Want To Save Time And Use The Cl@ve System In Spain? Here’s What You Need To Know

The Spanish bureaucratic system is notoriously tricky to navigate. And if even Spanish people find it frustrating, you can imagine just how complicated it must be for foreigners living in the country.

Historically, before you can do any official or public process in Spain you’ll need a cita previa (prior appointment). But with government websites also being tricky to navigate, getting an appointment is easier said than done too.

If this is all making you feel despondent then there is good news. There is a growing number of bureaucratic processes you can now carry out online in Spain. Provided you have a Cl@ve account.

Here’s what you need to know:

How To Access Spain’s Bureaucratic Processes Online

There are 4 different online systems currently used by the Spanish government right now.  They are the digital certificate (certificado digital), the Cl@ve Pin, the permanent Cl@ve and the autosignature (AutoFirma).

These 4 systems online making things more complicated, rather than choosing just one simple system that works for everything. But for the most part if you only want to create one account then the permanent Cl@ve system is the most wide-reaching and will allow you to complete more digital processes with the Spanish government than any of the others listed.

What Is The Cl@ve System?

As we have already mentioned above, Cl@ve is a online digital system set up by the Spanish government to enable you to complete certain processes online. The Cl@ve account acts as an online form of identification so that you won’t need to visit a government office to identify yourself.

When you create an account you are allocated a code, and you use that code for a huge number of bureaucratic processes that can be completed online.

Some examples include filing your tax returns or paying traffic fines.

What Is The Difference Between The Permanent Cl@ve And The Cl@ve Pin?

There are 2 types of Cl@ve pins that you can access as a foreign resident in Spain. These are the permanent Cl@ve or the Cl@ve pin.

The Cl@ve permanent is a long term password you can access (despite the name this is not permanent and will need to be changed) while the Cl@ve pin is temporary.

If you use the government online system a lot then the permanent cl@ve would be the best choice for you. It works with a username (your NIE, foreign ID number) and a password that only you must know, plus an extra level of security which comes in the form of an SMS sent to your phone.

If you only use the system occasionally then the Cl@ve pin will send you a new pin each time you log in, so you never have to memorise just one password.

How To Register For The Cl@ve System?

It doesn’t matter whether you want a permanent Cl@ve or to use the Cl@ve pin, to access this you will need to register for the Cl@ve system. This means visiting the website, and for most foreign visitors this will be easier in the English language version of the site. You can find that here.

You’ll need to click on the ‘register’ section and then enter the information requested, which will include your NIE number. You will also need to add the support number on your residency documents. If your support number doesn’t work as a foreign resident then the official advice from the Spanish tax authority is to contact the police to update your document.

You’ll then be asked for your date of birth and your address. When all this information is submitted you can request the Letter of Invitation. Once you receive the letter, you will find it includes a Secure Verification Code (CSV) that’s made up of a total 16 numbers and uppercase letters.

Only when you have this code can you move onto step 2 and register with Cl@ve. And if all this sounds complicated, that’s because it is!

For step two you go back to the ‘register’ button you were on before, but this time you tick the box that says ‘I already have an invitation letter’. Enter your 16 character code, add your phone number and email address, and complete the registration. You’ll get a confirmation message so you know you’ve done it right!

Step By Step Guide To Getting A Cl@ve Pin

You’ll need to have the Cl@ve app to get a Cl@ve pin. The app will give you step by step instructions to activate it. But to make the process easier for you, particularly if you’re not a confident Spanish reader, we have outlined them below:

1) Enter your NIE/DNI number.

2) Select the option that says 'Utilizar la App Cl@ve PIN para obtener el PIN (recomendado)'.

3) Fill in the date your NIE was issued, as well as when it expires.

4) Click on 'Deseo personalizar la generación del PIN' which translates as 'I want to customise the generation of the PIN'. You can then choose your own 4 digit pin number.

5) A notice will be displayed in the browser informing you that the PIN is available. You'll then get a notification from the app letting you know that everything has been performed correctly. You’ll need to unlock your phone at this point for security reasons.

6) Now that the process is complete, to enter the app now you’ll need to put in your PIN and log in to identify yourself. Log in using your new pin within 10 minutes of receiving it, or you’ll have to start the process again.

Getting A Permanent Cl@ve

If you use the Cl@ve system frequently then you might want to get a permanent Cl@ve password. You’ll need to use the activation service to access Cl@ve as a permanent user. To do this you’ll visit the  activation service website where you will be asked to enter your username (your DNI or NIE), your email address and the activation code that you received when you registered. You’ll then request a single-use code, enter it, and then you can set your own preferred password. This will be the one you use everytime you access the Cl@ve system going forward.

Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Looking to escape the cold and rainy weather in the UK and make an escape to the sun? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you buy the Spanish home of your dreams. We’re excited to help you make your next move your best move!