Well, after waiting almost 10 months and after several visits to immigration and various other offices, we received our final, 3 year cedula (the national identity card). We are finally legal residents, much like a green card in the U.S. Ironic, isn't it, that the cedula is green? I have photoshopped the number and signature out, but the picture is the actual picture. It is the best ID picture I have had in years, ever since the fateful passport photo of '07, where I look like I had just been released prison. Thankfully I will no longer have to carry the passport inside Uruguay and will only need it for travel between countries.
This number of the cedula is used for everything. I think that your driver's license also is derived from the cedula number. We will find that out soon, when we attempt to obtain the local driver's license. And the cedula is linked to all your documents: fingerprints, marriage records, birth certificates, etc. It truly is a national ID card. In fact, as I mentioned previously, Denise will have to get a fresh copy of our Uruguayan Marriage license (applied for during the residency process) when she has to renew her cedula in 3 years, in order to keep her married name on the document.
Next step is to have our customs guarantee returned. This is the deposit we made when we shipped our meager belongings into the country. They allow one shipment per resident and the deposit is returned when residency is obtained (very similar to many Latin American countries).
We are finally legal residents of Uruguay! We're home.