Ex-pats and people considering living in Brazil have probably heard about the dreaded CPF. It´s a government invention to prevent tax evasion which ended up being the largest monster in red-tape horror.
The good/bad thing about being a foreigner in Brazil is that you can sometimes register a comment or open an e-mail account without fishing out your damn yellow/blue card to get the CPF number.
You are warned ex-pats, if you don´t have a CPF card in Brazil don´t even bother opening your crates and boxes.
The funny thing is that foreigners find it really hard to get other documents and will even be asked for them together with the CPF, but that evil little card is the only one they´ll ever get without a headache. So what´s the point of having that, and not having the other million papers they ask you for?
I remember the days when ID was enough, but the CPF has long overshadowed it´s inseparable buddie. If you don´t have an ID (which has your picture), no problem, but God forbid if you don´t have a CPF. You can´t shop, open, cancel, complain, accept, or even hire absolutely anything without it.
For those who are green in the subject, you get a CPF at the Ministério da Fazendo offices, Banco do Brasil agencies or at the Post Office. Easy as 1-2-3.