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Registration of a Birth with the Spanish Authorities

- Updated: 04/04/2011
Registration of a Birth with the Spanish Authorities

Births must be registered within eight days at the local civil registry office (Registro Civil). It is the parents' responsibility to ensure this is done and it must be carried out in person ( As opposed to On-line or By Post ). In some cases the hospital, clinic or midwife will register the birth.

Any Parent or Family Member may register the birth. The registered name must conform to Spanish regulations (regarding compound names) and also ensure that the name will not prove harmful or confusing for the child ( Like not being named after your Favourite Character from Star Trek ). Whilst this is still an official law, it is only enforced under either extreme or unusual cases.

There are two types of certificate:

  • short/abridged (un extracto de inscripción de nacimiento or certificado simple): contains the date of birth, the names of the child and parents and the inscription number
  • full birth certificates (un certificado literal de nacimiento): full certificates may be needed for registration with the Consulate of a baby born to foreign national resident in Spain

The birth registration includes:

  • name of the new-born
  • date, time and location of the birth. In the case of multiple births, when the exact time is unknown for each new-born, indication shall be given of the order in which they were born, or that this could not be determined
  • whether the new-born is male or female and the name given
  • the parents, when the relationship is legally recognised
  • the number assigned to the birth or verification file
  • the time of registration

Birth certificates must state whether a child is legitimate or illegitimate. Children born within 180 days after their parent's marriage, or within 300 days of a divorce, a marriage annulment or the death of the father are considered legitimate.

Registering a child born within a marriage

A close family member can register the birth; the following must be taken to the Civil Registry:

  • Medical delivery report (this form is provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)
  • NIE of the parents
  • Family Book (or marriage certificate duly legalised and translated, as appropriate)

Registering a child born outside marriage

In this case, a declaration is required from both parents, with the father and the mother going to register the birth in person, providing the following documentation:

  • Medical delivery report (this form is provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)
  • The parents NIE
  • Indication of the mother's marital status
  • If a prior marriage existed, the legal presumption of paternity must be removed by providing: Marriage certificate (with the corresponding note), and the separation or divorce decree (witnessed)
  • In the case of a "de facto" separation, two witnesses must accompany the interested party to the Register
  • The Ministerio Justicia English-language pages have a description of registering the birth on their website
  • Birth certificates for specific regions can be downloaded from this site

Comment on this Article

has no one got an answer on this as so fed up with waiting for the spanish system to sort this out and no one seems to care my son adn daughter in law had there baby in spain unexpectidely and didnt know they had to register him within so many days they have now been stuck in spain for7 months trying to get it all sorted he has jsut had his jabs and registered him and now they are saying it can take up to 3 months to get his birth certificate but my daughter in law is so depressed and wants to go back to uk asap
Kaz - Mon 2th Nov 2015
can anyone answer my question please
Kaz - Fri 25th Sep 2015
my son adn daughter in law had there baby in spain unexpectidely and didnt know they had to register him within so many days they have now been stuck in spain for7 months trying to get it all sorted he has jsut had his jabs and registered him and now they are saying it can take up to 6 months to get his birth certificate but my daughter in law is so depressed and wants to go back to uk asap is there anythign we can do to hurry this process up
Kaz - Thu 17th Sep 2015
My granddaughter was born in Sapin and she has a birth certificate but when she was registered one of her names was not given to the registrar, how easy is it to have this name resigerted and put on the certificate
William Schofield - Thu 10th Sep 2015
Jana : I'm not sure. If the Hospital did not give you anything at all, how can you even prove that your daughter even exists ? Is she registered for healthcare even ? Maybe you can use her health book or your pregnancy book as proof of this for the Town Hall Registry department if you are unable to get anything of any use from the Hospital ? Good Luck !
Jo Green - Mon 10th Feb 2014
Hi Jo, its me Jana again, so I did everything You told me but there is a problem becouse when I left Hospital they "somehow" forgot to give me the right papers for my daughter! So have to go there tomorrow ask for it !(great service in Mallorca). My question to You is about the birth certificate, where I Will get that and what I need for it ? Thank You for your help.
Jana - Sun 9th Feb 2014
Thank you very much Jo,if I knew about you earlier I would ask you straight me last think for me is to not have my baby girl registered..Many many thanks agian...hope it's ok if I have another questions to ask you...
Jana - Thu 6th Feb 2014
Jana : Take all of the documentation you were given by the Hospital for your Baby, together with your NIE / Padron / Residencia and Passport to your Town Hall. The process is not difficult. As I mentioned to Abby in her question (below), the authorities make provision for late registration, so your town hall should at least be aware of how to handle this kind of thing.
Jo Green - Wed 5th Feb 2014
Hi my daughter is 7 weeks old and I still didn't register her. The reason why is because there is nobody to help me where to go or what to do. So can you please give me some help and what to do? what are the consequences going to be if I'm late ? Thank you
Jana Holecova - Wed 5th Feb 2014
Abby : The Official website of the Ministry of Justice states that (and excuse my paraphrasing) "Any late registration [more than 30 days after birth] needs to be made in person before the Registrar of the Municipality, with a sufficient reason being given for this not being done sooner". In other words, it is a common enough event for them to make provision for. However, as with most things in Spain, many Town Halls don't like to help with anything out of the ordinary, and it might be beneficial to get a Gestor involved here.
Jo Green - Tue 14th Jan 2014
They were flooded out of their house about a week after she gave birth and it got forgotten about i guess. I' m trying to help her get sorted but as i've not got children, its not a process i' m familiar with. There seems to be a few sites that say you must register before x amount of days but nothing on what happens if you dont and whether the route to take is the same when the child is older than the limit.
Abby - Tue 14th Jan 2014
Wow, any reason as to why they haven't registered ? I'm not sure how they would stand legally on this issue, but it can't help with things like schools and healthcare moving forwards. Tell them to get their act together !
Jo Green - Mon 13th Jan 2014
I have a friend whose 14 month old daughter has still not been registered. Would this bring any legal repercussions?
Abby - Mon 13th Jan 2014
Hi Abi : I had my daughter in Denia and l athough it was a few years ago now I have nothing but good things to say about them. I am not aware of any change in tehlaw, but at the time I was given a certificate to take to my Town Hall, who then issued a full (Spanish) Birth Certificate. At that time I investigated sending it to Madrid to be certified, but as both parents were EU citizens I could see no real benefit in doing this. I haven't come across a stage where it would have been a benefit either.
Jo Green - Wed 9th Jan 2013
We are due to have our baby (in Denia Spain) in March 2013, we have met someone on the street who gave birth there 7months ago and due to new laws they had to send their Full birth certificates to the UK for a "stamp". I'm unsure of any other details as it was all said in passing etc... do you know about this? we are going to the The town hall soon so will find out from them but just curious as to if any of your info conforms with the new laws that came out last Sep 2012?
Abi - Wed 9th Jan 2013
Leanne : Although It was 5 years ago, my (Unmarried) Mrs and I had no such problems when registering the birth of our daughter - it was all very straightforward. I would also recommend that you register the birth with the British Embassy in Madrid aswell.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 26th Oct 2012
Thanks for your reply Tumbit, The father will be present, I just wondered if it really mattered? I guess i'll take my birth certificate and passport aswell. That proves that I havn't changed my name at least !
Leanne Dennison - Fri 26th Oct 2012
My partner is Australian and is having a nightmare getting an NIE (non EU). He works out of Spain for 6 weeks and then is here in Tenerife for 6 weeks. We are expecting a baby very soon, how will this effect us registering the birth if he is unable to get his NIE in time.
Emma Bidwell - Thu 25th Oct 2012
Leanne : A good question - How can you prove a negative ? Better still, why would you need to do so ? I'm guessing that you are asking this question as a single parent wishing to register the birth without the father being present ?
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 25th Oct 2012
How do I prove that I am NOT married ?
Leanne Dennison - Thu 25th Oct 2012
I am looking for my son's birth certificate : He was registered in Muchamiel, Alicante. Now today they tell him he must go to Alicante it, I don't understand - when he started school I got it in the local office in Muchamiel ?
Anne Marie Purdew - Thu 4th Oct 2012
It really depends upon the Nationalities of both of the parents. If both UK citizens then the baby should be able to apply for citizenship by means of origin after a period of 1 years residency - IE 1 year after the birth being registered.
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 31st May 2011
How long will it take for a child born in spain to claim spanish nationality
Jumbo - Tue 31st May 2011