The Certificado Digital is a way of getting lots of useful bits of paper out of the Spanish tax and Social Security systems without having to queue up for them.
As you might expect, getting it is a whole heap of hassle. However, it’s well worth getting because it saves you lots of even bigger heaps of hassle down the line.
The process is a two-day job.
On day one, you have to submit a form and get a code via email. On day two, you take the code to Hacienda, then go back to your computer and download the certificate.
The process of getting your digital certificate
Book an appointment
In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria city, start by booking a cita previa with Hacienda for the certificado digital. The option’s in the dropdown menu once you’ve put in your NIE.
You need to do this at least 24-hours in advance of the day you plan to visit hacienda.
In other parts of the island your local ayuntamiento may allow you to get the certificate in their offices. Check their website or call them to find out where the nearest place to give in your code is.
The Ayuntamiento de Mogán does allow you to do the process.
Update your browser
Download the latest version of your browser. We recommend Mozilla Firefox, but Internet Explorer works too (sometimes). You can’t get your
You can’t get your certificado digital using Chrome or any other browser.
Request you code
Go to the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (Spanish National Mint and Stamp Factory) website; www.cert.fnmt.es
Click on ‘Certificados’ under the CERES logo top left.
Then click on ‘Persona Fisica’
Then on ‘Obtener Certificado Digital’.
Then on ‘Solicitud vía internet de su Certificado’
Fill in the form with your NIE number, surname and email address.
Click the link to expand the terms and conditions and click ‘enviar petición’.
Did it work? Lucky you!! Go to the next section called ‘Visiting Hacienda with your code’.
It didn’t work? Don’t worry, it rarely does the first time you try. Here are the fixes…
Download the widgets
Visit this page on the FNMT website and look under ‘Configuración del navegador para Sistemas Windows’.
You can download a patch for IE that changes your security settings (it seems to work for Mozilla too). And you can also download a plugin for Mozilla and an extra certificates widget.
Get all of these and then restart your browser and go through the process again from the www.cert.fnmt.es page.
If you’re not prepared to let the Spanish tax authorities put stuff on your computer, there is a description (in Spanish) of how to modify your browser settings manually.
Eventually, you’ll find out what is going wrong and how to fix it.
Visiting Hacienda with your code
Let’s assume you sent off your form and got an email back with a code.
The next day, you take that code to Hacienda in the Plaza de Derechos Humanos (next to Trafico) and type your NIE number into a ticket machine next to the waiting area. The machine spits out a bit of paper with a waiting number.
Next, sit and stare at the screen because if your code goes by, you can’t get a new appointment until the next day.
Once your number is called, head up to the second floor and find your desk. You’ve remembered your passport and NIE card, haven’t you?
Your funcionario (smile if you get Angela, she’s great) then takes your details and puts in the code. If something doesn’t work, be cool as the staff here do try hard to help if they can.
Go back to your computer
Then you go home and back to www.cert.fnmt.es: Remember to use the same browser and same computer as you used to get the code.
Go to Descargar Certificado.
Your certificate will download and you’ll see instructions about how to make a backup copy. This is worth doing as it saves you the bother of going through the whole process again if your computer breaks.
Store the copy on a DVD or on a password-protected USB drive. The certificate will ony work on the one computer, but you can reinstall the copy if it crashes.
You now have the keys to the castle and can get all sorts of goodies out of the government without having to queue; things like certificates saying that you’ve paid all your taxes, tax declarations from previous years, and an unimaginable trove of other bits of paper.