RENAP Is Retiring Guatemala’s Old ID Cards

Renap Office in La Antigua Guatemala

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.

Retiring Guatemala's Cedulas Guatemalan National ID: The Cedula
DPI Front View DPI Back View


© 2010 – 2016, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Erick

    I really have nothing to add except for the following: The girl used in the ID card is really cute!

  • Eric

    Asi es Guatemala, Erick … una tierra de bellezas….

  • Elizabeth

    We are searching for someone in Guatemala – can you tell us if this new system will make it possible to locate her?

    • @Elizabeth, no. I don’t think this new system will help you locate anybody. RENAP is mostly make it easier to get documents for Guatemalans; it’s not an lost and found database. As a matter of fact, the procedures to obtain birth certificates and DPIs is personal and nobody else can do it for you since your fingerprints are required. If you’re looking for someone the best approach is hire private investigators, Investigadores Privados de Guatemala. Good luck on your search!

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  • David

    ¿Cómo puede uno (que vive en el extranjero legalmente en los EEUU) conseguir su DPI? ¿Se puede hacerlo en la embajada en Washington, DC? Si es así, ¿cuáles son los requisitos? Mil gracias.

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  • Where in Ciudad Vieja is the RENAP?

  • kristal

    i was told that you have to pay a lot of money for the new id and they are telling my brother in law he has to get a lwayer is this true if so why also want to know how can you get one if oyu currently live in the US

    • Hi Kristal, if you have all your papers in order, the new DPI is actually free. Next week you would probably will have to pay a small fine to get though. You don’t need a lawyer or tramitador to get it unless you don’t have a cedula; that’s normally the case for people who were taken abroad when they were still minors. Then you do need a lawyer and a couple witnesses that can declare you were born in Guatemala. This is not very expensive though. Be careful of the sharks and tramitadores.

  • martha

    my fiancé live in usa but he lost all his paper from it possible for his mother or sister to get the dpi for him if his not in the country? if so what is the is needed? please email me at its urgent

    • Hola Martha, hasta dónde sé, el DPI sólo lo pueden obtener personalmente. Pero ahora se pueden acercar a consulado más cercano y obtenerlo desde ahí. Suerte.
      El 5/08/2013, a las 20:42, Disqus escribió:

  • Kimberly

    how do we apply for a DPI if the person lives in the US (permanent resident, not citizen) and their passport expires in 4 months!

    • Hi Kimberly, you should go to the nearest Guatemalan consulado to get the information you need.
      El 27/08/2013, a las 09:18, “Disqus” escribió:

  • cesar :D

    I will love to know when is it going to be available in NEW YORK????? thanks

    • Hi Cesar, you should go to the Guatemalan consulate, they should be able to help.

  • Ivandrago

    Hello, I live in the United States and I need to get a passport for immigration purposes. I came here when I was 10 years old and that was 23 years ago. Do you know if I will still need to get a DPI to get my passport here in the Guatemalan Consulate?
    Thank you,

    • Don’t know Ivan, I suggest to get your information from the Guatemalan consulate.

  • Denise

    Can they be issued in the U.S. if so where? What documents are needed and about how long does it take?

    • Hi Denise, go to the Renap page, they have all the answers there.

  • Leonel Serrano

    I live in the US and I’m wondering is I can get my DPI at the consulate, or do I have to go to Guatemala to get it? The reason I ask is because I have to renew my Guatemalan passport.

    • Hello Leonel, go to the Renap page, they have all the answers there.

  • Eli Garcia

    I’m from the USA try to move to Guatemala I’m here currently and want to start working what’s the process to go by to do so? Please help

    • The advice is to find an immigration lawyer that can help you become a legal resident in Guatemala so you can work. Good luck!