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DNI stands for Documento Nacional de Identidad, i.e. National Identity Document.

Citizens of Argentina and people holding permanent or temporary residence certificates are entitled to receive a DNI in their name and in fact living in Argentina without a DNI is very difficult since your número de DNI is requested when signing up for many things such as telephone, internet, healthcare, drivers license and apartment rental.

Possession of an Argentinian DNI allows its holder to pass freely into the neighbouring countries of the Mercosur without using a passport.

Although Argentinian citizens and official residents are entitled to a DNI they wont receive one unless they apply for one in person at one of the offices of the Ministerio del Interior. In Buenos Aires, Argentinians can request/renew their DNI at the local Registro Civil in their barrio but foreigners are required to go to the Registro Nacional de las Personas at 25 de Mayo 155.

The DNIs of permanent residents are distinguished from those of Argentinian citizens by having a brown cover with the word extranjero on it, instead of green cover.

For more information, refer to our article on how to apply for a D.N.I. as a foreigner.