once you have been registered with the Brazilian Revenue. CPF stands for “Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas” (CPF meaning in English: Natural Persons Registry). The CPF has 11 digits, and it may be issued by the Brazilian revenue service in Brazil or Brazilian consulates and embassies abroad.

A CPF is required not only to purchase real estate in Brazil but many other things, such as paying your taxes, opening a bank account in Brazil,  opening a company in Brazil, getting utility services, and being able to enter into general contracts drafted in Brazil.

How to Get a Brazil CPF as a Foreigner

A CPF Id number is issued to both Brazilian citizens and foreigners. Most Brazilians get their CPF number in Brazil. Foreign citizens, however, may obtain a CPF at a Brazilian consulate while visiting Brazil or through a Power of Attorney.

A CPF is a must for foreigners wanting to buy properties or live in Brazil. Getting a CPF will allow a foreign citizen to have access to many conveniences. The downside is that the CPF, as a tax ID, will create a presumption that you are a taxpayer in Brazil. In other words, after you get a CPF, you may be required to file a tax return every year. Support from an accountant may be required, and if you decide to stop doing business and live in Brazil, you may file a “final tax return” informing the Brazilian Tax Revenue that you will no longer engage in taxable activities.

Practical tip: buying a property in Brazil from a seller that has not asked for your CPF number? This may be a sign of fraud! Do not proceed with the transaction, as you must have a CPF to acquire real estate in Brazil legally.

Legal Advisory in Brazil
[email protected]
+55-11-4349-1915 Brazil
+1-212-300-7174 USA
Schedule a Consultation Now

Path 1: How to Get a CPF Outside of Brazil

Getting a CPF number at Consulate or an Embassy

First, check if there is a Brazilian consulate or embassy close to your location. Once you click on a country’s name, click to the right on Brazilian Representations to see the available consulates or embassies in your country.

Second, go to the website of the consulate or embassy and see if they allow you to book an appointment. Their website will have an English version of the text, so you will be able to find the CPF Application section and, if available, book a day and time for you to attend the appointment. Turnaround for issuing the CPF is usually just a few days when the service is available.

You must complete the CPF application form available at the Brazilian Revenue. Print out a couple of copies, sign, date, and take them with you to your scheduled appointment.

Note that consulates and embassies don’t carry the plastic card to print your CPF number on, so you will get just the number instead (you do not need any certificate to use it since it is verifiable online).

Covid update

Many Brazilian consulates and embassies stopped issuing the CPF after Covid. They are now directing foreign citizens to apply directly with the Brazilian treasury instead using the following email address: [email protected] after (1) filling out the form available at and (2) sending a picture of the applicant holding the applicant’s passport (the content of the passport must be readable in the picture).

Unfortunately, although the form title clearly says “CPF Application for Foreign Citizens”, the form is actually in Portuguese (UGH!). A solution may be asking for a friend who speaks Portuguese to complete the form on your behalf and use the above email address to send the form and communicate about additional requirements.

Path 2: How to Get a CPF in Brazil

If you are currently present in Brazil, you may go to one of these entities to apply in person for a CPF:

  • Banks Banco do Brasil or Caixa Economica Federal
  • Post Office Correios
  • Brazilian Revenue Service

You should take the following documents with you when applying:

  • A completed CPF form – unfortunately, this form is available in Portuguese despite being exclusive for foreigners, so you need to have help from a Portuguese speaker when completing it
  • Proof of ID – a passport would be the original choice

Path 3: How to Get a CPF through Power of Attorney

For many people, traveling to Brazil or a Brazilian consulate or embassy is not convenient. For such clients, our firm offers a service of CPF number issuing through Power of Attorney.

In this case, you just have to provide the required documents, sign the Power of Attorney we will draft for you, and pay our professional fees. No need to spend hours learning how a CPF number works, no need to travel, and no need to deal with long waiting times.

Contact us now to learn more about our CPF service, fees, and turnaround:

Need a CPF in Brazil?
We Can Help

[email protected]
(214) 432-8100

#1  Contact us to get a free quote, or
#2 Schedule a Consultation now.

Brazilian CPF Crash Course (3-Minute Video)

Watch Our Video “How to Obtain the Brazilian Tax ID Known as CPF”. If you still have questions after watching our video, enter your questions in the comment section to have it answered by one of our licensed Brazilian attorneys.

Questions entered as a comment will be answered by our licensed Brazilian attorneys. Check our YouTube channel for other videos addressing the purchase of real estate properties in Brazil.


1. What is a CPF?

A CPF number is the Tax ID generated once you have been registered with the Brazilian Revenue. CPF stands for “Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas” (Natural Persons Register). The CPF has 11 digits, and it may be issued by the Brazilian revenue service in Brazil or Brazilian consulates and embassies abroad.

2. Do I need a CPF card?

CPF cards have been traditionally issued only within Brazil. CPF numbers issued by Brazilian consulates or embassies do not have a physical card. Instead, applicants will get a paper printout with the number.

Today, most departments requiring a CPF number will be able to work with just the number and will not require the physical card.

Brazilians usually have their CPF numbers printed on their RG ID cards or Driver’s licenses. Foreigners living in Brazil may have their CPF numbers printed on their RGN ID cards.

3. What does CPF stand for?

CPF Stands for “Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas” or “Registry of Individuals”. It is similar to the “Social Security” number adopted in the US, and it is used as a type of universal identifier in Brazil. While the RG (General Registration Number) is a Brazilian ID issued at the state level and, as such, can have duplicity of numbers, the CPF is issued by the Federal Government.

4. What is a CPF used for in Brazil?

Some of the CPF purposes described by the Brazilian Revenue include: paying taxes in Brazil, being a legal representative of another, entering real transactions, getting a bank account of any type, investing in the country, owning vehicles, boats, or airplanes, owning companies, being a financial dependent of another.

5. Is a CPF enough for me to get a bank account in Brazil?

No. In addition to a CPF, you will need a Brazilian ID and proof of address. For foreigners in Brazil, the most common type of Brazilian ID is the RNE (National Register of Foreign Citizens). To obtain the RNE you will need to visit the Federal Police upon obtaining an appointment. RNE will be provided to foreign citizens admitted for a temporary stay in the country beyond the terms of a simple tourist visit.

6. Will I have to file a tax return in Brazil after getting a CPF number?

Not necessarily. The Brazilian Revenue does not automatically require you to file a tax return in Brazil just because you got a CPF. Instead, you will be required to file a tax return when you have substantial income in the country, among other situations, no matter if you have a CPF or not.

7. Can I share my CPF tax ID number with other people freely? Shouldn’t I carefully protect it?

We know how careful US citizens keep their social security numbers. In Brazil, since it is not as easy to open credit accounts and, to a certain extent, steal the identity of another, CPF numbers are freely shared. It is quite common for people to share CPF numbers and have this number printed in full in almost any type of contract or application you have your name on it.

This said, as a reasonable person, you should not share such a number or give it out other than in the context of a legitimate transaction.

8. Where can I get more details about the CPF number?

You can take a look at the normative instruction issued by the Brazilian Revenue Service governing the CPF Tax ID number. The IN RFB n° 1548/2015 can be accessed here. Wait! Did you forget I don’t speak Portuguese? Not really! You can simply right-click on this page (Chrome only) and choose “Translate into English.” Chrome does quite a good job, and you will be able to learn about the CPF directly from the horse’s mouth!How to read the CPF Normative Resolution in English

9. I got a CPF number many years ago. It is still valid?

A CPF number remains valid until the holder’s death. So, even if you got it decades ago, chances are it is still valid. However, CPFs that are not used may trigger a “suspended” status in the Brazilian Revenue Service database. The CPF number remains valid, but you would need to petition it to become active again. The number remains the same.

10. I lost my CPF number. Should I get a new one? How can I retrieve it?

The Brazilian Revenue Service will not issue a new number for a person who already obtained a number in the past. The right procedure would be to visit a branch of the Brazilian Revenue Service to ask for a search to be done. For foreign citizens abroad, a power of attorney may be used to authorize someone in Brazil to go there on your behalf.

11. How can I check if my CPF is active?

how to check a cpf number in brazil

The Brazilian Tax Revenue keeps a CPF checker application online for anyone to check the status of a CPF number:

The CPF number should be entered in the first box while the CPF’s holder DOB should be entered in the second one. Note that the DOB format in Brazil is: DD/MM/YYYY (day first instead of the month).

This system will show the following information associated with the CPF number entered:

  • Name of the CPF holder
  • Date when the CPF was registered
  • Current status: regular / irregular

Legal Advisory in Brazil
[email protected]
+55-11-4349-1915 Brazil
+1-212-300-7174 USA
Schedule a Consultation Now

Become a Pro in Brazil Real Estate!

To learn all about purchasing real estate in Brazil, check our How to Buy Properties in Brazil guide.

Learn about the advantages of buying real estate in Brazil in our Why Buying Real Estate in Brazil guide. Find opportunities and decide where to buy using our Know Where to Buy Real Estate in Brazil guide.

This content is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For legal issues or decisions of any kind, the reader should retain and consult legal counsel. You should not act or rely on the information on this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisements.

Legal Advisory in Brazil
[email protected]
+55-11-4349-1915 Brazil
+1-212-300-7174 USA
Schedule a Consultation Now