Archive for the 'Paperwork' Category

RENAP requirements for birth certificates

We’re planning a home birth for this spring and needed to look into what’s required by the Guatemalan national people registration office of Guatemala (RENAP) in order to get an official Guatemalan Birth Certificate.

Here are the official requirements for getting your Guatemalan birth certificate:

  1. Do it within 60 days of the birth.
  2. DPI original and copy of both parents  (or just mother)
  3. Medical report of birth (Informe médico de nacimiento) from your doctor or officially registered midwife.
    1. If your midwife is not registered or no medical personnel was present present a legalized and signed report of the birth with signatures of the parents or mother. (Talk to a lawyer’s office or your local RENAP and they can explain how to do this.)
  4. Boleto de Ornato (Get this at your local municipality office)
  5. Passports if parents are from out of country.

After you’ve gone through the RENAP process you can proceed with the passport process and work with your embassy to prepare your national paperwork.

Renewing passports at the US Embassy in Guatemala

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City has significantly updated their Passport page to assist you so check it out!

US Embassy Web page

NOTE: Did you know that it’s faster to get a new passport through the embassy here in Guatemala instead of renewing in the States? It typically takes about eight days here in Guatemala and can take several weeks to a month or more in the states!

To get extra pages added to your passport…

Adding Extra pages has been eliminated. Get a new passport!

Here’s how to get a new passport added to your passport in the U.S. Embassy…

Visit the embassy page and download the Passport Renewal forms. Set up an embassy appointment. BE SURE TO PRINT YOUR APPOINTMENT CONFIRMATION. YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO DO THIS LATER. (Set your appointment early on so you don’t have to wait later.) Fill out the renewal form and get the photos you need. Print it and get ready for your appointment.

On your appointment date and time, go to the Citizen Services window inside the embassy. Here’s a link on how to navigate the embassy.

Take your current valid Passport, fee money (Currently $110 for adults.) and go to the Citizen Services window.

Usually passports are back in about 10 days but holidays or other delays could make that longer.

Call the embassy for details!

 

How To: Smart Travel Enrollment

Travel.state.gov headerEnrolling in the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (S.T.E.P.)

There is an informative program called Smart Traveler from the U.S. State Department. We recommend that all teams register themselves so the U.S. Embassy will be aware of your presence in country in case of an emergency. You may choose to do this or not, but it is our recommendation that you do. We will keep you apprised of vital information that we receive if there are major change or concerns for your trip. As always, your team’s safety is always on our minds as we plan and prepare you’re your arrival. To enroll your team in the S.T.E.P. system online, follow the directions below:

Continue reading ‘How To: Smart Travel Enrollment’

Maycom Drivers License Offices in Guatemala

Maycom manages the licensing of drivers in Guatemala.

Where can you get your drivers license in Guatemala? Here’s a list of Maycom offices where you can get your license. Remember that in some departments they Maycom only visits a couple times a year so you’ll have to check for local opportunities to get your license.

 

GUATEMALA CITY:

Zona 9:
6 avenida 1-60 zona 9 View Map

Roosevelt:
5ª. Avenida 0-60 zona 02 de Mixto, colonia Cotió, al final de la Calzada Roosevelt View Map

Metronorte:
Centro Comercial Metronorte, 2do. Nivel, local 402, zona 17 View Map

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QUETZALTENANGO:

19 avenida 2-50 zona 1 View Map

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ZACAPA:

Km. 125.5 Carretera al Atlántico, Río Hondo, Zacapa View Map

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MOBILE OFFICES:

Click here for mobile office schedules

 

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WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET YOUR LICENSE? Continue reading ‘Maycom Drivers License Offices in Guatemala’

Tip for Selling Your Car in Guatemala

If you have ever sold a car in Guatemala, it’s important to make sure it is no longer legally in your name!
A fellow missionary, Marty, found out that a car he sold was still in his name. Read his story…

Last week I came face to face with this in an unexpected way. I purchased a used vehicle and in the process of the transfer (traspaso) of the title, I was told that one of my 3 vehicles was overdue for the calcomania payments for 2011 and 2012. But I only had 2 vehicles; or so I thought. I sold my 1992 Chevrolet Suburban. It turns out this buyer never completed the title transfer. When I found out he had not completed the transfer of the title, I de-activated the license plates. I could do this, since in the eyes of Guatemala law, I was still the owner. It cost me about Q1,000 for the 2 calcomanias for 2011 and 2012, a tramitador and several misc. expenses and almost two days of my time.  ~ Marty

Marty said I could share his tips on how to make sure you really sell your car in the eyes of the government:

Here’s how to do it:
Go to any SAT office and simply ask for a “reposicion de tarjeta de NIT”. While there with the clerk, ask for a list of all vehicles in your name. If there is one still listed that you sold at any time in the past, and you have no idea where it is you should start the the process for “Inactivacion de placas”. You will want to apply for “Retiro definitive”, not “Retiro temporal” unless you know where the car is located and can convince the “owner” to complete the title transfer and pay back taxes and/or other unpaid expenses, if any. If you don’t deactivate the plates, you are legally responsible for any and all costs due to accidents, crimes, unpaid traffic violations, past due taxes (yearly calcomanias) and late tax payment fees related to a vehicle with a title still in your name.

Thanks for the tip Marty! Click here for tips on buying a car in Guatemala.

FYI:
Marty wanted to pass this along too…If anyone tries to sell this car to you or anyone you know, there may be problems in getting it licensed now that the license plates have been invalidated.
1992 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 S silver and dark blue
Placas: P-813BFH
Serie (Serial number): 1GNFK16KXNJ325539
Motor: KNJ325539S
Chassis: KNJ325539
Poliza: 3292 ( Aduana in Santo Tomas de Castilla)

Hours for the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Have you ever showed up at the Embassy expecting to get that last bit of paperwork done? You stroll up ready to navigate the embassy lines and think you’re in luck because there’s no line at all! Then you realize that there’s no line because some obscure holiday has closed the embassy!

Hopefully this will help you avoid this because the U.S. Embassy’s schedule in Guatemala is simple…sort of:

The Guatemalan U.S. Embassy is open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Note: The American Citizen Services Unit will be closed to the public on the third Thursday of each month, except for emergencies. Please note also that the Embassy is closed for official U.S. AND Guatemalan holidays.

Here’s the calendar for 2012 (Follow this link to the Embassy’s calendar.)

2016 Calendar Year

Date

Weekday

Holiday Observed

January 1 Friday New Year’s Day (A & G)
January 18 Monday Martin Luther King’s Birthday (A)
February 15 Monday Presidents Day (A)
March 24 Thursday Holy Thursday (G)
March 25 Friday Good Friday (G)
May 1 Sunday Guatemalan Labor Day (G)
May 30 Monday Memorial Day (A)
July 1 Friday** Army Day (G)
July 4 Monday U.S. Independence Day (A)
August 15 Monday Feast of the Assumption (G)
September 5 Monday U.S. Labor Day (A)
September 15 Thursday Guatemalan Independence Day (G)
October 10 Monday Columbus Day (A)
October 20 Thursday Revolution Day (G)
November 1 Tuesday All Saints Day (G)
November 11 Friday Veterans Day (A)
November 24 Thursday Thanksgiving Day (A)
December 24 Thursday Christmas Eve – half day (G)
December 26 Monday Christmas Day (A)
December 31 Saturday New Year’s Eve – half day (G)

How to buy a car in Guatemala.

Here’s how to buy a vehicle in Guatemala:

1. Find the vehicle you want.

First do your research to get a feel for what you need and what is quality.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I going to be in the mountains, the city, or where?
  2. Do I need a truck, 4×4, van, car, etc.
  3. How many people will I need to carry?

Here are some good resources to check or keep in mind:

  • Research
  • Key words:
    • Rodado = brought down from the U.S. (often had some sort of accident)
    • Agencia = made in or for Guatemala (often has speedometer in kilometers) (often valued higher than Rodado)
    • Tramitador = a person who helps with paperwork for various legal ranglings
    • Taller de mechanica = a mechanic shop
    • Frenos = brakes
    • Llantas = tires
    • Aciete = oil
    • Oxido = rust

Continue reading ‘How to buy a car in Guatemala.’

US Citizen born in Guatemala = Paperwork

If you’re an expatriate and you’re having a baby in Guatemala, be ready for some paperwork. It takes work, but it’ll be worth it.

As new missionaries in this beautiful country, we moved to Guatemala while we were pregnant and started getting all the advice we could on what paperwork we needed for our baby. Here are some of the things we learned…

Step 1: Schedule a US Embassy appointment

If you’re anywhere within three months of the birth go to the US Embassy website and set up an appointment for a couple weeks after the due date.  (UPDATE: As of(May 2014 the US embassy in Guatemala  now only opens appointments about one month prior to the appointment date. So you’ll have to check in about a month ahead of the date you want.) These appointments fill up and it can be very difficult to get in if you don’t get something scheduled early. You can change it if you have to, but better to have the appointment scheduled than to find out you can’t get an appointment for two or three months after the baby  is born when you may be wanting to travel.

TIP: I think you could probably have your spouse sign up so you have two dates to chose from. Then just cancel the appointment you don’t want! Continue reading ‘US Citizen born in Guatemala = Paperwork’

Residency papers for expatriates in Guatemala

As new missionaries in Guatemala, we needed to get our residency papers so we didn’t have to leave for Mexico every six months and still be legal in Guatemala. Here are some of the things we wish we had known when we were going through the paperwork process for residency after we moved to Guatemala.

U.S. Paperwork prep

Read on, but get the following papers together so you can impress your lawyer and get things moving quickly:

  • Complete copy of your passport
    • Yep, even the blank pages and the full cover
  • U.S. Embassy validated copy of passport at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala
    • WARNING: This may be the U.S. Embassy but validation takes time. Get there before 12 noon and you can probably get it at 2:30 that afternoon. Get there in the afternoon and you’ll have to go back the next day. Oh, and each validated copy will cost you US$50. They do accept credit cards if you don’t have the cash.
  • Criminal background check (This must be less than 6 months old when you turn it in and will require you to get things done in the U.S. so plan accordingly.)
  • These may not be necessary but are recommended to have ready:
    • Birth Certificates
    • Marriage Licenses
  • Legalize it all…

NOTE: If your US passport is going to expire in the next year, I recommend that you get to Guatemala and immediately apply for a passport renewal BEFORE you start this process. (It only takes about 10 days to get your new passport from the embassy.) I had to go back through part of the process since my passport expired shortly after we got the permanent visa stamp. Keep your old passport to show the entry date to the immigration office.

Guatemalan Residency Visa Options

According to our lawyer  and other sites there are three main long-term residency visa options (not including student, diplomatic, etc.) Since we just had our baby here in Guatemala, we opted for the Parents of Guatemalan child option. While others are available, I have listed three main options here: Continue reading ‘Residency papers for expatriates in Guatemala’

New baby papers in Guatemala

U.S. citizens who live abroad need to get their paperwork right when they have babies abroad. Here’s how we got our Guatemalan birth certificate and passport after our son was born in Guatemala.

Before you go

Before go to get your baby’s papers,  you need to get your papers together. We went all out because we knew we’d need to get our Residency Papers filed later so we  had more than required. Here’s what we needed in 2011 when it came to getting our son’s birth certificate and Guatemalan passport.

  • Actual Passports of parents
  • For birth certificate: copy of both parents passport ID pages and covers
  • For Passport: copy of both parents passport ID pages and entry stamp page
  • Birth information page from your midwife or doctor

We also needed to pay several fees at BANRURAL, the national bank where you can pay for taxes and fees for your paperwork. Often there are BANRURAL locations near the paperwork offices, but you can go to any BANRURAL to pay for the following:

  • Boleto De Ornato (30Q)
  • Passport fee (231.60Q)

Here’s how the process worked for us…

We went to the San Cristobal RENAP (Registro Nacional de las Personas) office because it was nearby, but they said we could not file for our son’s birth certificate outside of the district he was born in unless we could show a utility bill from the San Cristobal district that has our name on it or by brining our landlord with us to prove that we live in San Cristobal.  Since we couldn’t do any of these, we had to head into Guatemala City to the Central RENAP office to get the birth certificate. You should be able to go to the RENAP in the municipality or district where your child was born without any trouble. Continue reading ‘New baby papers in Guatemala’