Find out how to register the birth and obtain the birth certificate of a newborn baby…

Births must be registered within eight days (but can be up to 30 days with good reason) 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, by a parent or a close relative. In some cases the hospital, clinic or midwife 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.

The birth registration includes:

  • Name of the newborn
  • Date, time and location of the birth. In the case of multiple births, when the exact time is unknown for each newborn, indication shall be given of the order in which they were born, or that this could not be determined
  • Gender of the newborn
  • The parents, when the relationship is legally recognised
  • The number assigned to the birth or verification file
  • The time of registration
  • To learn more about how to register a birth: Click here

Registering a child born within a marriage

A parent must take the following to the Civil Registry:

  • Medical delivery report (the yellow form provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)
  • NIE (Foreigner’s Identification Number) of the parents
  • Libro de Familia (Family Book, if available) or marriage certificate legalised and translated

Registering a child born outside marriage

In this case, a declaration is required by both parents, with the father and the mother both registering the birth in person, providing the following documentation:

  • Medical delivery report (the yellow form provided by the hospital where the delivery took place)
  • The parents’ NIE number(s) (Foreigner’s Identification Number)
  • Evidence of the mother’s marital status
  • If a prior marriage existed, the legal presumption of paternity must be removed by providing a marriage certificate and a separation certificate or divorce decree (witnessed)
  • In the case of separation, two witnesses must accompany the parent to the civil registry office

The birth certificate

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 a consulate for a baby born to foreign nationals resident in Spain

Once the birth certificate is issued, a Libro de Familia (Family Book) is allocated. This book contains the full history of the parents and children of the family.

Registering at a Health Centre

As of October 2015 it is now possible to register the baby at the clinic where the birth takes place, providing it has the facilities to do so. This bypasses the need to go to the civili registry office as the clinic will be able to forward the information electronically. It should be done within 72 hours of the birth (but can be up to 30 with good reason).

  • For more information about registering a birth at a civil register or a health centre visit the Ministerio Justicia’s guide. They also provide a Frequently Asked Questions page on the topic of birth registration.

With contributions by Dawn Blythe S.R.N. R.M. (UK), a British trained midwife who has worked with expatriate communities worldwide. Currently with The English Medical Clinic, Albir Tel: 966 868 013 / e-mail