and click the "Important News for UK Residents" link at the side
the old residencia system has been scrapped, anyone staying more than 3 months in spain MUST sign up on the "foreigner's register" which is supposedly done by turning up at the same police station (Eivissa) with 2 photos & yr passport, and a certificate and NIE are supposed to be issued straight away. jus wondered how this is translating in the real world?
also heaps of implications for uk plated cars here
This is an excerpt from this week's Far East column, which affects all UK citizens living in Ibiza...
Documental Nightmare That was the feeling we had when we left the meeting held by Department de Ciudadanos (European Citizens Department) at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Ibiza town last week. This department has been set up by the Balearic Consul to help foreign residents to understand the laws and regulations that we have to deal with on a daily basis. The Director of the department Kate Mentink, and team member Angela Guerrero, did their best to explain the new laws concerning residencia, car registration, and driving licence requirements, that came into force recently. Unfortunately despite their efforts, we left with more questions than answers, which was not their fault or the department's, but the Spanish authorities, who seem to have implemented these new laws without giving much thought as to how the local authorities will cope with the extra work involved.
So here we go with an attempt to explain how the new laws effect European "foreigners". The residencia requirements have now ceased, however if you have residencia it still continues until its expiry date. There is now a new requirement to register on the Foreign Resident Central Register, and everyone who stays in Spain for more than three months is obliged to register. Also, anyone who visits Spain on a regular basis, and these visits total more than six months in any one year, must register. People who carry on any business in Spain whether living here or not must also register. Registration , it is claimed is easier than the old residencia system. All you have to do is take your passport, and a photo copy, to designated offices, in Ibiza it's the Comisaria de Eivissa, Avenida de la Paz, Ibiza. (The police station on the ring road, where the nice people used to give out residencias in such a friendly manner), fill in two simple forms, pay the fee of 6 Euro, and the certificate of registration is issued there and then, or so we were told. We have already heard conflicting stories as to how the applications are being dealt with here. We will try to bring you more exact information on this as soon as we have details. You must apply in person, you cannot use a Gestoria or anyone else to do it for you. This certificate is A4 size and should be carried with you at all times, and as there is no photograph on it you should also carry some sort of photographic evidence, a passport or driving licence for example. (More on those later).
The certificate cannot be used for identity purposes, ie for buying a car or opening a bank account etc, but we understand that this certificate will entitle you to the discounts on flights and ferries that were previously only available if you had residencia. This new law came into force on the 28th March 2007, and to comply with these new laws, all registrations should be completed within 3 months from that date, ie 28th June 2007.
There are two types of certificate, one that lasts for five years and the other that is a permanent one, no-one seems to know who will be given which. Heavy fines will be imposed for non-compliance.
On the subject of car registration we were told the following. In the past if you imported a vehicle into Spain, you had 6 months in which to change the registration documents and number plates to Spanish. This has now changed and you have only 30 days in which you must start the changeover process. Failure to do this will result in the car being impounded, and the fines are very punitive.
If you are a visitor and driving a vehicle registered in another European country, you can continue to use it, provided you carry with you the registration document (log book), a full international insurance certificate, a tax disc, and an MOT certificate, all from the country in which the vehicle is registered. We know that you can now obtain a Spanish ITV on foreign vehicles, but you cannot use this obtain an MOT in the UK for example. The vehicle has to be returned to it's regisration country each year. This is a big change and will effect quite a number of people. One other important change is that on a foreign registered vehicle only the registered owner can drive it, no matter who is named on the insurance. Watch out for that one. We are reliably informed that on Majorca the police have already started impounding an average of 100 vehicles a week that do not comply with these laws. You can bet it won't be long before they have a clampdown here.
Finally - driving licences. The only driving licences that are now acceptable for residents of the European states, are a Spanish one, or the new one's with a European logo, the credit card sized one which includes a photograph. So there you have it. Remember these are new laws and we are told that they will be rigorously imposed.
This information came directly from the European Citizens Department who regularly have meetings with the powers that be, including Traffico, and only pass on information that they receive in those meetings. If you are unsure as to how these new laws effect you, it's better to give them a call on 971 177438-40. You will be able to speak to someone in you own language. It's far better to do that than rely on hearsay and find yourself with big problems, and large fines.
Read the whole article on this week's 'Far East' column below, and watch this section for updates on developments.