How to get a digital certificate in Spain
Want to know how to get a digital certificate in Spain? Well as I am applying for mine today, I thought I’d document the process and hopefully it will help you too. I have to say that it was like pulling teeth – I had to install the software twice and the confirmation email took a while to arrive. But I got there eventually.
Why do I need a digital certificate in Spain?
Having a digital certificate enables you to carry out a number of tasks from the comfort of your own computer or handheld device. Such things as filing your tax returns, querying traffic fines, accessing documentation and registering on the electoral roll are just a few. Recently we found that you can access your Covid vaccination information also. It is, in effect, proof of your identification – in digital form.
Please note that the certificate is tied to your computer or handheld device – and yes you can have more than one certificate on one computer (perhaps two people in a household share a computer).
If you get a new computer, it seems that (according to official sources) it is possible. However – we have heard of so many issues with transferring it. Therefore we recommend you get a new one (it’s easier than moving the existing one believe it or not). However – if you want to give it a bash because you have a shiny new PC or laptop then here you go:
If you are in any doubt about this, please consult an IT professional. We do not provide IT services.
How do I get a new digital certificate in Spain?
1. Go to http://www.cert.fnmt.es/ and click “Obtenga/Renueve su Certificado Digital”
2. Click “Private Individual” in the left menu
3. Now click “Obtener Certificado Software” in the left sidebar
4. Now click “Configuración previa” in the side menu
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Área de Descarga de Configurador FNMT”
Now select the link that applies to YOUR computer and follow the steps to install on your computer. If in doubt about any of this process, or if it fails to install – consult an IT professional. We do not provide IT services. Once it is installed, it will tell you.
5. Now go back to the SEDE website (you can use the browser’s back button) and click “Solicitar Certificado” in the left sidebar
5a. In “Nº DEL DOCUMENTO DE IDENTIFICACIÓN” put your NIE number. This should be 9 digits, so omit any dashes.
5b. In “PRIMER APELLIDO” put your first surname as it appears on your NIE certificate
5c. In the next two boxes (CORREO ELECTRÓNICO) put your email address. Ensure there are no typos!!!
5d. Click the link (Pulse aquí para consultar y aceptar las condiciones de expedición del certificado) to view and accept the Ts & Cs
5e. Click the “Enviar petición” button. You may get a popup asking for permission to proceed. Click to accept that.
6. It will ask you to set a password. Type the same into both boxes. Ensure that it is something you’ll remember, but nothing too obvious.
7. Wait a minute or two and it will automatically load the next page. This page will tell you that it is emailing a code to the email address you used when filling out your details. If it doesn’t arrive – check your Junk folder. If it’s not in there either – go grab a cup of tea and check again in a while.
8. Print off the email and take it to an authorised office along with proof of your NIE number and some official photo ID (I used my passport). You can find more information about all that by clicking here: https://www.sede.fnmt.gob.es/en/certificados/persona-fisica/obtener-certificado-software/acreditar-identidad – for us, it is the Ayuntamiento in Vélez-Blanco. Please be aware that you may need to make an appointment to visit. They will take your printed email… play with their computer for a few minutes, chat to fifteen other people about their weekend plans and abuela’s foot complaints, take a lunch break, huff and puff, roll their eyes, stamp 1658 pieces of paper that are nothing to do with what you are there for, and then give the email back. Then you’re good to go!
After you have had your identity verifed
9. You will be emailed almost immediately to confirm that your identity has been checked, and the email will contain a link. Click that link and you’ll see the following screen. Fill out the fields:
Nº DEL DOCUMENTO DE IDENTIFICACIÓN: Your NIE number
PRIMER APELLIDO: Your surname
CÓDIGO DE SOLICITUD: This is the code contained in the email you will have just received.
Now click the link, “Pulse aquí para consultar y aceptar las condiciones de uso del certificado”. It will expand on the page. Scroll down and click to accept.
Now click the “Descargar certificado” button. You’ll see another popup. Click the button
If it has worked, you’ll get a popup appear – asking for the password you chose when you were installing (step 6). If it hasn’t – go back to the previous page and fill out your details again. Remember to tick the Ts & Cs bit again.
It should accept your password and will open up your File Explorer – allowing you to store it somewhere safely. Remember where you stored it – so you can retrieve it in the future.
Now you will want to check that it has installed correctly and is attached to your web browser. To do that – select your browser from this page.
I’ll include instructions for Chrome:
- Go to your Chrome settings (3 dots in top far right corner)
- In the search box at the top – type in “Manage certificates”
- In the search results, click on “Security” then scroll down to “Manage certificates” and click that.
- You’ll get a popup window and you can see the certificate you’ve just installed in there. If you haven’t already made a backup copy of your certificate – use the “Export” option on the popup
Now go and get a drink, have a lie-down, walk the dogs or head out for lunch/dinner. If you’ve got this far without dropkicking your computer up and down your street – then you deserve a reward!!
Disclaimer: This information for how to get a digital certificate in Spain is correct as of date of publication. If you are unsure about any of the process, or are having difficulties – please consult a professional. We do not provide IT support, nor can we do this for you. It MUST be done on your own computer.
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.
May 29, 2021 @ 9:16 am
Don’t think it’s available for Android yet, as just tried, and was told that!
But I’ll try following your instructions later on the laptop to see how we get on there 😁
May 29, 2021 @ 11:35 am
It can be done on Android, according to the Spanish Tax website. But I haven’t tested it myself, to be fair (nor have any desire too).
This link talks about it.
Enjoy your jaunt out later with Alan. Happy “drone-ing”
June 16, 2021 @ 2:38 pm
Love my new country and the people BUT their admin ! im loosing the will to live.
Brilliant informative site . Keep up the great work guys
June 16, 2021 @ 3:24 pm
Hi Gerry – and thanks for the kind words about the website.
Yes – we feel (and share) your pain! We’ve asked lots of Spanish friends if they find it any easier than we do… and the answer almost always consists of eyerolling and swear words – so it’s not just a language barrier.
Enjoy what’s left of your week!
June 23, 2021 @ 3:37 pm
Elle , Thank you for your reply . Just my style of humour also : keep up the good work.
Quick question please ?.
I am a non working pensioner with both my Spanish driving licence plus my T I E.
Do i need also the certificate discussed above ?
June 24, 2021 @ 10:40 am
Ha ha ha – my pleasure!
You don’t “need” the certificate above. It’s just a “nice to have”. So far, I’ve used mine to access tax records, print off my Vaccination certificate… and I’ll be printing off a new Empadronamiento certificate too. It’s certainly not a legal requirement for anyone – just a way to access info without having to trek to the Ayuntamiento or other official offices which can save time.
Have a good weekend!
September 21, 2021 @ 10:59 am
brilliant website (very handy)
I just have one question: can I move my digital certificate to another device, without having to carry out the whole process again?
I’ve just bought a new laptop!
September 21, 2021 @ 11:22 am
Hi Dominic – and thanks for your kind words!
It seems that (according to the paperwork) it is possible. However – we have heard of so many issues with transferring it. That’s why in the early paragraphs of this article we recommend you get a new one (it’s easier than moving the existing one believe it or not).
However – if you want to give it a bash:
1. Follow this info first to make a backup of your certificate
2. Then follow the steps here.
Good luck and do let us know if you manage to do it.
October 12, 2021 @ 2:10 pm
Elle, ive just tried the digital certificate onto my smartphone again. Your advice is great but their system says it does not yet recognise Android .
I will try again next week if i still have the will to live. Im going for a beer, its easier to order.
October 12, 2021 @ 2:52 pm
You may have more luck in 2068… the Smartphone stuff does seem to be taking its sweet time, eh?!
Enjoy that beer. Have two!
November 8, 2021 @ 5:38 pm
Fi-nal-ly been able to download the digital certificate after attempting myself for days, without succeeding…
Great instructions and screenshots!!!! Thx so much!
November 9, 2021 @ 10:51 am
Our pleasure! So pleased that it helped you.
February 18, 2022 @ 4:47 pm
Do we know when it comes out on Android, as need to pay non tax bill as closed Spanish bank act due to fees? Be easier to have on phone.
February 18, 2022 @ 5:54 pm
Unfortunately, it’s still too “hit and miss” and fails to work on most devices. If it settles down, we’ll be sure to write instructions for it.
Deep breaths! ;)