How to Get a Proof of Residence in Brazil

“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?”

Attendant: “No”

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…”

Me: “WHAT?!”

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”.

Attendent: “ok”

Mission succeeded!

Here is what your Declaração de Residência (or proof of address) should contain: 

Here is what a proof of address should contain:

  1. The name of the proprietor in the first field
  2. His/her identity nr. And CPF number in the next two fields
  3. Name of the city
  4. Complete address
  5. Your name
  6. Your passport number (written n. de passaporte xxxxx)
  7. Your CPF number
  8. The City name
  9. Complete address
  10. City, state, date
  11. Proprietor’s signature
  12. Proprietor’s name
  13. Proprietor’s ID nr. (RG)
  14. Proprietor’s CPF nr.
  15. 2 witness signatures
  16. 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.

Final Words

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!


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  • What a horrible experience you had.

    I was able to get a phone plane without a proof of residence, which I then used as a proof of residence for other things.

    • How did you get a phone plan without proof of residence? That usually requires RG, CPF, proof or residence and a clean name…

      But yeah, it was pretty irritating!

  • Arggg. I didn't think this would be a problem, but I have NOTHING with our new address and my name. Everything is under my husband's name. So should it work if I use a bill with his name on it, and our marriage certificate? Which of course, has already been verified by a Cartorio…

    • dont get worried just yet- you know in brasil women are often defined by their men…. i think as long as you can prove youre married to matt, they would accept that you have the same addr

    • is a bill in your parent's name works, then a bill in Matt's name together with the marriage certificate should work too.

    • Shelley: yes your idea should work just fine, this is the "option B" Brazilian's – it's only necessary to prove your relationship, which sounds like you can!

      Good luck!

  • Hi there, thanks for the great info. I am living with non-Brazilians who have a permanent visa and RNE – can they still fill in the declaration? Thanks for your help

  • Hey we are in florianopolis now,for born my baby,we got CPF,now we want to get proof of residenc,we have to rent house for getting proof of residence cause we are in majestic hotel now?or we can get just by Sim card

  • Hi Kevin, thanks for sharing how you solved this puzzle! Do you still have a copy of the proof of residence template? The link above seems to have stopped working.

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