Legal and Paperwork

Changes to the Spanish Road Safety Act

Changes were made to the Spanish traffic law on the 7th of April which take effect from the 9th of May 2014.

speeding fines 2014

The reform Ley 6/2014 is a modification of the Ley sobre Tráfico, Circulación de Vehículos a Motor y Seguridad Vial which was approved by Royal Decree 339/1990 on the 2nd March 1990 and published in the BOE on the 8th April 2014.

The main changes to the road traffic act which take effect from this week include: read more »

Need to renew your British Passport? Go Online

Passport applications for Britons resident overseas must now be made via the GOV.UK website.

New online passport application webpage

All British residents living in Spain must now make their passport applications online at

The new passport process, which is part of a worldwide changeover, helps to reduce the possibility of making errors that can delay applications.

Applicants will find that the new process, which includes online payment, generates a personalised pack that must be printed, signed and sent with photographs and any additional documentation that may be required to the Passport Office in the UK - and no longer to a British Consulate or Embassy.

Once an application has been submitted, applicants will receive instructions on how to track its progress via the website.

It is important to apply in good time as a new passport will take at least four weeks from the time the completed application pack is received by the Passport Office in the UK, or six weeks if replacing a lost or stolen passport.

“Don’t leave it until the last minute to apply for your passport," advises Will Middleton read more »

IBI reduction in 5 municipalities of Lanzarote from 2014

The Ministry of Finance & Public Administration has agreed that owners of land and properties situated in Arrecife, Haría, Tías, Yaiza and Tinajo will pay a reduced amount of IBI from 2014.

Property in Yaiza

IBI (Impuesto sobre bienes inmuebles urbana / rustica) is an annual tax paid to the local councils for services within the municipality, the amount is calculated on the Valor Catastral of the property, similar to council taxes in the UK. The town halls issue IBI bills based on a percentage of the Ponencia de Valores, the value of your property which is determined by a number of factors and lower than the actual market value of the property.

The news was officially announced in the BOE on the 11th of December and relates to municipalities across the whole of Spain who applied for the correction.

Province Municipality Ponencia de Valores
Las Palmas Arrecife 2008
Las Palmas Haría 2008
Las Palmas Tías 2008
Las Palmas Tinajo 2006
Las Palmas Yaiza 1999

Many property owners will be relieved to hear that the substantial difference between the current market value and the previous one set will be corrected from next year. The owners most affected are those read more »

Change to passport service for British Nationals in Spain

Please note as of 11th February 2014 passport renewals are now processed online, please refer to this more recent article: Renew your British Passport online

British nationals in Spain wanting to apply for a new passport are advised of an important change in the way they will need to make applications. From Monday 13 May, all applications will need to be sent directly to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast in the United Kingdom, instead of the regional passport processing hub in Madrid.

All the necessary information about the new passport application process, including a new IPS overseas application form, can be found at read more »

Private Medical Health Insurance For Expats In Spain

One of the stresses about relocating to Spain is often the concern over accessing the state health care scheme. If you’re not planning to work in Spain or haven’t yet reached retirement age to access your pension and entitlement to health care in Europe then we’d suggest taking out a private medical insurance policy.

We looked at the top recommended health care insurers recently, the one that stood out above the rest was ASSSA Seguros. We liked the simplicity of their plans, the fact that you do not need to pay for treatment and claim it back and the importance of having a choice of private doctors, clinics, specialists and hospital available for us to choose from in our local area. Never forgetting, that the language barrier disappears with private medical insurance, ensuring that you can read more »

UK Driving Licence Update for Expats in Spain

Please note the latest update for driving licences from January 2015

Important news for UK expats living in Spain who have retained their UK driving licence.

DVLA mock up UK Driving Licence

According to the EU Directive 2012/126 which comes into force on the 19th January 2013, British drivers resident in Spain will have to undergo a medical examination every 10 years if aged under 65 or every 5 years if aged over 65. The change is to standardise European countries for the holders of permanent driving licences and applies to all British drivers who have been living in Spain for 2 or more years.

You can keep your UK driving licence as there is still no requirement in Spain to change to a Spanish one, this new directive concerns the medical and penalty points system. It is however an offence if you fail to tell the DVLA that you are resident in Spain, you must be able to give a UK address as your permanent residence to retain or renew your licence, the photo expires every read more »

Prescription Changes in Spain

Today the Spanish Government published a list of 417 medications on the Official State Bulletin (BOE)  that will no longer be available on prescription in Spain.


Patients on the national health scheme will no longer be subsidised for the medications listed below with effect from the 1st September 2012. If you are currently receiving this medication, you will be required to pay the full cost of the medication even if it is prescribed by the doctor. You will also be able to purchase the product direct over the counter from the pharmacy.

The majority of these drugs are for read more »

Residency Certificates Available Online

Two councils in Lanzarote have now embraced online technology to enable residents to print copies of their certificado de empadronamiento on demand.

DNI Electrónico

Teguise council were the first to offer this service through their virtual office and today Tías have followed suit.

This virtual office is available through read more »

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