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Getting a death certificate

A real document, with personal stuff fuzzed out.

A real document, with personal stuff fuzzed out.

If you need a death certificate for a family member who died in Guatemala, here is how to get one. This is not a “made up” event. My niece is Nicaraguan. As she is a minor she needs to get a Passport to travel to Guatemala and needs her father and mother to sign off on getting it. She needs to prove why her mother can’t sign.

The government agency that deals with births, deaths, marriages, divorces and such is RENAP, Registro Nacional de las Personas. You know, the place you went to get your DPI. You have your DPI, right? OK, I guess that is the subject of another article.

The document you are looking for is called a “defuncion”. Armed with the person’s full name, date they died and location, you just head to RENAP. In Pana, their office is on Calle Principal, about 100 meters toward the lake from where Principal and Santander meet.

They look up the information and, if found, print out an Autorización de Pago. You walk down to Banrural (another 100 meters) and pay the cost which happens to be Q5. Back to RENAP with the receipt and they hand you an official copy. The only catch is that you apparently need to be family. I am but all that was needed  was an affirmative answer.

I actually spent more time walking to and from the bank than my total time inside the RENAP office. Between price and efficiency, I was pleasantly surprised.

1 comment to Getting a death certificate

  • Bill

    Note that RENAP in Pana just moved. They are now inside the Centro Comercial El Dorado — about 75 meters from their previous location. It is next to Pollo Campero.

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