Authentication in Costa Rica: 4 Tips To Authenticate an Official Translator’s Signature.

2 min read

If you read our previous entries, by now you’ll know what an official translation is (in Costa Rica), who needs one, and -after getting one-: when do you need to get the official translator’s signature authenticated.  Today we’re posting useful tips for those of you who need to get this authentication done.

1. TIP #1: First Things First → Check if you really need to get the authentication in the first place.  Hey, we know it sounds unnecessary -but really, you don’t always need to get the official translator’s signature authenticated.  According to Costa Rican legislation:

You’ll need to get the authentication only if your official translation (issued by an official translator in Costa Rica) is going abroad. This according to articles 4 and 16 of Law No. 8142 on Official Translations and Interpretations and its Regulation (Executive Decree No. 40824), respectively.”

2. TIP #2: Plan Your Visit.  The Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located in San José, between 7th and 9th avenue and 11th and 13th street; opposite “Parque España” (Spain Park).  If taking a regular (red) cab (“taxi rojo”) you can say you’re headed to “Casa Amarilla”.  Taking Uber instead? select “Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto” as your destination.  Driving? follow Waze directions to “Casa Amarilla-Trámites Administrativos” or “Ministerio Relaciones Exteriores y Culto”.  Business hours are Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm.

3. TIP #3: Get Your Documents Ready Beforehand.  To authenticate the official translator’s signature on your officially-translated document you’ll need to submit BOTH the official translation and the original document.  

4. TIP #4: Get Your Tax Stamps (“Timbres”).  For every officially-translated document that you need to authenticate the official translator’s signature of you’ll need to submit 625 colones worth of tax stamps (“timbres”):

  • National Parks Tax Stamp (“Timbres de Parques Nacionales”): 500 colones.
  • Revenue Tax Stamp (“Timbre Especies Fiscales”): 125 colones.

You can buy them at the CORREOS DE COSTA RICA desk located within the Ministry.  Please note that almost always  sometimes the specific tax stamps are out of print by the government.  SO if you like to plan ahead and want to have everything ready to submit: we suggest you deposit the 625 colones at a BCR (Banco de Costa Rica) and attach the deposit slip/receipt to your document pack (original document + official translation + 625 colones receipt from BCR).  If you want to be extra safe double-check the amount payable by visiting the MRREE’s website (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).  At the time we are writing this, and for the longest time it has been 625 colones and hasn’t changed but best check to make sure).

We’ll be posting MORE tips on getting this done in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned!

*Source: Our own professional experience and the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affair’s website.*


→Remember, at karlssontranslations we have been duly appointed to offer official translations authorized by the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we’ll be happy to hear from you.

For quotes: email us a photo or scan of your documents and we’ll reply with a price & time estimate.  One page documents/certificates are usually ready within 24 hours.

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