Just the other day we received our certificates for the completion of the Ecuadorian drivers’ education course that we completed on June 11. When I (Steve) arrived to pick up the certificates, they gave me another list of things that we had to do or have before we can get our licenses.
Here’s the list:
1. Copy of cédula of identification. We don’t have a cédula. We have a censo, which is the identity card for foreign nationals. I am told that this will suffice. It has so far for all the other things we have had to do.
2. Copy of your voting papers. In Ecuador, the law says that everyone must vote. It’s not just a right, it’s an obligation for Ecuadorians. You have to produce this paper every time you do any type of other paperwork. That’s their way of enforcing the voting law. We have been told that we don’t need this either, because we are not Ecuadorian.
3. Copy of blood type and group. We had to provide this once already. It involved three trips to the Red Cross to find someone available to do it. Fortunately, we still have our card, so all we have to do is make a copy.
4. Two color carnet size photos. I didn’t even know what a carnet size photo was until we got here. It’s a little bit smaller than a passport photo. I think we have already printed and supplied enough of those to wallpaper a small bathroom. But we’ve only got one left for each of us, so we have to get some more made.
5. Original of the Legalization Form of the Non-Professional Certificate to Drive. That’s the form, signed by four different people, that says that we passed the exam given in the drivers’ ed course. That’s one of the forms that I picked up the other day.
6. Original of the Non-Professional Certificate to Drive. This is a suitable-for-framing (if anyone would want to) diploma-like certificate that says we finished the course. I picked those up from the other day too.
7. Medical Certificate of health. This is a new one that we are not too sure about. The lady at the drivers’ ed place said we could get a certificate of health from any hospital, including the HCJB hospital in Shell, but we have heard from one of the other folks here that they would only allow a certificate from an Ecuadorian hospital. We’ll see.
8. Pass the Provincial Transit Commission exam. This is twenty multiple-choice questions, mostly on the traffic laws and the consequences of disobedience. We’ll need to bring all of the above paperwork in order to be allowed to take this test. If we pass, we will (supposedly) get our licenses.
So we will proceed through this list. Hopefully, it’s the last list. But it wouldn’t surprise me if some things change between now and the time we complete the list. Maybe we’ll have our driver’s licenses shortly, and maybe not. All told, it has been a great exercise in patience.