Table of contents
Key information for moving to Spain
1/ Residence permit
By Royal Decree 178/2003, a residence card is no longer required for citizens of the European Union who are working or studying in Spain, as well as for retired persons who have paid tax in Spain.
If you wish to stay and work in Spain for more than three months, you should request a registration certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadanos Miembros de la Unión), Form EX-16, from the government office (Delegación de Gobierno/Secretaria de Extranjeros) or police office in your place of residence. For this purpose you will need to present a valid identity card or passport, 3 photos, a proof of resources (employment contract, pension certificate, bank statement, etc.) as well as proof of payment of the fee. The print forms are available on www.mir.es. You will then receive your NIE (tax identification number for foreigners).
Like all citizens of the European Union, you will have the same obligations as Spaniards, living and working in Spain (payment of taxes, social security fees, etc.). This certificate, as well as the NIE, will be used to calculate your rate of tax on the basis of your income.
Note: the NIE will be required for many administrative formalities (exchange or registration of driving licence, purchase of property, opening of bank accounts, payment of bills, telephone subscription, etc.). It is also compulsory for non-residents possessing interests in Spain (for example, a secondary residence).
The members of your family will also have the right to live in Spain, provided there is proof of their family relationship or dependence.
For additional information about the conditions and formalities of residence, you can call the number 900 150 000 (free call) or from a foreign country: +34 91 537 24 23, make direct contact with the police (telephone number 091), contact the Immigration Service of the Employment and Social Services Ministry (Dirección General de Inmigración del Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales) on 913639071, or visit the following web site: www.mir.es.
2/ Vehicle registration
If you move to Spain you must arrange for your vehicle’s licence plates to be changed as soon as possible following your arrival and, in any event, within six months following your arrival.
Before registering your vehicle, the authorities will verify its technical conformity (homologación) to ensure that it meets the standards required by law (safety standards, for example). For this purpose you must obtain the European conformity certificate (Certificado de conformidad europeo) for your vehicle, which will be provided on request by the manufacturer of your vehicle or by a dealer for the same make of vehicle in Spain.
If your vehicle is not new, a technical inspection will be required. For this purpose you must go to an authorised vehicle technical inspection centre (I.T.V.) in your province. Following this inspection you will receive a certificate (ficha técnica) indicating that your vehicle is in “good health”, as well as a certificate of the vehicle’s characteristics (Certificado de características de vehículo). There is a cost for this latter document, which will be added to the cost for the inspection).
Once these two formalities have been completed (technical conformity and technical inspection), you must make a request for a change in registration (Solicitud de matriculación) at the provincial traffic office (Jefatura provincial de tráfico) in your place of residence. You must provide the following documents:
- Your original resident card, identity card or passport, along with a document attesting to your residence in the province where you make the request. If you do not have a resident card, you must also provide your NIE identification number for foreigners as well as proof of residence in the province.
- Original and photocopy of the vehicle’s grey card.
- Original and photocopy of the purchase bill for the vehicle, coming from a country of the EU and clearly indicating the dealer’s VAT rate, or else the original and photocopy of the sales contract between individuals. There must also be a Spanish translation for these documents.
A registration fee will also be required.
The amount of the various taxes and fees to be paid will depend on the region (Comunidad Autónoma) in which you live, as well as on the model of your vehicle and its age. The cost of the whole operation means that it is sometimes better to sell your vehicle in your country of origin and purchase a vehicle in Spain. The following payments are required:
- To your local town hall: an annual municipal tax for motor vehicles (Impuesto sobre vehículos de tracción mecánica), the amount of which is determined by your place of residence and the size of your vehicle’s motor;
- To the tax authorities: a special tax on certain kinds of transport (Impuesto especial sobre determinados medios de transporte). As a citizen of the European Union, you are not required to pay this tax. In order to be exempted you must go to the Consulate of the member country where you previously lived, with the rental lease from your country of origin as well as bills and tax declarations as proof. You will then obtain an exemption certificate.
- To the region (Comunidad Autónama): a tax on patrimonial transfers (Impuesto de transmisiones patrimoniales). Ask for form 620.
These various taxes are to be paid at a bank, after you have obtained the necessary forms from the above-mentioned authorities.
If you purchase your vehicle in Spain, the VAT is 18%.
In addition, if you hold a valid driver’s licence from a country of the European Union, you may drive legally in Spain.
Useful web sites :
Key information for obtaining insurance in Spain
1/ Automobile insurance
Third party liability auto insurance is compulsory in Spain.
In the event of an accident caused by a vehicle that is not identified, not insured, stolen or insured with a bankrupt organisation, you can request compensation from the Spanish guarantee fund (Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros).
In the event of doubt regarding the insurance cover of a vehicle responsible for an accident, you can consult the on-line listing of insured vehicles (FIVA), which is available directly and free of charge to victims of traffic accidents. From the licence plate number of the vehicle in question, you will be able to obtain information regarding its insurance status.
2/ Home insurance
Multi-risk home insurance is not required under Spanish law. It is nevertheless strongly recommended. In any event, the joint parties of a shared residence must be insured. Your bank can also require home insurance in connection with the granting of a mortgage loan.
3/ Health insurance
You will be covered by the Spanish health insurance system from the first day of your arrival in Spain, as long as you have the form E104 (attestation regarding insurance, employment or residence). If not, there will be a waiting period prior to the beginning of cover and the payment of claims.
If you are self-employed, you must register with the social security system at the provincial office or the social security administration (Tresoreria General de la Seguridad Social) closest to your place of residence. If you are employed, these formalities will be the responsibility of your employer.
You will then receive a social security registration document, which will be very useful for other administrative formalities.
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