According to the Mexican government's consulate in Phoenix, Arizona, the procedures to get a matricula contain multiple steps and verifications. To begin with, a person seeking a matricula must appear in person; they must present an original birth certificate to prove Mexican nationality; they must present an official government issued photo I.D. to prove identity as well as proof of address (utility bill, lease, etc) under the same name. In addition they must give a telephone number, next of kin information and if a matricula is lost or stolen the applicant must also provide a police report in order to obtain a new one. The applicant must then go through a multi-step procedure that is designed to both verify the information and make certain the applicant has not already been issued a matricula in the same or another name. Critics have charged that the system breaks down in the verification phase. Once issued the cards have numerous security features designed to make them very hard to counterfeit, the consulate explained.

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