Renewing Residencia

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28 Dec 2011 12:00 AM by osbornet Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Renewed my Residencia this morning, my original credit card size card had expired in October. I was told that the new ones were A4 sized certificates.

Thats what I thought I was getting from the officer at the Police staion but, after putting it through what I thought was a photocopier,she then removed the middle section (which is also credit card size,though just paper) and stamped it.

She seemed to indicate that that was it, but I'm not 100% confident :( Is that all there is to it now? Or should I have taken that somewhere else to get the A4 size certificate that I was expecting?

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28 Dec 2011 6:24 PM by mateo21 Star rating. 3 posts Send private message


No you are ok with that one .

It used to be A4 size but not now just get it laminated and carry it with you

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28 Dec 2011 8:56 PM by osbornet Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Many thanks, Mateo21.

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29 Dec 2011 1:23 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

But be aware that the new piece of paper IS NOT A FORM OF ID,  thus if are your say British you MUST  also carry your original passport (or a copy certified ONLY by the British consul, not the town hall, not a notary etc.).
I know we all 'get away' without doing so but legally speaking it MUST be the passport.

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29 Dec 2011 1:42 PM by guslopez Star rating in Lorca, Murcia.. 745 posts Send private message

So why does the law state' national identity document of country of birth, passport or spanish drivers licence ? I only ever use my licence .Admittedly I take a passport to the notarys.


Todos somos Lorca.

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29 Dec 2011 2:26 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message


Gus you say,  "Admittedly I take a passport to the notary's"
That no doubt it is because a notary will insist that only the legal ID is acceptable. 
 I have worked with the National Police for over 15 years.  When they want to be pedantic, they too will not accept anything but the legal ID (in the case of a UK citizen an original passport.  If it is another nationality, who has a national ID card, then that is of course legal too).  Sometimes the police can also be very flexible and will accpept other pieces of paper and ocassionally, no ID at all.
I suggest to everyone that they take the right ID and then they will not have a problem.
Don’t shoot the messenger here !!!



This message was last edited by johnzx on 29/12/2011.

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30 Dec 2011 7:34 AM by osbornet Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thats no problem, johnzx, I always have my passport on me anyway. Thanks for the advice though :)

Btw, is this new Residencia a permanent one? The old one had an expiry date on it, this doesn't.

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30 Dec 2011 8:55 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message



Your ‘New Residencia’ is not really that. It is a certificate which shows that you are registered in Spain as an EU Citizen.   Non.-EU citizens still need to have a Residencia, for example Canadians, Filipinos etc.
The certificate you now have has no expiry date, so unless they introduce new regulations at some time it is valid for ever. However, I have been told that some people have been asked when producing it, to obtain a copy which is no older than 3 months.  
So far mine which was one of the first to be issued in 2007 has always been accepted, but then so too has my old Residencia which expired in April 2007. !!!

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30 Dec 2011 1:00 PM by Susanspain Star rating in Mijas, Malaga. 145 posts Send private message

Susanspain´s avatar

Mateo ^ RU saying the latest version of the A4 piece of paper has a Credit card sized pop out bit that we can laminate and carry with us?  Sounds a step in the right direction :)

Although as Johnx says you also have to carry your passport too... :( 

Wish they still had the old residency card!  (I lost mine when I renewed 4+ yrs ago. I heard a rumour that it was whinging ex pats that said they didn't want to carry any kind of ID that brought about the changes. The cert is useless, as you have to carry your passport anyway!  May just to to Consulate one day and get that 'official' copy ;) 

Will be applying for change of address in NYear, so hoping at least to get the smaller cert if this is correct!!!  (Or does it depend on where in Spain you live?) 


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14 Jan 2012 10:48 AM by mishcom Star rating in Fuengirola. 6 posts Send private message

 The residencia that was given out to me in Fuengirola for example was as follows:

1) Go to Policia Nacionl and get a date for a 'cita', you will probably have to ask for a list of what you need. (can be 2 to 3 months wait for a 'cita')

2) Go to the Policia Nacional at the date and time of the cita, I went a little before.

3) Go in queue to hand in your papers, these are checked and you are told to wait.

4) Your name is called and you go to the officer who then fills in the A4 document and it is given to you.

The officer explained to me that this has no renewal date and so I do not need to return to renew my residencia. I asked the police if I when I handed in my documents if I gave him two photos could they give me the card sized residencia and as a British subject I could not. The officer said that what most people seem to be doing is reducing the paper and coating it in plastic then keeping the A4 safe at home, this is what I did and if asked I just produce the reduced copy and if anyone questions it I show my Spanish driving license which up to now has worked


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14 Jan 2012 11:29 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message



 I don’t want appear pedantic but you were not given a residencia they no longer exist for EU residents. Only people from outside the EU still get the residencia card as we used to.  For them it is a valid ID


You got the certificate to show you have registered on the EU foreign citizens register


Calling it a Residencia can lead to confusion and misunderstanding


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16 Jan 2012 4:43 PM by mishcom Star rating in Fuengirola. 6 posts Send private message


The document might not be named a residencia 'Certificado de regiistro de ciudadano de la union'  but it does state:

' persona que a continuación se indica, ha solicitado y obtenido su inscripción en el Registro Central de Extranjeros de la Dirección General de la Policia y de la Guardia Civil como residente comunitario con carácter permanente en España.....'

'...the following named person as indicated has applied and obtained their inscription in the central registrar of foreigners for the Director general of the Police and of the Guardia Civil as a permanente community resident in Spain...'

now if that is not a document proclaiming residence of a person in Spain I don't know what is!

Even the Police at the Police station used the word 'Residencia' when it was applied for and issued, I think at the end of the day it is what is accepted as the current version of a residencia.

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18 Jan 2012 2:04 PM by Susanspain Star rating in Mijas, Malaga. 145 posts Send private message

Susanspain´s avatar

Read today somewhere (on the www - it is a big place!) that it was a load of whinging Brits from Marbella who campaigned to get the Residencia ID card abolished! 

Apparently citing, 'We don't do that in the UK etc'.

All I can say to them is : 'If you don't like the way things are done here. Go home!;

Life was much simpler when I had this ID card.

(I have no objection to carrying a form of ID either here or in the UK/anywhere else.  Makes sense for me. And it is NOT an infringement of my civil liberties).

Grrr.... Sorry - just having a rant today.


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18 Jan 2012 3:19 PM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message


                      By all means you call it what you like but for everyone else, the Residencia WAS A VALID  ID, the registration cert IS NOT a valid ID.  Th residencia had to be renewed every five years, the Cert has no expiry date.

 However, the RESIDENCIA, issued to all non EU citizens still IS A VALID ID  and must be renewed every five years.



        The residencia was abolished by the EU as it did not conform to EU law,  The idea that it was a group of Brrits who brought the change about is a misconception.



This message was last edited by johnzx on 18/01/2012.

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18 Jan 2012 3:44 PM by mishcom Star rating in Fuengirola. 6 posts Send private message

 Hi johnzx,


I never mentioned anything about it being an ID, but as I posted, it is a document stating residence in Spain.... 


This message was last edited by mishcom on 18/01/2012.

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18 Jan 2012 4:14 PM by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

 Well, having just gone through the process, the "residencia" card (as everyone kept calling it - the person who issued it, the solicitors, the town hall, the bank etc) does have"not valid as ID or proof of nationality" on the back.  However, it seems to open doors and allow you to fly through red tape.  We got our cards via the solicitors who got the forms, paid the amount to the bank and got them stamped, arrived at the police station at sparrow's fart to queue for the appointment number etc.  All we did was turn up at Elche police station, gave copies of our passports and the NIE numbers and it was all done in less than a quarter of an hour.  Worth the €70 charge.

Showing the card at the town hall in Rojales.  The padron certificates were completed and printed and we didn't even need the escritura or a utility bill or anything.  Just the card and the passports and the padron was printed off.

Downstairs, we showed our Padron and "residency" cards to a lady at the desk and she entered the details on her computer and printed off temporary medical cards (SIP here in the Valencia region) which are valid for 6 months.  She told us to bring the S1 in next time we were passing and she would exchange them for permanent ones.  Padron and medical cards all in less than 20 minutes.

The bank changed our non-resident accounts to a resident one (with new bank card) and cancelled the non-resident certificate payments.  

The residency cards will not need renewing, we were told.  The padron needs updating every 5 years and new SIP cards will be issued at the same time.

All in all, a good couple of days made easier, I believe, by the possession of the little green card even without a photo on it.  The Rojales town hall will even give you a reduced copy of your passport with a stamp on it so you can carry that round with you instead of the originals.

Next hurdle is changing the driving license but, as I still have my UK reg car here (for less than 1 month, so far)  I don't want to do that until after I have taken the car back to UK in March and bought a Spanish one here.  

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19 Jan 2012 5:32 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

Bobaol,  wow €70,  you have money to burn.  Most people do it themselves, cost 10.20€ (unless it has changed a smidgen since I last checked) A very simple process even if you have little or no Spanish.


Calling it a residencia card would seem to be OK but calling it a Residencia (unless you are a non EU resident, like my wife) can be confusing for those (who I see every week at the National Police Station where I work. 

I know some Spanish functionaries call it that but that's because they cannot be bothered explaining it to people who do not have, or who have very little, Spanish.


If one had residencia, when those cards existed, they were not permitted to use a foreign registered vehicle, except in unusual circumstances, to test it for necessary repairs, maybe to drive friend’s car to pick up an elderly person from the airport if the owner could not do so, but not as their general run around not permitted.  As one becomes tax resident as soon as they have the resident’s cert I believe they also are also banned from using a non Spanish registered vehicle.  So using one until March, now that you have the Cert. may cause you problems.


BUT when all is said and done, it is generally sound advice which people seek here and, as they usually speak English explaining things correctly to them is no chore.

This message was last edited by johnzx on 19/01/2012.

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24 Apr 2012 1:02 AM by lostinspain Star rating. 10 posts Send private message

Sorry, but I am now totally confused! I have lived in Murcia for just over 5 years. I am a fiscal resident (I pay my car tax, Hacienda tax and the annual house tax)  so do I need to apply to renew my residencia? I was given an ID card with my name, NIE number and fingerprint etc on it as well as an expiry date.

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24 Apr 2012 7:50 AM by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5255 posts Send private message

The ‘Residencia’ for EU citizens was abolished in April 2007, thus there will be very few who still have a valid card.   When that card expires one must Register on the EU Citizens Register (often incorrectly, and confusing, still referred to by some as ‘Residencia’) The Registration has no expiry date.
‘ The Residencia’ still exists but ONLY for NON EU CITIZENS

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24 Apr 2012 10:20 AM by Orinoco Star rating in Castilla La Mancha. 141 posts Send private message

Orinoco´s avatar

It was indeed a group of British expats from a site called, run by a retired solicitor and retired policeman that ensured that Royal Decree 240/2007 (stating that residencias are not required for EU citizens living in Spain) was enforced.

They spent years petittioning  MEPs, British Consulates, the Foreign Office and anyone that would listen in Brussels until eventually they got their way. 

I got so sick of it I unsubscribed from their site, they later tried to introduce a membership fee at which point the whole thing fell apart I think.


Edit*  One of the co-founders wasn't a retired solicitor but had worked in an administrative role for the NHS apparently :)



This message was last edited by Orinoco on 24/04/2012.

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