Guatemala’s National Registry of Persons, Registro Nacional de las Personas, RENAP began retiring the old Guatemalan identification card known as Cédula back in September 2009. The RENAP only has until December 31, 2010 to switch the old identification booklet documents since by law the cédulas will be rendered invalid and useless on January 1, 2011.
The new Guatemalan identification card goes by the name of Documento Personal de Identificación, DPI for short. The DPI is a plastic card, similar to the driver license, with three levels of security and a chip with a microprocessor. The DPI will also incorporate the Códico Único de Identificación, CUI for short, which will be an universal unique identification number, the equivalent to the Social Security Number.
Of course, turning all the paper records into digital files for +13 million people is a colossal undertaking; one with still many wrinkles. So for now, the process of switching the old cédula for the new DPI is taking over two months with long lines forming around many of the RENAP offices. Such is the case of the RENAP office in La Antigua Guatemala, although if you go to Jocotenango or Ciudad Vieja, there are no lines.
If you’re interested and let me know in the comment area, I will explain the process of actually acquiring the new DPI.