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.
Having a cédula has several advantages:
There are no real disadvantages but it takes some efforts to obtain a cédula.
The procedure to obtain a cédula for the first time consists of two steps. 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.
The new visa rules that came into effect in February 2022 stipulate that the pass is issued at the same time as the visa. You can follow the procedure in this section if this does not happen.
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 on this website: Sistema de generación de turnos para servicios de Movilidad Humana. You may be asked to upload PDF files 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 the fee (see below) at a branch of BanEcuador. After showing the payment receipt, you will get your orden de cedulación.
$10 (if you are 65+: $5; if you have a disability equal to or more than 30%: free).
The orden de cedulación is valid for 30 days.
You can get your cédula at particular civil registry offices in Cuenca, Guayaquil and Quito.
To receive your cédula you will first need to make an appointment. You can make an appointment by sending an e-mail to email@example.com with your full name, a phone number to contact you, an e-mail address to contact you, the civil registry office you want to visit (see below), and the issue date or the orden de cedulación. As attachment you need to send a PDF of the orden de cedulación.
Not all civil registry offices issue cédulas to foreigners. To receive your cédula you can make an appointment for the following offices:
After receiving an appointment you can visit the civil registry office. You have to bring the following documents to your appointment:
The appointment at the civil registry office starts with paying the $5 fee at a payment counter. After processing your documents, taking fingerprints and taking a photograph of your face, you will receive your cédula. This can take some time (one hour for example) because the cédula has to be printed.
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.
If you have a temporary resident visa, your cédula will have a validity of 24 or less months. If you have a permanent resident visa, your cédula will have a validity of 10 years.
See How to renew your Ecuadorian cédula for more information.
When you want to renew your cédula after having lost your cédula, you first need to obtain a Formulario de Constancia. You can create this document on this webpage: Sistema de Documentos Extraviados - Formulario de Constancia. See How to renew your Ecuadorian cédula for the next steps you will need to take.