Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting the DIF CARD, the Mexican Senior Card

Last Tuesday I went to try to get another DIF card. I had lost mine. I am always losing important documents. This one has been extremely difficult to replace. There are two of them. One is for the state and the other one is a national card. You have to be 60  and over to get it.

The first time I got both the cards at once. Now the National card is hard find. Stacey took me there and the first thing we were told is that the National card wasn't available and to come back in a couple of weeks. We talked with a man there and he said he had been showing up every week for ten weeks in a row, waiting for the National Card and it never arrives. I was just glad to finally be able to replace my state card. I can use it now for the luxury bus rides within the state and I can get into the hot springs spa for half price. I have used it twice already.

We may try to get the national card in two weeks. There is a lot of paperwork involved but it doesn't cost anything. The first time I got my card I had to have a copy of every single page of my passport, that includes all the empty pages. This time it was just the front page. You have to bring two photos for each card and a utility or phone bill and your blood type. You also have to have a copy of your FM2 or FM3.... Amazing how much work it is to get these little cards. You an also use it on the local buses for half price but they are so cheap anyway that I would be ashamed to use it.

You can't get the card in Ajijic or Guadalajara if you live up here by the lake. You have to go to Chapala. The office is located in downtown Chapala. When I got my first two cards I paid the man who got me the FM3 to help me. It was 150 pesos but now that they are making it so hard to get most of the FM2 and Fm3 people won't bother with it. You are on your own.

It is interesting to see the office. Most offices here only have the old typewriters. I learned to type on that kind. Now in the States you can't even sell them. I have heard that some people up there use them as anchors.... But here, they are everywhere and usually the person using the typewriter doesn't know how to type. It is a very slow hunt and peck process while the people in the line behind the typist are getting impatient. The most useful quality you can develop when you live here is PATIENCE.

As with most things here involving the government, you get different answers every time you ask about the rules.  Things change so fast it is like trying to grab something going past in a swift river. There are no easy or clear answers when it comes to paperwork here. You have to just be patient and work your way through the system. It was worth it for me because I love the spa and it now only costs me 80 pesos to get in instead of 160 pesos. I am going again today.

Front of the DIF building in Chapala
There was music coming from an exercise class in the same building. We had to wait so long that Stacey took that time to dance in the court yard. She wouldn't let me take a photo of her dancing. She is just waiting here. She is a lot of fun. I always enjoy going places with her. She calls herself--- A Cruise Director Without a Ship. That is a perfect description of Stacey.

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