How To Get A Chilean RUT/RUN in Santiago

by Stephanie Walsh · 15 comments

in Chile, South America, Travels

Chile Grunge Flag by Free Grunge Textures -, on Flickr

So, you’ve arrived to Santiago de Chile, either on a temporary resident visa, a student visa or working visa. You’ll be needing a RUT/RUN number as soon as possible, since almost everything you do in Chile will require you to present this number.

There are a few steps required before getting your RUT number, so with a little preparation, it should be quite a simple process.

First things first, you will need to register your Chilean visa.

Registering A Chilean Visa in Santiago

Before getting a RUT or RUN number (no one really knows the difference it seems), you will need to register your visa at the Jefatura Nacional de Extranjería y Policía Internacional (often referred to as the PDI). The office is on Eleuterio Ramírez 852, a 5-10 minute walk from either the Metro Santa Lucía or Metro Universidad de Chile. Get there as early as possible, as the office opens at 8am and there will already be a long queue at 7:30am, although we found that it moved fairly quickly.

Once inside the building, you will be asked for the purpose of your visit. Say ‘registro de la visa’, and you will be issued a ticket number. Next, queue to pay the $800 CLP fee, take your receipt and wait for your number to be called.

Once you are called to the booth, you will have to show the immigration paper that you filled out on the airline, and your passport with your visa and entrance stamp. You will also be asked for your address in Chile (a hostel address is fine), your occupation and sometimes for your parents’ names. Next, they will take your photo, and print your registration document.

Make sure to check all of the information on the document before leaving, to ensure there are no spelling mistakes, or information entered incorrectly. It happens a lot!

If you arrived early to the office, you should make it out before 12 noon at the latest, so you’ll have time to go straight to the Registro Civil E Identificacion to apply for your cedula de identidad or RUT/RUN card. Both offices close at 2pm.

IMPORTANT: If you’re reading this article before entering Chile, make sure that the stamp you get at the airport immigration is perfectly legible. It’s better to ask the immigration officers to make the stamp as clear as possible before they do it. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this until after I’d already queued for an hour to get my RUT number at the Civil Registry office. They quickly sent me on my way to get a ‘travel certificate’ of my entrance to the country from the police station, because they couldn’t work out whether my passport stamp said the 27th or the 21st of February.

If you have already entered the country, and you notice that your entrance stamp is quite faded, you might as well get this travel certificate while you’re registering your visa, as this can also be done in the PDI office and is quite a quick process (from personal experience). The longest queue is the one for the RUT number, so you’re better off getting the certificate rather than queuing all day, only to be turned away because of a faded passport stamp.

The travel certificate (called a Certificado de Viajes) is only $800 CLP, the same cost for registering your visa.


Applying for a RUT/RUN number in Santiago

Before going to the Registro Civil E Identificacion, get a photocopy of your passport, visa, entrance stamp, certificate of registration of the visa (above), and anything else you think might be necessary. I always find being over-prepared for dealing with Government offices to be the easiest approach.

The office is located on Huérfanos 1570 (entry is at Manuel Rodríguez Street) and it will take about 20-30 minutes to walk there. You can also take the 301 bus from San Diego Street, just three blocks left of the PDI building. Get off near Huérfanos, and keep walking left until you see the Registro Civil E Identificacion office on your left.

Mentally prepare yourself for a long wait in the queue. Once you’re called, you’ll need to present your passport with your visa and entrance stamp. You will need a photocopy of all of these things also. You will also need the certificate you received from registering your visa, as well as your immigration document.

They will take your photo, your fingerprints, ask for your signature, and for your address, telephone number (it’s good if you already have a local SIM card) and your parents’ names.

Pay the fee of $4,050 CLP and you will be given a document with the details of your new RUT number and when the official card (cedula de identidad) is expected to be ready for collection. Usually it takes around 10 days to be processed, but you can check the status of your card on the following website:

Collecting a RUT/RUN card in Santiago

After waiting around 10 days, checking the website for the status of your cedula and ensuring that it is ready to be collected, you will need to go back to the Registro Civil E Identificacion office again to pick it up.

You’ll have to queue and wait in line again before, finally, getting your hands on your new RUT/RUN number.

Once you have it, make sure you bring it with you everywhere, as you’ll often be asked for it when purchasing high value items in Chile.

Has anyone ever had a different experience applying for a Chilean RUT/RUN number in Santiago? If so, let us know in the comments below. 


Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond 

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miguel Alatorre May 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I’ll be traveling to Chile next month and will need to get a RUT. This info will come in handy! Thanks!


2 Robert Holloway May 20, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I do not know when you think your information applied to, but it is not accurate as of this morning.

First of all the address is incorrect. It is 840 Eleuterio Ramirez, not 852.

Next, since an entry visa is not offered initially according to Immigration at this office, simply a passport, and entry stamp, with copies notarized will not do the trick. One must first apply for a residence visa which takes about 5 months now to get, and once this visa is glued into your passport, the process you suggest works just fine…but one cannot come from the airport and apply for a RUN number, and the RUT number is only for commercial uses anyway.

I followed your steps exactly only to be turned away after a very lengthy discussion at the PDI, Jefatura Nacional de Extranjera this morning. The temporarty visa, according to this office told me that I had to have the temporary residence visa before coming to this office, and I applied for that yesterday and was told it would take 4-5 months to be ready if approved….so I am not sure what visa you are talking about in your site here that you got faster than the normal temporary visa that takes the time to get and then the process you talk about must be accomplished within 30 days of being approved for your temp visa…please explain what you are taking about better because the officials here at the office did not agree with your information when I showed this to them this morning….


3 Adrian Figueroa August 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm


Steph explicitly states what kind of visa you need when applying for the RUT. She mentions the temporary resident, student, and working visas that are necessary to get the RUT at the beginning of this article. Therefore, your criticism that she implies you can just leave from the airport and get your RUT is just invalid.

I came into Chile with a temporary resident visa, and actually followed this information to the T, without even seeing this website. She accurately describes what you need to do to get a RUT, because I’ve done the same process on my own. And the address of the PDI is basically the same, 840 or 852. Those numbers are on the same block, and it’s hard to miss a police station if you’re unsure of which address is correct.

The 5 month wait for getting your temp. resident visa within Chile is your issue. Steph starts the article assuming the reader is coming into the country with any of the previously mentioned visas. You can’t degrade her information with your specific situation, because she never accounted for your specific situation.

For all those who have read this page, including the comments, I can attest that this information is accurate, for I had just gone through the steps on my own this afternoon, without the consultation of this article.

Good luck to anyone dealing with Chilean bureaucracy!


4 Sarkari Results October 18, 2016 at 6:03 am

In addition to getting jobs in same country like in government sector/private sector one also needs tips to get jobs in other countries. This post gives nice insight about the career aspects one needs to get into a new job…


5 Kelly Albertine August 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I have a “visa en tramite” an application for permanent residency because I am married to a Chilena. So the confusion to me is that 1.) must I wait the 4 months to receive the permanent residency visa, or can I apply during the process for a RUT. The logistics of going to PDI and the Registro are not a real big deal, the big deal is being turned away as so many people consider themselves experts (including the government officials) which many times are wrong or provide conflicting information, which is quite common in Chile.

I’d love to know if this is specifically for the 3 types of Visas mentioned in the article exclusively, or is it possible to get a RUT before getting a permanent resident visa status.


6 Kevin R September 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

I had a very different experience, but I believe I was trying to accomplish something different. Let me make it clear that I only needed a RUT to buy a Chilean motorcycle, and then to sell it at the end of my trip. If you are staying in Chile for a while or permanently please ignore the rest of this comment and follow the directions above.

In my opinion, there is a huge difference between a RUN and a RUT, and I acquired the latter quite easily. Since the RUT is simply a tax id and has nothing to do with residency you can get one just with your passport and the temporary visa you get on the plane(little slip of paper that gets stamped, don’t loose this). All that you need to do is go to a local registro civil ( calle general del canto, sometimes on maps as gral del canto, is the closest one if you are in providencia) and ask for a RUT. They will look at your passport and the temp visa and issue you a TEMPORARY RUT. It is a piece of paper with your basic info and the RUT number, but it expires three months from issue.

Here is where it gets interesting though. If you return no less than two weeks but no more than six months later, to the same office, they will provide the physical card, the cedula, that does not have an expiration date. The reason I am so sure this guide is for a RUN is because my RUT cedula only has my name, address(I used my hostel), and my RUT number. No picture was taken, no fingerprints, no certification of my visa, and completely free. However, when I studied in Chile a few years ago and did have a visa, I went through the process as described in the article to receive my cedula, which included a picture and looks completely different from my new RUT cedula.

If you are planning on being in the country for less than the three months allowed on the tourist visa but are planning on purchasing a vehicle in Chile to travel, you don’t need to do quite so much work to get a RUT. And as I’ve already bought my motorcycle I can confirm it’s all you need.


7 Collin January 17, 2016 at 11:50 am

Thank you for this comment. I’m only getting an RUT to buy a car, and after reading the article, I freaked out a little bit. Your comment brought me back to earth. Thanks!


8 Luis July 18, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Thanks Stephanie and Kevin.
Kevin, do you know if the RUT you obtain will work to open a bank account?


9 Kevin R July 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm

I’m sorry, but I never attempted opening a bank account. I believe you need the actual resident RUN ID, but I may be wrong.


10 tatkal irctc November 14, 2016 at 12:48 am

Thanks for sharing the nice blog.


11 Round Rock TX Home Builder February 22, 2017 at 4:19 pm

Superb article. Your own web page pattern is extremely awesome. I really like that completely. Carry on the excellent do the job along with keep writing.


12 Dane March 23, 2018 at 1:03 pm

If you are planning to buy a car in Chile, the best way to get a RUT would be to use the services of Suzi Santiago. They are the cheapest and in a short time they will handle the whole proccess for you.


13 Dane March 23, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Getting a RUT in Chile in order to buy a car can be a very easy and cheap proccess if you use the services of Suzi Santiago


14 Daniel May 8, 2018 at 1:14 pm

My company can help you get a rut in less than 2 hours (90,000CLP) and also buy a great vehicle and lots of other things. basically everything a traveler need in order to travel south america by car.


15 BestNelson July 21, 2019 at 6:39 pm

I have noticed you don’t monetize, don’t waste your traffic, you
can earn additional bucks every month with new monetization method.
This is the best adsense alternative for any type of website (they approve
all websites), for more details simply search in gooogle:
murgrabia’s tools
BestNelson recently posted..BestNelsonMy Profile