How to request and process the criminal certificate in Spain

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The document that demonstrates the degree of the Freedom Regime of a person, that is, that proves whether a person has a criminal record or not, is known as criminal record. This document also shows whether a person has ever been in jail and whether or not they served their sentence. Now, how can you request the criminal certificate?

How to request it?

You must necessarily request the tax form model 790 and cancel fees. The modalities are immediately explained, as well as the required documentation:

Necessary documents


  • National Identification Document (DNI), failing which the passport, residence card, etc.
  • Form 790 known as the rate form (obtained in the office)
  • Proof of payment of fees

Steps to follow online, mail and face-to-face

In person

1. You must go to the convenience office:

  • Central Office for Citizen Services, located at Calle de la Bolsa, 8 in Madrid.
  • Territorial Management of the Ministry of Justice that is located in each Autonomous Community in case of not living in Madrid.
  • Additionally, it can be requested in any available government delegation or sub-delegation.

Generally, the document will be delivered the same day since the issuance of the certificate is automatic, although you should know that it has a period of ten business days to be delivered.

2. Already in the facilities of the delegation or sub-delegation, request and fill out form 790

3. Pay in advance the fees requested at the offices.

4. Bring form 790 with the aforementioned fees previously paid, in addition to accrediting yourself with your DNI

By mail

This is in fact an option chosen by many of the interested people since this way they avoid the inconvenience of displacement. To do this, you must send the following documents in an envelope:

  • A certified photocopy of the DNI (residence card, passport…)
  • Certified photocopy of the NIF, if you have nationality or are from Spain; or in the case of being a foreigner residing in Spain, a collated photocopy of the current residence card, or passport (with the valid visa, where appropriate), or community identification document or equivalent.
  • Form 790 (rate form) duly completed.
  • The amount of the fee by bank transfer to the restricted account of the Ministry of Justice indicated below and send the original proof of having made the payment together with the «copy for the Administration» of form 790.
  • Data for the transfer:
  • Bank BBVA.
  • headliner: Ministry of Justice (Foreign Tax Collection Restricted Account).
  • Bill: 0182-2370-42-0208000060
  • NIF of the Holder: S-2813610-I
  • WERE GOING o International Bank Account Code: IBAN ES62 0182 2370 4202 0800 0060

These collections will be sent to the Criminal Section of the Central Citizen’s Office in the case of residents in the Community of Madrid or for those who make the request from abroad. If your address is in another autonomous community, it is necessary to send it to the Territorial Offices of the Ministry of Justice, corresponding to the address by location (Central Office for Citizen Services. Ministry of Justice. Plaza de Jacinto Benavente nº 3. 28012 , Madrid)

If you use this modality to process your request, keep in mind that normally in a week you will have your certificate at the destination address.

By Internet

This is still the simplest, most effective and fastest way to acquire a criminal record certificate. If you have an electronic ID, do the following:

  • Enter the Electronic Headquarters of the Ministry of Justice.
  • Fill out the popup form.
  • Finally, pay the corresponding fees.
  • During the course, you must comply with the telematic disbursement of the fee associated with the request. The disbursement is carried out through the balance gateway of the Tax Office for Administrative Fees, and in the course of this process, the identity documents and electronic signature are required. Jointly, the person signing the invoice must be the owner of the bank account or credit card in use.

Who can apply for the certificate?

All those natural individuals of legal age (18 years) and those legal subjects through their representative. If they are people who have a different nationality from Spanish, in order to issue the supporting document, the central registry of convicts must request this information from the authorities of their country of origin.


If the fact arises that the request was submitted by a third person, it is necessary that this person proves to be accredited by the Interested Party to proceed with the procedure in question, in that sense, and in aggregate, the following documents must be presented:

  • Identification of the third person
  • A power of attorney in writing, authenticated in advance before a Notary Public by means of which the Interested Party accredits that third person, that he or she can execute the diligence on his or her behalf.

Can Legal Entities or Companies request the Criminal Record Certificate?

If possible. In these cases, it is essential that you take the document authenticated before a notary through which the representation of the legal person in question is accredited.

What is the criminal certificate?

We could define a penal certificate as that document that carries out the endorsement of the level of Freedom Regime of an individual. It is a document issued by the Ministry of Justice, an institution that certifies the existence or otherwise of the applicant’s criminal record. Thanks to this certificate, it is endorsed if the subject has had a conviction for a sentence due to a crime committed.

It also details whether the sentence has been carried out or not, and if it has already been completed, the freedom regime in which it is located.

To prevent any person from having access to another person’s records, thus protecting their privacy, the Central Registry of Prisoners and Rebels is not a public registry, so this certificate can only be requested by the person himself, or by a legal representative of the same.

What is it for?

Thinking about its usefulness and scope, more and more companies are joining that make requests for criminal record certificates to people who need to work in a vacancy. That is why it favors knowing the concept of what the Criminal Record Certificate is, what it is for, and how it can be obtained.

The issuance of this document is for a duration of three months, so once this period has elapsed it will no longer be valid, and can be requested by any natural person of legal age, as well as by legal entities through their representatives.

In the workplace, this certificate is usually requested mainly in two circumstances:

  1. In the event that the applicant requires a position outside the country, specifically and with more reason in jobs that are related to the field of health, education or security, at the time of initiating the request for the criminal record certificate, for obvious reason of be outside the country, the name of the nation for which it is requested must be specified, so that at the time of issuance of said certificate, it is valid even abroad.
  2. On the other hand, if the application is made for Spain, but in our curriculum vitae there are empty periods of time, spaces where there is no proof of work experience or completion of courses or other types of professional academic training, they usually cause irritation and mistrust. at the employer. Due to these reasons, who hires can request a criminal record certificate as a general step of the selection process, part of the interview. This procedure is completely legal and is used by more and more companies as part of the requirements to hire.

Does this procedure have any cost?

The price of the fee to issue this particular certificate, currently, is €3.70.

As we are seeing, requesting the criminal certificate, that is, the document that demonstrates the degree of Regime of Freedom of a person, or that certifies if a person has a criminal record or not, is an easy process to process if we follow the recommendations that we have raised in this block.

This document is important, because it represents the legal history of a person and therefore, it reflects the behavior and legal reputation of the individual, which is relevant when it comes to finding a job. It also represents an important requirement when other procedures are carried out that imply said criminal record certificate as a fundamental requirement, such as long trips abroad, moving to another country, and many other legal processes like this.

In case of having had a sentence and having served it, this certificate will also show this fact, as well as data and dates of the consolidation of the sentence, it will describe the state and the degree of freedom in which the person is, essential to initiate a new life, get a job, function in society without any legal inconvenience.

The ease with which this document is processed places it within the reach of all people of legal age and makes it possible to obtain it with just a few documents, under an organized community system that adapts to the needs of the user.

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