“I’m sorry, but you can’t rent a movie until you give us a proof of residence, which can be a water, electricity bill or the like…”
This is the response I got when trying to apply for a membership at a local video rental store.
And so I proceeded to prod a little more…
Me: “How am I going to give you a water bill when it’s included into my rent, can’t you just accept my credit card and keep it on file?”
Me: “What if I prove that I have plenty of free room on the card? This is how they do it in other countries…”
Attendant: “No, sorry”
And so I walked out a movie-less depressed man, but I wasn’t going to give up!
Thanks to my HideMyAss! backup plan, my night was kind of saved…
This wasn’t the first time I was asked for a proof of residence and wouldn’t be the last.
In fact, a proof of residence is necessary to get a lot of things done such as:
- Renting videos
- Getting a post-pay phone plan
- Getting Internet
- Getting visa stuff done
- Most notary public tasks
- Buying a car
- Health insurance
- Getting a job
- And tons of other things…
You need a proof of residence for day to day life in Brazil.
The problem was that I couldn’t get a traditional proof of residence without having one first to get one… (yep, confusing)
Determined to Get a Proof of Residence in Brazil – Here’s What I Did
When a Brazilian doesn’t have a proof of residence, what they do is take a utility bill in one of their parents name and their identification showing their relationship to their parents and that works fine.
They then get a proof of residence in their name this way, this is just not an option if you are a foreigner!
Well, I was determined to unravel this mystery and figure out what I could do as a foreigner with no bills that stated my name and address on them (to be used as proof).
And so I asked around at several of the different places requiring a proof of residence, one being the Notary Public (Cartório):
Me: “If I need a proof of residence to sign up for a mobile plan to be used as proof of residence so that you can have a proof of residence, then how CAN I get a proof of residence!?”
Notary: “well you need some type of official document with your full name, CPF number and address on it”
Me: “so what if I get my landlord to provide this to me, can I then use this?
Notary: “That should be fine”.
And so I walked out of the Notary Public office with a bit of a smile on my face as I appeared to have found a solution to my irritating proof of residence problem.
My Return to the Video Store – Victory?
I finally got ahold of my landlord who could really care less about my situation and after a lot of convincing, he reluctantly wrote my name, CPF number and address on a piece of paper and a brief statement that I lived there.
But he REALLY didn’t want to do this.
I then took this piece of papery freedom back to the video store and with a smirk on my face said:
Me: “HERE is your precious proof of address!”
To which the attendant smugly replied:
Attendant: “hmmm… this document hasn’t been notarized…”
Attendant: “Your landlord’s signature must be recognized by a Notary Public before I can accept it”.
Me: “you can’t be serious….”
And so I walked out of the video store, once again movie-less…
The Quest to Get my Landlord’s Signature Notarized
And so I went o my local Notary Public and presented the document asking if I could get it notarized, to which they replied by saying that his signature wasn’t on file with them.
I would have to find a notary public where his signature was on file.
And so I called my reluctant landlord in hopes that he would indulge this information to me.
Me: “Which Notary Public has your signature on file?”
(irritated) Landlord: “Right next to XXXX supermarket on the continent”.
When you live in Florianópolis, anytime a person mentions the “continent” it means a 1 hour car ride (or 2.5 by bus) off of the island and over to the mainland.
And so I journey over to his Notary Public, waited in line and after a total of 3 hours had a notarized proof of address in hand.
The Final Proof of Address and What it Should Contain
I had the final proof of address in my hands and after all of that run around, I was able to walk up to the Video store with a huge smile on my face, throw it on the counter and say “May I have my membership please”.
Here is what your Declaração de Residência (or proof of address) should contain:
Here is what a proof of address should contain:
- The name of the proprietor in the first field
- His/her identity nr. And CPF number in the next two fields
- Name of the city
- Complete address
- Your name
- Your passport number (written n. de passaporte xxxxx)
- Your CPF number
- The City name
- Complete address
- City, state, date
- Proprietor’s signature
- Proprietor’s name
- Proprietor’s ID nr. (RG)
- Proprietor’s CPF nr.
- 2 witness signatures
- A Notarization from the Notary that Proprietor has a recognized signature at (not shown).
Even better, HERE is a link to a template of the document I created specially for you – I translated the fields needing to be filled out into English.
Just use the above numbered picture as a guide to help you fill it out.
With the above information, you can avoid the hassle I had to go through and my learning curve…
I hope that this post has helpful and let me know below in the comment section if you have any questions or comments!
Valeu – cheers!