D.N.I. stands for Documento Nacional de Identidad, i.e. National Identity Document. If you're going to be in Argentina for any length of time you need it, and fortunately, the church has already asked the missionaries to gather the information for the prep work.
These are the documents needed in order to apply for a D.N.I.:
- Original certified birth certificate which has an apostille or has been legalised by the Argentine consul in your country of birth. This must be translated into Spanish by a registered national public translator and verified by the Colegio de Traductores Publicos.
- Your residence certificate as issued by the national immigration office (e.g. your Radicación temporaria or Radicación permanente.)
- A document issued by your local police authority which states your current residential address (Certificado de Domicilio)
- 2 passport photos
- And…a photocopy of all of the above because the government offices in Argentina are notorious for requesting photocopies of just about everything, so it's better to have them ready just in case.
Our appointment was at 4:00 and we arrived at 4:00.
The process at the D.N.I. office went like this:
- Joined the only available queue.
- Had our documents looked over and were given 3 numbers 396, 398, 399.
- Proceeded downstairs.
- Checked the number currently being served – 296.
- Observed the length of time and number of people served and calculated that we would wait approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.
- Sat in the gray chairs and waited.
- Waited an hour and 50 minutes and then had our documents looked over again (by someone more knowledgeable?)
- Stated that my husband was currently being served at window 15 and had the fact that I was the mother of the person at window 6 verified.
- Had photos done again even though we have photos with us that we were asked to bring. They handed those back to us.
- Given an invoice so we could proceed to the second downstairs queue.
- Went and paid the application fee ($30 pesos each for Brianna and I, or approximately $7, but the Presidente had to pay $50 because he had previously had a DNI).
- Returned to the same, now waiting, 3 public servants that were serving us at windows 15, 10 and 6 with proof of monies paid.
- Read things, signed things, had fingerprints made again even though they also have copies of those. (My fingerprints are particularly hard to read and even though my nails were white from the pressure I was putting on them, the processor had to add extra pressure to 8 of my 10 extremities).
- Given a piece of paper stating that our D.N.I. applications are in process.
- Advised by the Cox’s that this procedure normally takes the missionaries half a day since they usually go in the mornings when DNI offices are apparently even busier. The missionaries however, prefer to be working in the afternoon and evenings when the people are generally more available to meet with them.
- Went home and felt good knowing that our D.N.I. application is in process and we would receive it… sometime?