What is a DIMEX Identification Card. It is your residency card. The Costa Rica banking system will not process bank to bank wire transfers known locally as a SINPE transfer for foreigners that do not have a DIMEX identification card. The DIMEX is nothing more than the Residency Identification Card that all foreigners that live in Costa Rica and have been granted residency are granted. The DIMEX card has been around since 2008 and it provides a 12 digit identification number with a photograph and signature of the card holder.
As such, those persons that have legally residency in Costa Rica should already have a DIMEX card. Likewise, those foreigners that have renewed their residency status since 2008 should also have the DIMEX identification card.
What Does the DIMEX card have to do with Banking ?
As part of the Costa Rican Anti-Money Laundering policy a new regulation passed by the Executive Branch (Decreto Ejecutivo 36948-MP-SJ-JP-H-S) titled as General Regulations on Legislation against Narco-trafficking, Connected Activities, Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Organized Crime
This Regulation provides that foreigners are required to have a DIMEX identification card which will be required as identification for banking purposes. The first portion of implementation of this regulation was the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) which issued their own regulations mandating that foreigners who did not have a DIMEX would not be allowed to process internal bank to bank transfers by way of the SINPE electronic transferring system.
If you are a resident in Costa Rica and have the older residency identification documents you will need to update it to the DIMEX format. To do so you can process it via Banco de Costa Rica by calling their toll free number which is 900-00-DIMEX (900-00-34639) and set up an appointment to get the new card
What If I don’t have Residency in Costa Rica
It is unclear. According to some sources the intent of this was to clear out of the system any old residency identification cards for legal residents which in turn makes it easier to prevent money laundering activities. On the other hand what about tourists that have bank accounts in Costa Rica. If you do not have residency in Costa Rica and have a bank account I suggest you contact your bank to determine how this regulation will impact the services that you are provided by your bank.