Proof of residence can be requested on several different occasions in Brazil and the type of document that is accepted varies according to the institution. In this article we will explain the types of documents used as proof of residence in Brazil and what you can do if you don’t have one.
What is proof of residence?
Proof of residence is basically a document proving that you live where you say you live. It sounds very simple when put like this, however, there are several different documents that can prove what your real address is.
The problem with proof of addresses in Brazil is that they can be easily falsified. Different from other countries, in Brazil there is no organisation responsible for issuing a proof of residence, so most mail sent to your house can be accepted as proof that you actually live there.
Also, the document accepted depends greatly on who is requesting it. A retail store offering you their store credit card would probably accept any document with your name and address on it, but if you are applying for a public tender, then you will probably be required to present a utility bill that has already been paid.
Which documents can I present as proof of residence?
As previously mentioned, there are several documents that can be presented as proof of residence. How strict the institution is going to be depends on why the documents are being presented in the first place.
Here are the documents that are most commonly accepted as proof of residence in Brazil:
- Electricity bill
- Telephone bill
- Bank statement
- IPTU or IPVA booklet
- Rental agreement for real-estate
- Condominium bill
- Tax return declaration known as IRPF
- Payslip issued by a public institution
- Traffic fines
- Any mail sent by INSS
- Health insurance bill
If you do not have any of these documents in your own name, you must still present one of them along with a document attesting your relationship with the house owner. For example, if all the bills in the house are registered under your spouse’s name, you must take your marriage certificate in order to prove that you live with that person. If the house owner is one of your parents, you must take your ID card where you parents name are provided.
Why do I need proof of residence?
There are several procedures in Brazil that require proof of residence. The most common are:
- Credit card applications
- Getting a job
- Obtaining different types of national ID cards
- Getting health insurance
- Getting a P.O. box
- College application
- Participation in public tenders
- Financing for cars or houses
As there are several situations that demand the presentation of proof of residence, those who live in areas that had not been regulated and are not officially recognised by the city are often hindered by the fact that they do not have an official document stating where their house is located.
What if I don’t have proof of residence?
Some people simply do not have any document that can be used as proof of residence. This can be the case for those who live in more precarious slums, in rural areas or in a rented property, if all the bills are issued under the name of the property owner.
In cases of rented properties, the owner can issue a document stating that the tenant lives at that address. The document must present:
- The owner’s full name
- Nationality, marital status, RG and CPF numbers of the owner
- Complete address of the property
- Full name and ID numbers of the tenant
Attached to the document there must be proof of address and the document has to be signed by the owner and two witnesses. Depending on the institution requiring the proof of address, it may be necessary to have the document notarised.
With the advance of housing policies in Brazil, several favelas have been urbanised and the streets and alleys have been signposted. 88% of the residences located in slums have access to water services, so they could use their water bill as proof of residence.
A common practice is to have a friend or a relative living in a regularised area sign a document stating that you are their tenant. This is also an alternative as, depending on the slum, the inhabitants have no access to postal services, so the mailing has to be sent somewhere else. This is not legal practice, but it is the only alternative for many people.