The Official State Gazette (BOE) of 2 May included, among other things, the Resolution of 29 April 2020, of the Undersecretariat, publishing the Resolution of 17 February 2020, of the Presidency of the National Statistics Institute and the Directorate General for Autonomous and Local Cooperation, on technical instructions to City Councils regarding the management of the Municipal Register.

The modification of Law 7/1985, of 2 April, which regulates the Bases of the Local Regime, thanks to Law 4/1996, of 10 January, which provided a new wording to everything referring to the Municipal Register, established a new system for managing the Register that eliminates the five-yearly renewals, facilitating the computerisation of all municipal Registers and their coordination through the INE (National Statistics Institute). In its article 17.3, it stipulated that City Councils shall send the data from their respective Registers to the National Statistics Institute, in the form that is determined by the General State Administration.

The instructions to Local Councils for the management of the municipal register, dictated by the Resolution of 29 April 2020, are as follows:

  • The City Council will provide the census sheet or forms, in physical or electronic format, the model for which is established in the corresponding section of the Resolution, so that it is notified of the obligatory data that must appear in the census registration, identifying those that are of a voluntary nature, as established in article 57 of the Regulation on Population and Territorial Demarcation of Local Entities.
  • The registration form must be signed physically or by electronic means.
  • The title by which the dwelling is resided must be accredited: rent, cession of use, ownership, etc.
  • The documents that can be presented to accredit the identity are NIE, Passport, Registration Certificate for EU citizens, in the case of lost documents the corresponding report must be presented, Registration Card, travel documents, receipt for the presentation of an application for international protection for asylum seekers, Identity documents from penitentiary institutions, Spanish driving licence, MENA card (unaccompanied foreign minor), family book or birth certificate for minors under 14 years of age who do not have an NIE or a passport or any of the aforementioned documents.

The obligatory identification data for registration in the municipal census are name and surname, sex, nationality, place and date of birth and number of the identification document.

These data will be accredited for any procedure in the Register through the identity document established in letter f) of article 16.2 of Law 7/1985, of 2 April, Regulator of the Bases of the Local Regime, which in any case must be in force, an expired document not being valid, unless the request for renewal of the same is provided, and without the need for a visa, except for the exception mentioned in the aforementioned article.

When the application is made by electronic means, the identification data that do not appear on the electronic certificate (place and date of birth, sex, and, if applicable, nationality), will be collected using the corresponding census sheet or form and will be validated through the Identity Data Verification System available on the data intermediary platforms, unless the person concerned objects, in accordance with the provisions of Article 28 of Law 39/2015 of 1 October on the Common Administrative Procedure for Public Administrations, in which case he must give reasons and provide the relevant supporting document.

Some local councils are requiring the personal presentation of the applicant once all the documentation has been sent electronically, and it is at this time that they issue the census certificate.

For nationals of European Union member states, of other states that are part of the European Economic Space Agreement or of states to which, by virtue of an international agreement, the legal regime provided for citizens of the aforementioned states is extended: The number that must appear on the census registration, according to Law 7/1985, is that of the valid residence card issued by the Spanish authorities or, failing that, that of the document proving identity or the valid passport issued by the authorities of the country of origin.

In these cases, the local councils may include in their register base both the foreigner's identification number and the document used to accredit his or her identity.