Chile has two different types of national ID numbers, the RUT (Rol Único Tributario) and the RUN (Rol Único Nacional). A RUT number is specifically for filing taxes; a RUN is a civil register ID number. For individuals, these numbers are identical; when someone applies for a RUT number as a part of obtaining temporary residence in Chile, the number on their ID card will function as both the RUT and RUN numbers. Business entities, however, only have a RUT number.
A RUT/RUN number is necessary for a number of transactions in Chile, such as the following:
Buying/selling a house or a car
Opening a bank account
Obtaining a Chilean driver’s license
Registering a Chilean internet domain name (a web address ending in .cl)
Purchasing a phone or internet plan (although there are ways around this—click here to read our article on how to set up a prepaid phone plan in Chile)
Start a company
Collecting loyalty rewards in most stores
It is possible to obtain a temporary RUT number while you only have a tourist visa. You won’t be able to use it for certain things such as opening a bank account or getting an internet plan, but if you need to purchase a car or a house, get a driver’s license, etc., it can be useful. To get a temporary RUT number, go to the nearest SII office (Servicio de Impuestos Internos), fill out Form F4415, and hand it in along with a copy of your passport (make sure you bring the original along as well). You can also download and print Form F4415 here. When you’re at the SII office submitting the form, make sure you ask for the “clave secreta” (secret key, or password) to the member services section of their website, sii.cl. Once your residency is approved, you’ll need to go back to the SII office and register for your official ID card (Carnet). In order to avoid having two RUT numbers, make sure you ask for a “continuacion de RUT”. You’ll be able to go to the same SII web address to see the status of your ID card.
Do you have questions about this or other topics related to living in Chile as an expat or tourist? Email us at email@example.com would love to help you out!