Ever since the news came out that everyone, including foreigners, could obtain free healthcare and medications at public health facilities in Mexico simply by showing a Mexican Voter ID Card, a CURP or a birth certificate, I have been inundated with emails from readers asking me questions CURPs.
Here are the most common ones along with the answers:
1. What’s a CURP?
CURP is an acronym for Clave Única de Registro de Población. It’s an alphanumeric population number that is similar to a social security number. It is issued to Mexican citizens and lawful residents.
2. How do I get a CURP?
If you have either a temporary or permanent resident card, you can apply for your CURP at an INM office (those are the immigration folks that issued you that resident card in the first place).
3. I think I have a CURP, but I can’t find it. How do I get another copy of it?
You can obtain a copy of your CURP in PDF format for free by accessing the following government web page:
You should see something like this. If you don’t know your assigned alphanumeric code, click on the plus sign:
That will open up the section where you can enter your personal information to locate your CURP:
Nombres (names): If you have a first and middle name on your resident card, you should enter both of them in this field.
Primer Apellido (first last name): If you only have one last name, put it here.
Segundo Apellido (second last name): This is not a mandatory field. If you only have one last name, leave this blank.
Sexo (sex): Mujer (woman), Hombre (man)
Fecha de Nacimiento (date of birth): This will be in the following format: DD/MM/YYYY
Entidad Federativa de Nacimiento (Federal Entity of Birth): If you weren’t born in Mexico, scroll down to the last option: Nacido en el Extranjero.
Código de Verificación (verification code): Type the code that appears at the top of the screen.
If your CURP was located, your information should appear on the screen:
Click the button that says “Descargar PDF” to obtain a copy of your CURP and it should include your photo. I’m holding mine in the main photo for this post.
Note: Some readers have reported that their CURP did not include their photo.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Some resident cards have the CURP on them, some do not. If yours does, you can certainly use that in lieu of printing this document out; however, you may want to print one anyway so you don’t have to carry your resident card. It’s a huge pain to get a resident card replaced if it’s ever lost or stolen. We know one expat who recently had to wait over six months to get their replacement card. On the other hand, if you lose your CURP paper, you can always print out another one.
Linda and I do not routinely carry our resident cards; however, we do carry photos on our phones of the front and back of our cards in the event that we’re ever questioned about our legal status by INM officials or members of the Mexican National Guard (they have the authority to enforce immigration laws too).
Since moving to Mexico, we’ve been stopped and questioned by INM officials on two occasions. Both times was while driving through police checkpoints near our home in the Riviera Maya. The INM officials confirmed that showing them clear photos of our cards was enough to prove we were in the country legally and that it wasn’t necessary to carry the actual cards on us at all times.