Documents required to live in Spain


NIE Number Cost of €100

The NIE is a tax identification number in Spain, known in Spanish as the NIE, or more formally the Número de identidad de extranjero. The Spanish government have linked the NIE number to residence, where the NIE appears on the tarjeta de residencia, and to social security in Spain

An NIE can be obtained by a third party as long as there is a power of attorney (POA)

  • Passport and copy
  • Small passport photo x2
  • Current address
  • Both parents names (1st and 2nd names) / for a child, the parents must attend the appointment


Residencia Cost of €130

Identification that allows you to be a resident in Spain. This applies to expats and homeowners. You are a Spanish resident if you have lived in Spain for more than three months (90 days) and plan on living in the country for more than 183 days (roughly six months) in one calendar year, and they don't have to be consecutive days.

British and European Union citizens (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland).

It is not possible to apply for Spanish residency using power of attorney. You must be present the day of the appointment.

Your Spanish permanent residency will become permanent after five years, but it’s not automatic; you will have to re-apply for it.

  • Padron within 3 months of date
  • Passport and copy
  • NIE and copy
  • Bank statement for 12 months (must have a Spanish account included within the 12 months) of an amount of €7,000 or more
    • Pension
  • S1 form / pensioner’s certificate
    • Working
  • Vida Laboral from the Oficina de Seguridad Social
  • Must have 3 months minimum of work
  • Contract of a minimum of 20 hours
    • Not working
  • Health insurance
  • With all covers
  • Pay in advance for the whole year



Padron at the town hall

A padron (short for empadronamiento) is a local certificate that you get when you register on the padron at the town hall in the area where you live in Spain. If you have several properties in different cities in Spain, you can only be registered in one padron system

  • Passport and copy
  • NIE and copy
  • Recent utility bill in your name, if you own the property
  • Rental contract or deeds of the property
  • Fill in the form provided


Health card (SIP) medical card

A SIP card is a personal and non-transferable card that allows you to access the Spanish Healthcare System (NHS). Holders of the SIP card are entitled to receive the same care as Spanish nationals. It is highly convenient, especially for Spanish residents

  • Apply at the local health care centre or town hall
  • Passport and copy
  • NIE and copy
  • Sometimes the padron within 3 months of date
  • Social security certificate / work contract


Social security number

Anyone who works or studies in Spain is required to have a social security number. This number (número de afiliación de la seguridad social) gives you access to the social security services and healthcare in Spain. Social security is generally paid for by the employer

You will need to go to your local Tesorería de la Seguridad Social to apply for your social security number. All cities and most large towns have social security offices

  • Passport and copy
  • Deeds/Rental contract and copy
  • Employment contract and copy
  • NIE and copy


Habitation certificate Cost of €400

A Habitation Certificate which is also known in Spanish as (Cédula de Habitabilidad) is a legal requirement in the whole of Spain. It is a certificate that is issued by the local town hall of the area once the property has been completed by the builder and is ready to be habitual.

When you buy a property in Spain amongst the documents you must have is the habitation certificate or cédula de habitabilidad. This is a certificate that means that the property complies with the town hall's habitation requirements.

Your certificate will be valid for 10 years, and the owner will be liable to update or renew the certificate.

  • Copia simple or simple Escritura
  • NIE
  • Passport
  • Latest suma bill
  • Latest water bill
  • Latest electric bill
  • Form filled out and signed by the owner
  • A visit to the property by an architect


EEC / Energy Efficiency Credit Cost of €100

Certificado de Eficiencia Energética (CEE)

The energy performance certificate is a report that describes how efficient a home is in terms of energy consumption (electricity, water and gas). It assigns an energy rating to each home on a scale which ranges from “A” (the most efficient) to “G” (the least efficient)

Your certificate will be valid for 10 years, and the owner will be liable to update or renew the certificate.

  • Passport
  • NIE
  • Latest suma bill
  • A visit to the property by an architect


Change of driving licence

If you are a resident of Spain with a licence issued in another EU country then you must change your driving licence within two years of becoming a resident if your licence doesn't comply with Spanish law. Currently some driving licences have no expiry date and others have one of 15 years or more

In Spain, a Spanish driving licence is valid for 10 years up to the age of 70. After the age of 70 you must renew it every 5 years. The licence you hold must have the same time limits or needs changing. If this applies to you, you must change your licence whether it has expired or not

  • Your British driving licence (or if it is lost or stolen then a certificate of entitlement issued by DVLA and translated in Spanish)
  • Passport
  • NIE
  • Padron
  • A medical certificate
  • Passport photo x2
  • Application form filled out and signed


Change of licence plate from UK to Spanish

Vehicles from the UK may be imported into Spain for up to 6 months in any period of 12 months.

If you spend more than 183 days in Spain, then you are legally considered to be a resident. Hence, you are only permitted to drive a UK registered vehicle in Spain for up to 6 months of the year

To change to Span­ish plates, the car must have been in the owner´s name one year.

  • Application form to be filled in and signed
  • Pay importation tax
  • Passport
  • NIE
  • Residencia card
  • Car documents
    • ITV card with pink and blue copy and sales contract in case of a sale
  • Receipt of road tax paid at your local town hall
  • Engineer’s report : check at the local ITV station whether your technical certificate from your home country (“certificado de características”) will be sufficient so that you can be issued with a “certificado de conformidad”
  • Receipt of registration fee on the vehicle paid at “Hacienda”
  • ITV inspection
  • Spanish plates (a set of plates)


Opening a bank account

If you are planning to buy a property in Spain, you will need a bank account for making money transfer, for getting a loan and for utility payments or maintenance costs of your new house. Opening a bank account in Spain is a relatively easy process with some details to take care of

Some banks may also require more documentation than others, so it’s a good idea to check your bank’s requirements ahead of time. This will ensure you have all the necessary paperwork before you open your account.

Opening a bank account as a non-resident

  • Passport and copy
  • A document to prove your address, such as a recent bank statement or utility bill (less than 3 months old) or rental contract
  • A document to prove your employment status (P60)
  • National insurance number

Opening a bank account as a resident

  • Passport and copy
  • NIE and copy
  • National insurance number
  • A document to prove your Spanish address (such as a lease/rental, a recent utility bill or a recent bank statement
  • Residencia card and copy
  • Proof of your employment status (such as an employment contract, P60)


Mortgage documents

The biggest difference between residential and non-residential loans is the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) that banks will allow. Residents can generally borrow up to 80% of the property’s assessed value whereas non-residents are limited to 60–70% LTV, depending on the mortgage type.

The good news is that it may be possible to borrow significantly more of the property’s value – up to 100% in some cases – when buying a bank’s repossessed property in Spain.

  • NIE
  • Passport
  • Proof of employment or income
  • P60
  • Records of your current assets
  • Age
  • Resident or non-resident
  • How much deposit can be put down



Short term rentals

Now it is obligatory for all owners letting out properties as holiday lets to apply for a tourist licence in the Valencia region

Es­sen­tially the law for Tour­ist Li­cences in Alic­ante changed the 9th July 2018. From that date there is a new re­quire­ment to ob­tain a tour­ist li­cence that is the Cer­ti­fic­ate of com­pat­ib­il­ity with tour­ist use, the Town hall has to is­sue it.

  • NIE
  • Passport
  • Suma bill
  • Habitation certificate
  • Town hall report of tourist use or or CER­TI­FIC­ATE OF COM­PAT­IB­IL­ITY
  • EEC certificate
  • The number of bedrooms and beds (Max­imum oc­cu­pa­tion)
  • Application form filled in and signed


Long term rentals

Do not require a licence.

Landlord documents required

  • Passport
  • NIE
  • Bank account details
  • 2x sets of keys
  • Water bill
  • Electric bill
  • An address in which they reside

Tenants’ documents required

  • Passport
  • NIE
  • Names of all tenants
  • Proof of employment or income
  • 2x references
  • Bank account details
  • Phone number (contact number)
  • Email address
  • 1x rent up front
  • Deposit (1x monthly rental)


This information was correct on the date of writing, we are not held responsible for any changes with in the law and documents.

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