Planning to move to Spain? Here is a brief explanation of some of the documents we use.

NIE is a foreigner’s ID number (número de identidad de extranjero). It is your own unique tax number and it is needed for to buy a house and almost all big purchases, to open a bank account and to register a car in your name. Each region has slightly different requirements but you usually have to show a reason why the number is needed, a house purchase contract or a rental contract. You will also need your passport and a photograph and proof of the payment of the admin fee. The National police issue this document which is printed on white A4 paper. Keep the original safe, photocopies are not accepted.

DNI is the equivalent of the NIE but for Spanish nationals (Documento Nacional de Identidad). It has a photo and fingerprints and must be carried at all times.

Padron is short for empadronamiento, it is a certificate given to justify that you live in Spain on a more or less permanent basis. This allows the local government to calculate how many people are living in an area and helps them to petition for grants to improve local facilities. The Padron is essential for many daily aspects of life in Spain and can be obtained from the local Town Hall. Each office asks for different paperwork

Residencia – Certificado de Registro de Extranjero is a registration certificate of residency and is what all EU citizens need to legally prove residency rights in Spain. It is the green A4 sheet of paper or a credit card sized paper.

TIE is the new Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero an ID card for foreigners and all non EU citizens (third country nationals) are required to have it as proof of residency. This is what new British residents will be given and holds a biometric photo and fingerprints.

If you already have a green A4 certificate or a credit-card paper residencia certificate you are not obliged to exchange it for a TIE. All existing holders of the certificate and new applications before 31 December will still be honoured by the rights laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement as an EU beneficiary.

The SIP card provides access to the health care system in Spain. It has your own number on it and medical staff can access your records and your eligability to benefit from the health care system. You will need to show the card when making an appointment or going to the doctors or hospital.

The S1 is the document transferring your rights from the UK to Spain if you are in possession of an exportable UK State pension, Employment Support Allowance or other exportable benefit and the UK pays Spain an agreed amount annually for your State healthcare regardless of whether you have used it or not.

INSS – is the Spanish Social Security office and where you will need to go to register your S1 after you have your residency.

DGT – is the Spanish Traffic Authority. You will need to exchange your British driving licence, once you have your residency, ideally before 31 December, or you might need to take a driving test here. The theory can be done in English but not the practical.