laws in spain for english residents

Registered address vehicle Spain

How to change registered address of your vehicle in Spain

How to change registered address of your vehicle in Spain

It is important to keep your address records up to date in respect of your vehicle, especially if you have moved from one town or province to another.

You can change your address details in one of several ways. Traditionally, you had to make an appointment at the Regional traffic Office (Jefatura Provincial de Trafico). This meant taking time off work and perhaps travelling a significant distance with all the correct paperwork.

More recently, it has become much easier to make these administrative changes. Many town halls have an agreement with their regional traffic Office to collect the paperwork from the local population to make the change of address much simpler.

Not all town halls are signed up to the scheme but you can check to see if your town hall is by visiting this website (Town halls with agreement to process paperwork for Trafico).

If your town hall is on the list then you can change the address for your vehicle. You will need to complete a “solicitud de cambio de domiciliacion” and provide originals and copies of various documentation.

The completed form should then be returned to the Town Hall along with the following paperwork:

  • The original permiso de circulación (all pages including the front cover)
  • The original ficha técnica (all pages)
  • The certificate of Empadronamiento (which you can obtain from the Town Hall, of course)
  • Your original NIE document

Remember, you should be paying the taxes for your vehicle in the town where you live so it is important to keep the records up to date. Furthermore, if the authorities need to get in touch with you, then if they have the wrong address you will not receive the communication.



Driving in Spain- Expats

Road safety and general administrative procedures for vehicles, vehicle use and monitoring comes under the responsibility of various authorities, including local councils and state administration, through the traffic directorate general [Dirección General de Tráfico or DGT]. The autonomous communities are also responsible for matters such as vehicle technical inspection(ITV).

In all cases, to drive a vehicle in Spain you need to obtain the appropriate administrative paperwork (permits and licences) authorising you to drive a particular type of vehicle for a certain length of time.

When that period expires, you will need to renew your documentation.


Legal guide to living with pets in Spain

A big part of feeling comfortable and at ease when you move to a different country is having your pet with you. However, each country has its own laws and restrictions for animals living in buildings, and Spain is no different. So once you’ve transported your pet dog, cat or ferret over the border, what are the rules for having animals in Spain?

Laws for having pets in communal buildings

The majority of the rules relating to what you can and can’t do with pets in apartment buildings in Spain come from the Ley de Propiedad Horizontal, or Horizontal Property Law. This is a Spanish law that ensures the rights of people living in a communal area (such as a block of flats or an urbanización private estate) not to be subject to disturbing, unhealthy, dangerous or illegal activities. This can include discomfort caused by other people’s animals.

First and foremost, you must look to see whether the Statutes of the Residents’ Association (Estatutos de la Comunidad) expressly prohibit keeping animalsanywhere on the property. Most of the time you should be fine and there will be nothing that says you can’t have pets, but sometimes these clauses are included in the community bylaws, and it’s worth checking just to be on the safe side.

Assuming there is no prohibition in the Statutes, you’re free to have pets at home as long as they don’t bother the neighbours. This includes things like making lots of noise; having ticks, fleas and other parasites; emanating bad smells; and being violent or dangerous, even if it’s within the boundaries of your house or apartment. If you keep a dog in the garden of your house and it’s not tied up, you must put up a sign to tell people it’s there: Beware of the dog!

For rented flats in Spain, your lease contract may have a clause that prohibits domestic animals; if you go ahead and bring pets onto the property anyway, the landlord has the right to end the rental contract and evict you. If you wish to have pets in a rented apartment, your best bet is to negotiate a change in the contract with the owner.

In terms of shared, public spaces, the law states that you will be responsible for cleaning up if your cat or dog does their business in the corridors, staircases, elevators or anywhere else in the building. Although it’s not necessary by law, it’s also a good idea to keep dogs on leads and other animals under strict control when in public areas, just as a matter of good manners. Likewise, when using the lift in your building, it’s the neighbourly thing to do to let others go first if they have allergies or phobias towards your animal. In short, acting with understanding and respect towards your neighbours will ensure a harmonious cohabitation and help to make sure that no one takes exception to your pets.

Other things you should know about having pets in Spain

As well as the aforementioned rules for having pets in a Spanish home, there are other legal obligations you have as an owner. These include the requirement to provide suitable accommodation for your pet, which means you cannot keep them on a terrace, patio or balcony on a permanent basis. You have the responsibility to keep your animals out of harm’s way and in a good physical and mental state.

You are also required to make sure your pet is free of diseases and vaccinated against rabies every year. This is obligatory, for example, in all dogs over 3 months old. Your animal must also be registered in the Pet’s Register (Registro de Animales de Compañía) with details of your home address, telephone number and their vaccination status. You will even have an animal health card that gives them their own animal identification number. Potentially dangerous animals must also be entered onto a separate register, the Registro de Animales Potencialmente Peligrosos. If you fail to show any of this documentation when asked by a legal authority, you’ll have 10 days to get it together otherwise you may be subject to legal action.

At the end of the day, the rules for having pets in Spain are fairly self-evident and common-sense laws. As long as your pet is well behaved and you respect your neighbours and Spanish law, there’s nothing to stop you from living happily with your furry, little friend in Spain.

How does the direct debit system work in Spain?

The direct debit system in Spain.

It is very easy to set up a direct debit (domiciliación de recibos) on a Bank account, and you can do it with your Insurance policies requesting it at BMI Insurance Brokers office.  The Bank branch can provide the required forms.  Also, most companies supply a template when subscribing to their service or they can set it up for you at your request.

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Foreign drivers: collection of fines for traffic offences (Spain)

It is important to consider that in Spain a plan is being put in place to track down drivers who are fined in Spain and live in another countries.

But traffic authorities admit payment will be ‘voluntary’ as there is no legal framework for pursuing fines in other countries.  This could happen either because it has been impossible to locate the drivers abroad, or because the authorities never bothered with a fine because the cars had foreign number plates.

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What is the Padrón

The Padrón is short for Empadronamiento and is the certificare you apply for as proof of your existence in a municipality here in Spain.

It more or less equates to the electoral register in the UK and is just a census; it does not imply that you will be taxed as a result of registering or that Big Brother is watching you! It is merely a record of each individual who is living within each area.

Its accuracy is questionable though because it is up to the individual to de-register so there are some still on it who do not reside in that area any more and Town Halls will ask for updates every couple of years. The paper itself is valid for 3 months so if asked to present it for say, registering your car, you will need a valid one but just ask your Town Hall for an updated copy otherwise it is valid for life because each individual is responsible for informing the local Town Hall of any changes to their personal circumstances. Most Town Halls do not charge for it though some might charge a nominal fee.

The local councils receive funding from central government for every individual who is registered on the Padrón so it is understandably important to them.

What is this funding for?

The funds are used to improve our general surroundings, to fund our emergency services, our policing, our health centres and hospitals, our schools, our parks and gardens, our roads and all the other services that a local council provides. Obviously if your area is well provided for and maintained your property value will increase so it’s a win-win situation!

So, what benefits do you get by registering?

Firstly, there are many services you can only apply for once you have your Padrón – registering with a doctor, registering your child in school, registering a car in your name, getting married, applying for your residencia etc but also certain income-related benefits as well – disability passes, benefits, classes and excursions offered by your Town Hall as well as reduced annual IBI and basura charges in many areas.

Who should register on the Padron?

If you spend more than 6 months (183 days) of any one year in Spain you are obliged by law to register on the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. This is not a continuous 183 days; they can be split over a couple of months in the winter and the rest in summer.

How do you register on the Padrón?

It is a very simple process. Pop along to your local Town Hall (Foreigners Department if there is one) with a completed application form, your NIE or passport plus photocopy and either your escritura (property deeds) and receipt for IBI or rental contract. If you rent you will need a copy of the rental contract and some Town Talls also ask for authorisation from your landlord but others will suffice with the fact that the owner is already on the Padrón. Some Town Halls will ask for a bill for electricity or water etc in your name to that address as proof of you living there. Each Town Hall has different requirements so it is best to ask in advance but I have tried to give a general overview of what the Padrón is, who should register and what the benefits are to us all.

I hope this helps.

Anne Hernández

25 / 09 / 2017

Original Article from Brexpats