New mum and Ibiza Sun correspondent Carly Sorrenson, takes us through her own journey in the procedures for the registration of baby and obtaining the various required documentation.

Please note that this information is provided in all good faith however as we all know Spanish procedures can change often and will not always follow what is known to be the correct procedure in any given circumstance. We would appreciate your feedback if your experience of any of the steps detailed is different or changes over time so that we can advice readers accordingly.


Carly Sorenson

In Can Misses hospital on November 16th 2013, my beautiful baby girl entered the world. She looked up at me with wide blue eyes and I fell instantly and completely in love. Exhausted from a 36 hour labour and elated to have given birth, I felt sure I’d just completed the biggest challenge a woman could face. But I was wrong. For I’d yet to run (or rather, ‘stumble blindly through’) the gauntlet of bureaucracy that comes with obtaining documents for a British baby here in Spain.

Something which really would have helped me would have been knowing which documents I needed and in which order I should get them.  It would have saved many wasted journeys and much time spent queuing before being told that I couldn’t get a medical card without a social security number, or a social security number without an NIE and so on. Therefore, with hindsight as my helper, I’ve decided to compile a rough guide.


Documents 1 and 2: Birth Certificate and Libro de Familia.

These were fairly easy. I took the yellow forms and baby’s health record book issued when I left hospital, mine and my husband’s passports and birth certificates and our marriage certificate to our local ‘Juzgado de Paz’ (Justice of the Peace). We filled in some forms and answered questions (in Spanish ・ take a translator if yours isn’t up to much) about ourselves, such as when and where we were married and parent’s names and nationalities. A friendly lady took copies of everything and a couple of days later we had a phone call to say the documents were ready for collection. We came away with Ela’s ‘Certificac卲n del Acta de Nacimiento’ which is the same as the UK short birth certificate), ‘Certificac卲n Literal’, same as UK full birth certificate, and a ‘Libro de Familia’.

As far as I know, this legally required book detailing births, deaths and marriages within a family has no UK equivalent. It seems to be useful when acquiring other official documents and can be used alongside the NIE in lieu of a passport on domestic flights and ferries.


Document 3: Passport.

If you or your partner is British, then your baby is too, even if they were born here in Spain.  This means you need a UK passport in order to then get an NIE, tarjeta sanitaria (medical card) and so on.

I asked a worker at the Comisaria de Policia Nacional if Ela was entitled to a Spanish passport, as she has a Spanish birth certificate. ‘Of course,’ came his reply, ‘But she must have an NIE to get the passport and she must have a UK passport to get the NIE.’ You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Getting a UK passport whilst here is relatively simple. The application and payment are completed online at

Click on the ‘Get a passport for your child’ link and follow the step by step process.

It takes a while, but is fairly straightforward. At the end of your online application, you’ll be asked to pay; we paid 122.96€ for application from abroad inc. postage and courier fees; print the forms and to send  them, 2 photos (1 countersigned. For a list of  persons qualified to certify go to

and the relevant documents to an address given.

The only problem I had was knowing which certificate to send. I was told over the phone that ‘the one with translation on the back’ (certificacion del acte de nacimiento) was sufficient. It wasn’t. I received an email three weeks later asking for the certificacion literal too. So to clarify, I sent:

Completed, signed application.

Husband’s birth certificate (only 1 parent necessary)

2 photos, 1 countersigned

BOTH birth certificates.

We still received the passport within six weeks of applying online. If only getting the next document had been this straightforward.


Document 4: NIE.

Anyone who’s ever been to the Comisaria de Policia Nacional will know what an ordeal this can be. Interminable queues simply to get forms and an appointment, workers who go off on half hour breaks leaving the desk unmanned and ever more agitated people waiting even longer, and a general sense that no-one really knows what they’re doing. I went five times in total. Every time the list of documents I needed was added to. To get an idea of it watch the short film ‘036’ on youtube.

This is the list of documents I needed:

Application form, completed and signed.

Form 790, completed, signed and stamped by a bank to say the 10.40 euro fee was paid.

Ela’s passport, plus a copy.

My passport, tarjeta sanitaria and NIE, plus copies.

Libro de familia, plus a copy.

My last 2 nominas (pay slips), plus copies.

Evidence of income in Spain. I took printed, stamped copies of the last two maternity payments to go into my Spanish bank account and a printed, stamped copy of my bank statement for the last six months. A friend said she’d taken printouts from her online account but they were rejected as the bank needs to stamp them.

On the day I finally got the NIE, the officer looked slowly and carefully through all my documents and asked to see her birth certificate. I’d come prepared for this. I smiled triumphantly and handed over the originals and copies, asking if he wanted to keep the copies for his records. He didn’t. Defeated, he raised an eyebrow, glanced at the bulging folder in which I carried absolutely every document the Spanish or British authorities had ever issued me, sighed and produced Ela’s NIE card. I almost cheered. Carly one, bureaucracy nil.

Comisaria de Policia Nacional, Avenida de la Paz, s/n, Ibiza, 07800. Tel 971 398 831


Document 5: Social Security number and form to say that baby has a right to medical card.

To do anything at the social security office, you first need to make a ‘cita’ or appointment. DON’T go to the office at Avenida de Espana, 57 in Ibiza to get one as they won’t make appointments. This must be done online at

Click on the ‘Cita Previa’ box on the right of the home screen, then follow the steps. You’ll receive an appointment, and an email confirming the appointment. You’ll also get a text nearer the time to remind you when your appointment is. If only this were available for NIE’s!

On the day of the appointment I went along to the office with:

Mine and Ela’s passports and NIE’s.

Libro de familia.

My tarjeta sanitaria

A lovely, smiley lady made copies of it all, did a bit of typing, then issued me with a ‘Documento Acreditivo Del Derecho Asistencia Sanitaria’ and instructions to take this, a Spanish passport sized photo of my baby (slightly smaller than UK passport sized, photographer will know what you need if you tell him what it’s for) and the same documents I’d presented today, along to my medical centre to get Ela’s tarjeta sanitaria.


Document 6: Tarjeta Sanitaria (Medical card)

To get this you need to make two visits to your local medical centre. Mine in San Antonio has a dedicated office for medical cards in reception, and I presume the others do too.

On the first visit you need to hand over your ‘Documento Acreditivo Del Derecho Asistencia Sanitaria’, baby’s passport photo and your and your baby’s NIEs and passports whilst the official puts your baby’s info into the system and scans the photo. You then get three copies of a form called ‘modelo 046’. Take these to the bank and pay the fee of 10.54 within five days.

Once paid, make sure the forms are stamped. You have up to a month to go back to the medical centre and exchange one of the forms for your baby’s tarjeta sanitaria. Easy when you know how!



It’s taken three and a half months to get all the documents necessary to make Ela ‘official’. I’ve been through a lot of unnecessary too-ing and fro-ing, a great deal of queuing and dealt with innumerable government workers; some friendly and helpful, others grumpy and officious. At times I would have happily received another epidural as an alternative. Or administered one to the unsmiling automaton bleating scripted responses at me from the other side of the desk  Anything to make the whole process less painful.

I hope that this article takes some of the pain away for you. However, do remember that Spanish bureaucratic rules are as murky and changeable as the British weather, so what was required for me may not be the same for you. If you can afford it, pay a Gestoria to do it all for you. Failing that, take originals and copies of every document ever issued to you, your partner or your child to each appointment you attend. And a Spanish speaking friend if yours isn’t up to much. Oh, and a hefty dose of patience.

Good luck!


Quick Reference:

1/2. Birth Certificate and Libro de Familia

Juzgado de Ibiza, C/Isidor Macabich, 4. 971 31 49 62

Juzgado de Santa Eulalia,  C/San Jaime, 72. 971 33 00 07

Juzgado de San Antonio, C/ Progreso s/n (top floor of indoor market – this is the one I went to) 971 34 25 23

Juzgado de San Jose, C/ de Consultori, 1. 971 80 05 19.


Yellow forms from hospital and babies health record

Parent’s Passports

Parent’s birth certificates

Marriage certificate


3. Getting a UK Passport Abroad


Completed and signed application form.

Parent’s Birth Certificate (only 1 parent necessary)

2 photos, 1 countersigned – see website for who can sign

BOTH birth certificates.


4. NIE

Comisaria de Policia Nacional, Avenida de la Paz, s/n, Ibiza, 07800. Tel 971 398 831


Application Form, completed and signed.

Form 790, completed, signed and stamped by a bank to say the 10.40 fee was paid.

Child’s passport, plus a copy.

Parent’s Passport, Tarjeta Sanitaria and NIE, plus copies.

Libro de familia, plus a copy.

Parent’s last 2 nominas (pay slips), plus copies.

Evidence of income in Spain. Stamped copies of bank statements for the last six months. Online printout’s may be rejected.



5. Social Security

Avenida de Espana, 57


Parent Passports and NIE.

Child Passport and NIE.

Libro de familia.

Parent’s tarjeta sanitaria

You will receive a Documento Acreditivo Del Derecho Asistencia Sanitaria


6. Tarjeta Sanitaria (Medical Card)

Local Medical Centre (San Antonio has an office in reception)


Documento Acreditivo del Derecho Asistencia Sanitaria

Photo of Child (Spanish Passport size)

Parent and Child’s NIE’s.

Parent and Child’s Passports.

Form Modelo 046 – taken to the bank within 5 days, stamped and paid 10.54  (current price at time of print)


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