The Ecuador cedula is a national ID card, used for working, eventually getting a drivers license, getting the local rate for flights to the Galapagos (seems to be 1/2 the tourist rate), etc.
After , overall, I thought the DIY Ecuador cedula requirements were somewhat more straightforward. This was my experience (as of 2013). Sorry, this post is a little late, but better late than never right?
This is what I brought from the US:
- An apostilled birth certificate. Note that I actually went to the county registrar to get a brand new birth certificate, and not my original which my mom had lying around for ages, because my county in California has changed is county registrar stamp an the Secretary of State of California apostille’s service will no longer recognize the really, really, really old signature/stamps. The apostilled birth certificate doesn’t expire (as does the single status certificate) NOTE: As of July 2013, many expats are reporting updated requirements that this document is no longer required.
- An apostilled “Certificate of Single Status.” In order to register your identity, you have to prove what your civil status is (married, divorced, single, etc). That means bringing an apostilled marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or in my case, single certificate. How I obtained this was I went to the county registrar office (which administers birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc), and asked for the Single Status Certificate. They did a search through all the marriage certificates on file, didn’t find any, and printed out an official page which said something to that effect. Then I went to the Secretary of State to get this (and other documents for my residency) apostilled. This expires 6 months after it’s issued, so don’t drag your feet. NOTE: As of July 2013, many expats are reporting updated requirements that this document is no longer required.
- I had already brought my apostilled copy of my University degree to get my professional 9-V residency visa, they also required this indirectly for the cedula, see below.
Once in Ecuador…
- Certificado de Cedulacion y Empadronamiento. Right after I obtained my permanent residency visa, the Ministerio of Relaciones Exteriores will make you wait a while, take some photocopies of your visa and passport, charge you $4 and give you this stamped certificate.
- Notarized Translations. I got notarized translations of the apostilled birth certificate and single status certificate, including the apostille pages (cost about $70)
- Sworn statement of personal data: I went to the Registro Civil Office’s flagship location in Parque Luis Cordero in Cuenca to verify the requirements, and they also provided me with a form for “Datos para la Cedulacion de Extranjeros”, i.e. Data for Foreigner cedulas. Per their instructions, I filled out the form with personal data (i.e. mother’s maiden name, occupation, education, etc) and I went to the notary and got a sworn statement (Declaracion Juramentada) that it was correct (You need to speak Spanish for this, or you need an interpreter because part of what you are swearing is that you understand all the legalese terms of the sworn statement and that if you lie it is perjury, etc). Cost $10
- Physical address documentation – Unneccessary per my experience as of 2013. Per the requirements online, it asked for a document verifying my physical address, so I asked my landlady for a copy of the water bill. (which wasn’t even in my name), but once I went to turn in the paperwork they said they didn’t need it anyway.
- Color copies of passport and residency visa. Easy, didn’t need to be notarized.
- Documentation for Education and Profession. This was the tricky one. The Registro Civil website asks for: “Para instrucción.- Documento que acredite su nivel de instrucción en original y copia. Si es documento emitido en el extranjero, presentará en original y copia notariada en el Ecuador; debidamente autenticado por el consulado ecuatoriano o tener el apostilla y legalmente traducido, de ser el caso.Para Profesión.- Original y copia del título profesional o impresión simple del registro de la página web de la SENESCYT si el título fue registrado en el Ecuador.” In English, the website asks for documentation to prove your instruction/education level — an apostilled or legalized and translated copy of your university degree…And to prove your profession — the original and a copy OR a printout from Senescyt showing the degree was registered in Ecuador. My issue was that I had actually turned in my translated apostilled copy to the Ministerio of Relaciones Exteriores for my residency visa, and they of course refused to give it back. As luck would have it, they accepted the printout form Senescyt for BOTH occupation and profession (contrary to what the website says). Another option I’ve heard some people do is to state their instruction/education as none, and that their profession is “Quehaceres domesticos” i.e. domestic labor / housewife, such that no documentation is needed. I asked if I could do this an they effectively said no in my case since it’s obviously a lie since I have a professional 9-V visa, but might work in other people’s situations.
- Drop off paperwork. I took all of the above to the Registro Civil in Parque Luis Cordero, waited about an hour for my turn, they took my photo and fingerprints, and said I could come in in 2 days to pick it up. Cost only $5. Voila! You apparently need to renew your cedula every 10 years, not something I’m too worried about yet!