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Tag Archives: Federal Police


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We’ve made it a habit to hang out on Saturdays at Parque Ibirapuera.  My son loves it, and it’s a nice walk for me.  The other weekend (pre-baby) as we were leaving my son happened upon the Civil police van.  We often see these around Brasil, either Civil or Federal Police vans, with the cops just kind of standing around making sure the peace is kept.

I have a fear of cops. Period. US and well of course even more so in Brasil, due to stories like these that I’ve read and the fact that I don’t speak Portuguese great, my distrust of cops here is even worse than in the US.  Seriously my husband laughs at how afraid of police I am — I would shake when they pulled me over for tickets…before, during, and for like 30 minutes afterwards.

But not my kid, he hopped right up into the van, and one of the police officers (the female one of course), immediately came over and gave him a sweet little tour.

Contrary to the close up of his face, he was having a grand ole time.  However doesn’t it look like he’s gotten caught for doing something bad?


Good things come to those who wait

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My husband has been rather frustrated with the length of time it has taken for him to be able to get his car.  First, just getting the money to buy the car has been quite a process. We made sure to sign up for an HSBC bank account while in Brasil, so we would be able to transfer our US money into Brasil with the least amount of “Bank Fees” withheld.  As HSBC is an international Bank, one would think that the first time you attempted to transfer money from your US account to your Brasil account it would be second nature to them.  It was not, and it took 3 hours for them to figure out how to do this.  Once you initiate the transfer, it then takes between three and five days for the money to be released.  I’m okay with this, as I understand you don’t want foreign drug money floating around your country.  If you are transferring a substantial amount ($15,000 R), you will then need to prove where the money came from.  Again, the drug money legitimacy.

Second, there is the irony of trying to find a car while not having a car – how do you get to all of the cars for sale?? The car I had found on internations was stick, and we didn’t want to deal with that.  So we found a leather interior Toyota for sale for R$40500 at a dealership.  It was a bit fancier than we wanted, but we figured we would be able to sell it for close to the same amount.  The keys to this beauty of a car unfortunately have not passed through my husbands hands.  Having the car today would have been nice as my husband started work today. It is necessary to pick me and the bub up on Saturday am.

Well the point of all this.

I got an email this week from Internations again, someone had a  Honda Fit – Automatic Transmission for only R$25000.  The honda is a better car for Sao Paulo, as well it’s not as flashy, it has a few dents, so we don’t have any worries about it getting any more scratches– kinda the same theory we held for our cars in LA.  As the seller is moving out of the country, we were able to completely go around HSBC Brasil, and transfer money from our account into their account. Poof! Instant transfer, amazing.

Now, if you DO ever buy a car from a private seller, you do want to go to the Federal Police and speak with a despachante.  You will need the registration number for the car and the sellers CPF.  This is free. When we did it we discovered there were R$2500 in parking tickets and back taxes unpaid.  This step is very important, as these type of fees are linked to the car, so should we are buying the car AND the unpaid fines. Crazy right?  You can also check for these fees online at the DETRAN.

It’s all about the scissors

Things are looking up for my husband.  The monkey has been timing his naps around when daddy calls… it’s like he knows he just needs to stay up for a few more minutes.  We have a car we are looking at tomorrow from an expat we found on Internations, and we have a potential apartment that meets our high standards.

Sooo… on to the story about scissors…

Today my husband headed to the Federal Police to get his RNE.  Now earlier I posted about how we took a bunch of photos for Brasil at Wal-Mart so we could save money (for those of you who know my husband you know that he really is this cheap).  Well hubby brought one such photo today for the RNE. He brought all of the paperwork that he needed (his company helped him with this part), the photos, and met with a despachante. They’re an administrative officer who pretty much helps with the process. Well it turns out that hubby didn’t look up what type of photos you need.

US photos are 2×2 in.  Brasil photos are 3×4 cm.  So simple problem right? Find a pair of scissors and cut it down to size.  Well my husband’s swiss army knife with scissors (super micro tiny swiss army knife) was confiscated on his trip out, so he didn’t have those to try and use, so the despachante frantically searched the Federal Police office.  I guess they don’t keep scissors there (make a mental note of this people).  So he decided to go across the street to the photo place, where they take photos for $15 R.  As they were walking across the street my husband sees this office and figures they would have scissors.  So he makes the despachante go in and ask.  Of course this guy is utterly embarrassed that my husband is having him do this. And the woman at the desk flat-out tells them they don’t have scissors.  By chance a pair of scissors are actually sitting on the desk behind her, so my husband asks what about the scissors behind her. In a typical non confrontational Brasilian way she states, “Oh those are another workers, and I couldn’t let you use hers as she is not here to ask.”  Hubby would have continued the quarrel, but the despachante was already embarrassed enough and made him go take a photo at the photo place.

For those of you EVER planning on going to Brasil, a nice little page that walks through the various documents and what you need can be found at Anglo Info:

Within 30 days of arrival in Brasil, a foreigner should go to the Federal Police office closest to their place of residence, taking the following documents:

  • Two recent photographs, size 3x4cm (colour, white background, smooth paper)
  • Passport and photocopies of the used pages of the passport or travel document
  • Embarkation/disembarkation card

Fingerprints are also taken. There is a fee, payable at a branch of Banco do Brasil (Federal Police offices have a branch of Banco do Brasil within the same building).

Once the application has been made, the applicant immediately obtains a protocol number (protocolo) which serves as temporary evidence of residency status. An individual is considered legal in Brasil with this document even if their visa expires. They may also apply for a Carteira de Trabalho or work-permit, valid until the process is complete and they may seek employment in Brasil or set up their own business.