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Living and Working in Spain

Registering a Birth in Spain

April 4, 2024

No doubt about it, having a child can be one of life’s great disruptors. Everything changes from the birth of a child despite the happy and welcome addition to a family.

But just as new parents are settling into their new role, there are also bureaucratic matters to attend to. Apart from registering maternity or paternity leave, registering a child on the parents’ healthcare and potentially applying for a passport and ID card, parents have the legal obligation to register a child’s birth within eight days; certain exceptions may allow you to apply up to 30 days.

registering a birth of a newborn in Spain


Details included in a birth registration in Spain

The birth registration will log the following details into record:

  • Full name of the child
  • Date, time and location of the birth
  • Gender
  • The parents, so long as the relationship has been legally recognized
  • The number, date and time assigned to the birth

Where to begin registering a birth in Spain

All births – and deaths, for that matter – are handled through civil registries, called the Registro Civil. All provincial capitals and large cities will have them, sometimes located within the town hall and other times as a standalone building. The central registry, which also collects information of Spanish nationals outside of Spanish territory, is located in Madrid, just steps off the Puerta del Sol. Civil Registries are overseen by the Ministry of Justice.

You can also register a birth directly from the hospital in most cases; since 2015, this digitalization process has been piloted in public hospitals as well as a small number of private hospitals and clinics. In this case, the hospital is in charge of all administrative processes, including verifying and collecting documentation. The registration process can be done in the first 72 hours after a newborn is delivered. When preparing your birth plan, be sure to ask the hospital whether or not they have these capabilities. You should receive the certificate within a few days.

If you do not meet the 72-hour deadline, you will need to go to the Registro Civil.

Documentation needed for registering a birth in Spain

The hospital will provide you with the medical delivery report, which is a yellow form given to you upon discharge or at 48 hours after a live birth. This document contains information about the birth and the hospital.

The nature of the paperwork depends on whether or not the parents’ relationship has been formally recognized in Spain.

If the parents are married:

  • Medical delivery report
  • DNI / NIE of both parents
  • Family book, or libro de familia(in the case of weddings that have taken place outside of Spain, a marriage certificate bearing the Apostille of the Hague and a translation will suffice)


If the parents are unmarried:

  • Medical delivery report
  • DNI / NIE of both parents
  • Evidence of mother’s marital status; in some cases, you may need to take two witnesses


If the couple registering a baby does not yet have a family book, one will also be issued at this point.

Asking for a duplicate or long form birth certificate

The Civil Registry can provide you with more than one birth certificate; for example, if you wish to obtain a birth certificate for use in soliciting a foreign passport or a birth certificate in another language. You will be asked for the reason when soliciting a duplicate, and this often comes reflected at the bottom of the duplicate.

There are two main types of birth certificates, the extracto de inscripción, or short form, will provide only the date of birth, names of the child and parents and the inscription number. The long form, or certificado literal de nacimiento, provides additional data and is usually requested for babies born to at least one foreign national. If either or both you or your partner are foreign nationals and are interested in securing a passport from your country of origin, chances are that you will be asked to supply a long firm birth certificate from the Registro Civil as part of the documentation.

Registering a birth or a newborn in Spain


Frequently asked questions about registering a birth in Spain

My baby was born in Spain to non-Spanish parents. Can s/he become a Spanish citizen?

If your baby was born in Spain, he or she can request Spanish citizenship and a Spanish passport after two years.

Can I register the birth from the hospital?

Provided that the hospital has the means to do so, yes. The clinic or hospital will be able to forward the required documentation on, though this is not available everywhere.

Is there a time limit to registering a birth in Spain?

You should register as soon as possible but there is no limit. Remember, if you wish for the registration to be done by hospital staff, this should be done within 72 hours.

Is there any cost to registering a birth in Spain?

No. Generally speaking, all duties performed by the hospital or the Registro Civil are free of charge.

You can find additional, basic information about the Civil Registry on the Ministry of Justice’s English language website.


Family health insurance: what is it, and what does it include?

The old thinking is that the first few days of paternity leave was reserved for registering the baby’s birth, asking for maternity and paternity leave and adding the baby to your medical insurance. Thanks to online processes, this is far easier for families nowadays, allowing mom and dad (and any siblings!)

Family health insurance is a comprehensive plan that covers every member of your family. Newborns will inevitably need many check-ups and doctor’s visits during the first year of their lives and beyond, from primary medicine to emergency room visits, plus tests and vaccinations. When you add a new member to the family, you can consider a health insurance plan that covers you for both the expected and the unexpected by calculating the rate for your entire family.

Caser’s Integral plan is especially designed for active families, covering you from pregnancy through childbirth and as your little ones grow. The advantages go beyond the peace of mind that you won’t have unexpected medical costs and can have access to specialists or special procedures right away: a wide variety of primary care and specialist professionals – some of whom speak your language – 24-hour coverage and telehealth options and pharmacy reimbursements. After all, the arrival and subsequent registration of your baby is only the beginning!

Check out our free guide on how o choose the best family health plan below: 

Download Free Guide:  How to choose the best Family Health Plan


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