Friday, December 18, 2009

Finally Some Success at the Registro Civil

This morning I went back to the Registro Civil to pick up the copy of my mom's birth certificate that I'd ordered online a couple of weeks ago. I was told that this was essential to getting my DNI citizenship card, and because her copy that I already had was too old, I needed a new one issued within 6 months of the current date. Before 8:30 am there was already a line around the block, and the building wasn't even open yet, but once it did the line surprisingly moved fast.

Because I actually had a turn, I was able to move ahead of others who simply showed up looking for a chance to get in. Once in line a girl in front of me starting chatting up about the line and the hassle, and I started to explain to her my situation and why it was so confusing. As it turns out, she was a court magistrate and had a lot of experience in dealing with these kinds of documents. And fortunately for me, she was very friendly and took it upon herself to make sure everything went well.

Once she was seen, she stayed and did all of the talking for me, explaining what I had and needed, seeming to through to the employees in ways that I never could before. A problem did arise, however. On the copy of the birth certificate that I had, a number was cut off, and thus they wouldn't allow me to get a new copy. It's still a bit confusing, really, because all of the relevant information was there and ready to go, and they were going to give me something. But they told us that I would need to either find the number and come back before 1:30 pm or wait 2 weeks for a new turn.

The girl, named Virginia, took me to another desk and explained the situation, smooth talking the bureaucrats. They agreed to give me a turn for the actual DNI application on February 1st, and gave me another turn to get a different copy of the birth certificate on December 29th. I was previously told that I would also need a copy of my original birth certificate, which I don't have, but explained how I couldn't possibly have this. I did, however, have a Hague Apostille, which is a legal document for international papers.

The employees saw this and let it all slide, giving me an appointment, which if all goes well will hopefully wrap things up by March. I'll have to go back to the Registro at least 3 more times before I can even pick up the DNI, and without my new aid it might be difficult again, but she did give me her information in case I needed more help. The only thing that worries me is I noticed that on the appointment it says my last name is Gary, which is actually my middle name. So now, maybe due to some clerical error, my name in Argentina will be Jonathan Gary, thus creating two identities. I can't help but think of how this sort of thing occurred regularly for immigrants in the United States.

Still, it's reason to breath easy for at least a couple of weeks and for the time being, it seems like I might actually get this document while I still live here.

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