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Registro Nacional-Catastro 

looking up a title in the Registry

You either need the property number, the owner's identity number or the owner's name. I recommend using the identity number.

Keep in mind that it seems that about half the people in Costa Rica have their property registered under somebody else's name for a variety of reasons such as: to avoid it coming up in divorce, to be able to apply for government relief to build a house, for tax purposes.

You can have your lawyer look up the title for you or you can do it yourself:

First go the real estate part of the Catastro. You will find a list of options in the white middle column. Second, third and fourth on the list are:

Por Número de Finca o Concesión

This is the most complicated way to do it. The number always seems to be hard to find so if you want to do it this way you are on your own.


Por Nombre Físico o Nombre Jurídico

If you have the complete name of the owner you may look up the property under the drop-down "Nombre Físico". I don't recommend this. many people have the same name in Costa Rica. If it is in the name of an Asociedad Anonima, you will need to know the exact name of the corporation. Fortunately each corporation has to have it's own unique name so this works well. Click on "Nombre Jurídico" in the drop-down list. This will list the properties owned by either the person or the corporation. Unfortunately there will be no clue to the identity of each one so you may have to try them all. Keep clicking on the links in the page and you will get a page that says consulta. You may have to backtrack to find the right one. You will be able to identify the correct one by the size or the neighbors it lists. Make a printout and show it to your lawyer.


Por Número de Identificación

This is my recommended way to do it. Here you can look up by cédula number. If it is the cédula of a person choose "Cédula identidad" on the drop-down list. This is the Costa Rican version of the Social Security Number as you know it in the US or the Personal Number in Europe. If the property is owned by a company you need to choose "Cédula Jurídica" on the drop-down list. This will list the properties owned by either the person or the corporation. Unfortunately there will be no clue to the identity of each one so you may have to try them all. Keep clicking on the links in the page and you will get a page that says consulta. You may have to backtrack to find the right one. You will be able to identify the correct one by the size or the neighbors it lists. Make a printout and show it to your lawyer.  

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