By Marcos Chiluisa
A cedula is the official Ecuadorian identification card. Native residents have them, and expats can get one once they become residents. It is a good option to avoid carrying your passport around.
Not many expats like to obtain a cedula due to how long the process can take. Before, cedulas for expats were only issued at the 3 biggest cities in Ecuador: Guayaquil, Quito and Cuenca. Now, cedulas can also be obtained at the Civil Registry in the City of Manta.
This is definitely good news for those who live close to Manta and do not want to travel long distances to obtain their official Ecuadorian ID. Since Manta is newly offering cedulas for expats, another advantage of this is that no appointment is needed yet. First come, first serve.
The process to obtain a cedula in Manta is pretty similar to other cities in Ecuador. The system opens up for cedulas at 11am every day, Monday through Friday. Allow 2-4 hours for the total process to be completed. Please be patient with the Civil Registry workers as this is new to them so there might be moments when they do things slowly or ask many questions.
You must bring your cedula order, copy of your visa, passport, and any document that justifies the information that you want to include on your cedula such as:
Apostille Marriage Certificate + Translation (to justify marital status)
Apostille Birth Certificate + Translation (to add parents’ information or correct any information from the system)
Senecyt Registration (to change your education level)
After all your information is entered in the system by the clerk, in just 2 hours your cedula will be ready.
Hurry up and give Manta a chance!