Living in Mexico. EVERYTHING you need to know (and then some)
what is a CURP and how do I get one?
January 10, 2020
If you’re thinking of living in Mexico (actually living and not just snowbirding), you will want and need to get yourself a CURP. You’ve likely heard of the term and have been told you need a CURP to be able to…..(blah, blah, blah…fill in blank). That’s because it’s one of the most important pieces of Mexican identification you can get.
What is a CURP?
CURP stands for Clave Única de Registro de Población. It’s a mix of an 18 digit/letter key of your initials and birth date used to reference you inside government systems. It is your personal identification number in Mexico. There are 44 different areas of the Mexican government that require a CURP.
A CURP is often automatically assigned by INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración) on your second residency renewal (just look at the front of your INM card), however, if you require a CURP before then, you can apply for one through INM.
How do I get one?
Your nearest Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) office is the ONLY place you can apply for a CURP. To get a CURP, you need to have your INM documents in order. There is no charge to apply for a CURP.
Why do I need a CURP?
If you intend to live here and utilize any government services (and even some non-government services) such as the registry of a vehicle or a local cell phone or to utilize Mexican healthcare or even open a local bank account, you will need a CURP. Once the key is assigned to your name, you can print it yourself when needed. When you enter your CURP on the website, this page will appear with your name and information.
You can then click download (descargar pdf) to a PDF and get the official version that can be used in government agencies. It looks like this. I have whited-out my personal information, but you can see what the official CURP document looks like (which would have your name and numbers on it).
It is dated, has a bar code, two Q.R. scan codes, the initial date of issue, a folio number and the name of the current government head. Although the online version is in color, the document printed and presented in black and white is acceptable.
All this information is included on your CURP printout along with today’s date and two paragraphs of information verifying to the government agency to whom you intend to present this copy, that it is valid and up to date.
It is imperative that you understand the government CURP design changes every year.
Government agencies will only accept the most recent (updated) printout version of the government CURP, so it’s a good idea to bookmark the website for future use.