Betsy Lopez Fritscher, Rockford (Illinois) Register Star, April 27, 2007
Hundreds of Mexican residents needing passports and identification cards lined the walkway to the Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross on Thursday, braving the rain to meet with officials from the Consulate General of Mexico’s Chicago mobile operation
Red Cross classrooms were transformed into processing stations, helping people obtain passports and the all-important matricula consular identification cards.
The matricula consular is an identification card issued by the Mexican government to nationals living abroad.
Mexican nationals can obtain their matricula by filling out an application. The cost of the consular ID is $27 and the document is valid for five years. Applicants should provide one of the documents in each category:
Julio C. Hurta, Mexican consul of Chicago, said the Mexican identification card is extremely useful for people living outside Mexico.
To obtain an ID card, officials said, the proper documentation is crucialan official copy of their birth certificate is a must; other documents include a Mexican voter’s registration card, a marriage license or a Mexican driver’s license. Applicants must be 18 years or older and children must be accompanied by a parent. Parents must bring a child’s vaccination and school records.
They must also bring cash. A Mexican identification card is $27 and valid for five years; a passport is $84 for five years.
Hurta’s office covers counties in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, serving more than 25,000 people in an average eight-month period. This weekend alone, 900 passports and identification card requests will be processed by the mobile office.
The office is only in town through Sunday, with a maximum of 300 people being served daily, so organizers are encouraging residents to arrive early and come prepared with proper documentation.