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How to obtain an Ecuadorian cédula

Johan Klok | Last update: January 3, 2022


The cédula is the Ecuadorian identification card. You can apply for your cédula at any time after you have received a temporary or permanent resident visa. Having a cédula is not an obligation, but companies and government agencies may ask for your cédula.


The procedure to obtain a cédula consists of two steps for residents. You first need to apply for an orden de cedulación from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then, with this orden the cedulación, you can apply for the actual cédula at the Civil Registry.

Orden de cedulación: required documents

  1. Appointment: a print of your appointment.
  2. Passport: your passport has to be valid for at least six months.
  3. Certificate of migratory movements: you don't need a certificate of migratory movements if you have received your temporary resident visa less than 90 days ago or if you have received your permanent resident visa less than 180 days ago.
    In all other cases, see How to obtain a certificate of migratory movements to learn how you can obtain this certificate. A certificate of migratory movements is valid for 30 days. The official will use your certificate to check whether you have not left the country for more than the allowed time.
  4. Essentialia of your visa: these are the documents pertinent to the type of visa you have. In the case of a pensioner's visa, you have to show that you receive a pension (with bank statements, for example). In the case of a professional visa, you have to show your degree. In the case of an investor's visa: proof of investment (a CD certificate, for example). Etc.
  5. Prove of health insurance: a health insurance certificate or a copy of the health insurance policy. Your health insurance can be private healthcare insurance with full coverage with a duration of at least three months from an approved insurance company or your affiliation with IESS, the Ecuadorian social security institute. If this is the first time that you apply for a cédula, you will need private health insurance because to sign up with IESS, you will need a cédula.
  6. Prove of dependency: if you have a dependent visa, you need a document that shows this dependency (a marriage certificate or a birth certificate, for example).

Orden de cedulación: optional documents

Orden de cedulación: procedure

You can apply for an orden de cédulacion at one of the offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ecuador. You first need to make an appointment. You can see how you can make an appointment in the list of offices. When you make your appointment online, you may be asked to upload pdfs of all required and optional documents. You also have to bring all required and optional documents to your appointment. At the office, you will get a payment instruction to deposit a fee at a branch of BanEcuador. After showing the payment receipt, you will get your orden de cedulación.

Cédula: required documents

  1. Orden de cedulación: an orden de cedulación is only valid for 30 days. See above to learn how you can obtain this document.
  2. Passport: your original passport and a copy of the page with your data.
  3. Visa: a copy (print) of your visa.
  4. Optional documents: the optional documents mentioned above under Orden de cedulación: optional documents.
  5. Cédula: procedure

    To apply for a cédula, you don't need to make an appointment. However, as a foreigner (non-citizen), you can only apply for a cédula at one of the following civil registry offices:

    Cuenca: El Batán office, Avenida México, Cuenca.
    \r\nGuayaquil: Edificio del Gobierno office, Avenida Francisco de Orellana and Calle 13A, Guayaquil.
    Quito: Iñaquito office, Avenida Río Amazonas N37-61 and Avenida Naciones Unidas, Quito.

    At the civil registry office, you have to pay a fee. Taking a photograph and taking fingerprints are part of the procedure.


    Orden de cedulación: $10 (if you are 65+: $5; if you have a disability equal to or more than 30%: free).
    Cédula (first time): $5.
    Cédula (renewal): $16.


    If you have a temporary resident visa, your cédula will have a validity of a maximum of two years. If you have a permanent resident visa, your cédula will have a validity of 10 years.

    What's next

    Renewing your cédula after expiration

    To renew your cédula after expiration, you have to follow the same procedure as for your first cédula (including the orden de cedulación).

    Losing your cédula

    When you have lost your cédula, you also have to follow the same procedure as for applying your first cédula. To obtain an orden de cedulación, you also need to show a declaration of loss of your passport. This declaration is called Formulario de Constancia. You can create this document on this webpage: Sistema de Documentos Extraviados - Formulario de Constancia.

    Tip: wear a laminated copy of your cédula and leave your original cédula at home. You will only need your original cédula in case of legal or financial transactions. In shops, you don't need to show your original cédula.


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