Monday, June 2, 2008

RNE

Today marks the end of a long chapter of my life in Brazil, and the beginning of a new one...

A momentous occasion...

A new dawn, a new beginning...

Alright, enough with the drama. What did happen today is that I finally, FINALLY received my Cedula de Identidade de Estrangeiro, my Brazilian ID, the Brazilian version of the Green Card. I am now a card-carrying permanent resident of Brazil.

RNE refers to my ID number, which I actually received over a year ago, printed out on a little piece of paper. That was just in time to get a Brazilian driver's license to replace my New York one. They told me it might take as long as a year to get the actual card, and here it is, a year later and I have the card in hand. I have no idea how long it was sitting at the airport waiting for me to pick it up. The date of expedição printed on it, which is presumably when it was issued, was back in October. I haven't been too concerned about getting the thing these last few months- after all, I had a picture ID with my RNE on it already- my license.

What I can finally do now is go out and open a bank account. This in fact was the reason I finally called to see if the thing had arrived- I got cold-called by a bank to see if I wanted to open an account. I told them I didn't have an ID yet, in a lame attempt to scare them off, but eventually I decided to go ahead and open the account anyways, especially because the bank came highly recommended. I figure it's about time, although I'm not entirely sure how useful a bank account is going to be to me right now. I'll figure it out.

The card itself is a bit of an anti-climax, although I'm not sure what I expected. I guess because all official US documents, including money, tend to be drab and uninteresting I thought the id would be all colorful and with cool pictures on it, kinda like Brazilian money. No such luck. It's just white with an orange line drawing in the background that looks like the map of brazil ramping up to light speed. It's got a bunch of holographic seals of the Policia Federal badge which looks like any old sheriff's badge. On top of that, it doesn't even look new- I received it already warped as if someone had bitten and twisted it but was probably caused by a long-affixed paper clip.

It's got my name, my parent's names, a little picture of me with my hair pulled tightly back so you can't tell it actually went half way down my back. This picture has a miniature twin to the right of it with someone's initials right across my face. It also has my right thumb print on it.

What is most amusing is that it has the date I started the whole process of getting the thing printed on it: March 19, 2004. More than four years ago. Lucas hadn't been born- he hadn't even been conceived. If I remember correctly, we got the ball rolling on the ID shortly before my visa was to expire and we decided to get married.

I figure that most people don't have to wait four years for their ID's, they either know someone or they don't live in Bahia or they work something else out, know what I mean? I was dying to work something else out, and I even got a lawyer involved at one point but about the best he could do was finally arrange our home visit by the Policia Federal to check the legitimacy of the marriage. By that time we had our proof toddling around the house.

So now I'm legit. Funny, I don't feel so different. It was much stranger having my US driver's license expire.

6 comments:

AkuTyger said...

I got mine WAY before you and we got married and conceived Ju on August 19th, 2004.

How did that happen?

markuza said...

I knew you were going to say that... I think part of it was that the PF went on strike shortly after I started the process, beyond that, who the fuck knows.

Corinne said...

I was one of the lucky (that is what they actually said at the PF -told me to go buy a lottery ticket) who got mine as an exchange student, so I have had the same # since 1992. Of course, I had to get a new card to go with the new visa when I became permanent in 2002. For whatever reason, I always had luck at the PF (in Rio - not so much lately in BH). Everyone else always had these horror stories. Now, cartorios, THAT is another story...

markuza said...

argh! Just the word 'cartorio' makes me shudder...

Anonymous said...

The title of this wb page says it all. I'm married to my Brasilian sweetheart, and have been waiting over a year for my RNE; however, and RNE is only a means to an end, and in my case, as a semi-retired 60 year old male, the card only means that I have less obsticles to prevent me from my own personal persuit of happiness. Sometime I think that the majority of expatroits expect something magical to happen once they enter another country, almost as if where they were was a drab one dimensional plane. If this is how you feel, then you'll never be happy anywhere in this world. I love Brasil, the people and their culture, but I never forget who I am or what this great cultural melting pot of America represents to me.

markuza said...

That was a really bizarre comment. I wonder what I wrote that bothered him so much.