How to get a criminal record certificate in Spain

Do you need a criminal records certificate from Spain? Many clients decide to move to another country, for example the United States, and try to apply for a residence permit. If they lived in Spain in the last years,they often need Spanish criminal records.

Here we will explain how to access your criminal records. In the case that you do not currently live in Spain and cannot access the criminal records, our Spanish Lawyers will explain to you how to access the criminal records from outside the country.

The first thing you need to know

You have to know that there is a registry of criminal records accessible in any major city. For example, if you lived in Barcelona and now you live in Madrid, it is not a problem, you can go to the Madrid registry and access your copy. To access the records, all you need to do is find a registry close to you, and pay the fee to obtain them. It is a quick and easy process. Alternatively, you can access the documents online in Spain, but you still must pay the fee to obtain the records.

There are two kinds of criminal records’ certificates, those that only include sex offenses and those that include all kind of crimes.

The office or website will also ask you why you need to access the records and for what country you need the records. If you try to access documents outside Spain, you will recieve an official document of the records.

It is important to note that not all countries accept the official document only with an apostille. For example, in the US or the UK the apostille is accepted, but in Canada or Egypt it is not.

In the places that do not accept the apostille, you have to have the criminal records legally approved, which is a much more tedious process.

What to do if you do not live in Spain

If you have a Spanish digital certificate you can access the documents online. If you don’t our Spanish Lawyers can do one for you.

In addition, if you have any type of electronic signature accepted in Spain, you can obtain criminal records without any additional steps.

Spain also uses other types of verification, such as the “clave PIN”, for identification in the Spanish criminal records’ Registry.

And if I have no way to verify my identification online?

Contact us, and we can quickly access the documents.

Generally, it takes us a week to obtain the documents, but in some cases the records Public Administration takes longer to return the documents. However, it usually takes one week.

Do I need my records in English?

Spain only has criminal records written in Spanish, but we hope that one day the records can be accessed in other languages such as records in Thailand, Turkey, and Florida in the United States.

If you need records in an English-speaking country (or any other non Spanish-speaking country), you will need a certified translation.

You will need to go through the same process with countries whose official language is not Spanish. For example, if you need criminal records in France you will need a certified translation in French.

Our Spanish Lawyers can help find a way to officially translate your Spanish criminal records.

How can you contact record offices if you are in Spain?

It depends on what city you are living in.

In Barcelona, the address of the records office is Carrer Caballero, 52-56. You can also call them at 933494180 or email at

In Madrid, their address is Carrer Bolsa n 8, or you can call them at 902007214.

Disclaimer: This article is not official legal advice. For official legal consultation, contact our Spanish lawyers

Translated by Luca Bloom

Piñera del Olmo

 Aribau 114, entlo 2a
 08036 Barcelona

 Phone: +34 93 514 39 97

 Fax: +34 93 127 07 66