Costa Rica Civil Registration

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Costa Rica
Civil Registration


Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths began in 1888.[1]

Information Recorded in Civil Registers

Births (nacimientos)

Marriages (matrimonios, casamientos)

Divorce Records

Deaths (defunciones)

Locating Civil Registration Records

Online Records

Search Strategies

To effectively use civil records, follow these steps:

  1. Search for the relative or ancestor you have selected. When you find the person’s birth record, search for the births of his or her brothers and sisters.
  2. Search for the marriage of his or her parents. The marriage record will often give you information that leads to the parents’ birth record.
  3. Estimate the parents’ age and search for their birth records.
  4. Repeat the process for both the father and mother.
  5. If earlier generations are not in the record, search neighboring municipios.
  6. Search the death records for all family members.

Searching Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Costa Rica Civil Registry

  1. Access Civil Registry section of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones de Costa Rica
  2. To find information on individuals, select "consulta por nombre y apellidos"
  3. Enter the first name and maiden name of the person being searched.
  4. In the results window, select the person from the list and click "Realizar Consulta" near the bottom of the list.
  5. The profile for the individual is displayed showing birth date, names of parents and death date, if applicable. Click on any links to get additional details.
  6. To find marriages or death records, repeat steps 2 to 4, selecting "consulta de matrimonios" or "consulta de defunciones"
  7. The profiles for the married couple or the deceased person is displayed, showing marriage or death dates and names of parents.


Costa Rica Index of Marriages and Deaths from the late 1800s to 1900s. To search the website, follow these steps.

  1. Click on the option Consulta por nombre y apellidos.
  2. Enter the first name in the Nombre field.
  3. Enter the paternal surname in the 1er Apellido field.
  4. If known, enter the maternal surname in the 2do Apellido field.
  5. You can limit the date range searched by entering dates in the fields Desde (from) and hasta (until)
  6. You will now need to enter the letters you see in the captcha image in the box just below it.
  7. Click on Consultar.
  8. If you were any matching results, you should now see a list. In the small check box to the left of the name, check all the entries you would like to view then click on Realizar Consulta.
  9. You will now see your first result. To view subsequent results click on the word Siguiente located below the words DETALLE DEL NACIMIENTO PARA ESTA PERSONA

On the detailed results page for each person you can do the following:

  • By clicking on Hijos Registrados you can see if there are children registered to the principal person in the record you are viewing.
  • By clicking on Matrimonios Registrados you can see if there are any marriages registered to the principal person in the record you are viewing. Some marriages recorded before 1960 are not available for viewing online. The search for marital status is only valid for persons born after 1950.
  • By clicking on Lugar de Votación you can see the voting place of the principal person in the record you are viewing.

Other searches

Consulta de matrimonios and Consulta de defunciones do not provide complete details of the event. You will have to follow the instructions indicated in order to receive a copy of the certificate. These are in Spanish. Use Google Translate or have your browser translate the page if you do not understand Spanish.


  1. Ryskamp, George. Finding Your Hispanic Roots. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997.