Spain: Birth Certificate / Birth Certification

Birth Certificate/Certification

  • What is it?
  • Who can request it?/present
  • Delivery periods
  • How to request it/present

What is it?

The birth certificate is the document issued by the Registrar or acting Registrar of the corresponding Civil Register or Consular Register, which certifies the birth, the date it occurred, as well as the sex and, when appropriate, the time of the birth and the relationship of the registered individual.

Digital birth certificates can also be issued with a digital stamp from the Department of Registers and Notaries based on the data found in the central database of people registered in the Civil Registers

Types of certificate/certification:

Several types of birth certificate may be requested. Certificates may be positive or negative:

  1. Positive Certificate:
    • Extract: This is a summary of the information related to the birth, as it appears in the Civil Register. There are different versions:
      • Ordinary: It is issued in Spanish in the autonomous communities in which the only official language is Spanish.
      • International or multilingual: This version is valid in the countries that have ratified the Vienna Convention of 8 September 1976. This certificate is issued in the official language of each of the signatory countries of that convention (Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, Poland, Montenegro, Moldova, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria).
      • Bilingual: Whenever an extract certificate is requested in an autonomous community  that has its own official language, the certificate will be issued in Spanish and in the official language of the autonomous community in which it is issued.
    • Literal: This is a literal copy of the registration of the birth, containing all of the data related to the identity of the individual and to the birth itself.
  2. Negative Certificate: This certifies that an individual has not been registered at that Civil Register.
  3. Certification with a digital stamp from the Department of Registers and Notaries: This serves as proof of the data contained in the computerised and digitised register entries made since 1950 in the Municipal Civil Registers or in the Central Civil Register. Certificates can not be issued via this procedure for entries made before 1950 or which were made in a delegated Civil Register (Justice of the Peace) or in a Consular Civil Register

Content of the certificates/certifications

The certificate includes:

  • The Register, indicating the municipality and province of its location; and, in the case of the Consular Registers, the town and country.
  • The identity of the registered individual, with the data that appears in the registration.
  • The page and book of the entry, or the corresponding page and file.
  • The date, name and signature of the certifying Registrar, Acting Registrar or Secretary, and the office seal.
  • In the case of a digital stamp from the Department of Registers and Notaries, information will be included on the secure certification code, the procedure for verifying the content of the document issued and the date of issue.

Who can request it?/present

1.- Legitimate interest to receive information on the entries in the Civil Registers or Consular Registers is presumed to be held by the individual who requests the certificate. However, no information will be provided in the following cases without special authorisation:

  • Adoption (except for entries made pursuant to the Department of Registers and Notaries Instruction dated 15 February 1999) or unknown kinship, or details that reveal said circumstances, and the change of a Foundling surname or other similar or inappropriate ones.
  • Sex change: Authorisation in these cases is granted by the Judge responsible, and only to those who certify legitimate interest and a well-founded reason for requesting it. The certificate indicates the name of the individual making the request, the reasons for issuing it and the express authorisation of the Registrar or Acting Registrar, who will personally issue the certificate from the Register directly under his or her control.
  • Surname changes authorised in cases of gender violence, or necessitated by the urgency of the situation.

In the case of wanting to apply for their own birth certificate and get it when you can do if you have a digital certificate to uniquely identify, Birth Certificate (personal)

2.- Certificates with a digital stamp from the Department of Registers and Notaries can only be requested by owners of the data identified using an electronic National Identification Card or another form of advanced electronic signature accepted by the Public Administrations. This register data refers to the digitised or computerised birth records entered since 1950.

Under no circumstances can register data relating to other people be obtained via this procedure.

Delivery periods

How long you have to wait to receive the certificate depends on how you have chosen to receive it. If you have chosen to receive the certificate by post, the period between the request and reception of the certificate is approximately 15 days.

When applicants choose to retrieve the certifications in person, the Civil Registry Office will notify the date from which they may do so.

This period will be interrupted when the Civil Register requires additional or clarified information on the application, until they have been provided by the requester, and likewise, when technical difficulties make it impossible to receive the requests properly.

In the case of certificate requests with a digital stamp from the Department of Registers and Notaries, the digital birth certificate will be issued immediately.

How to request it/present

  • In personIn person at the Civil Register in which the birth was registered, with the form available on this website, duly completed.

    Documents to be presented:

    • National Identification Card (D.N.I.) of the person requesting the certificate and
    • Indication of the name and surnames and the date and location of birth of the individual for whom the certificate is requested.

    Ways of receiving the certificate:

    Any of the birth certificates described above may be collected at the corresponding Civil Register window.

  • By postIf you wish to request and receive, when appropriate, a birth certificate by ordinary post, you may send the form or a letter to the Civil Register, clearly indicating the name and postal address to which the certificate is to be sent, including the following data in the request:
    • Name, surnames, date and location of birth of the individual for whom the certificate is requested.

    Next, indicate the type of certificate you would like to receive:

    • Literal
    • Extract:
      • Ordinary or bilingual
      • Multilingual
    • Negative

    You should provide a contact telephone number in case there is any information that needs to be clarified.

  • OnlineCivil Register certificate requests may be made online for registrations held at the computerised Civil Registersindicated in the drop-down list, to which the Civil Registers that are successively incorporated in this computerisation process will be added shortly.

    This type of certificate can be ordered with or without a digital certificate

    Without digital certificate: The certificate that has been requested in this way will be preferentially delivered by ordinary mail to the home address specified in the application. Nonetheless, the interested party may collect it in person, as long as this has been expressly specified in the application.

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