Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 August 2014, 14:37 GMT

Spain: National Identity Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad, DNI) issued by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior; whether the card would indicate that it is a National Identity Card; whether, when and why it would be issued to minors, and its validity period; whether the information fields would be listed only in Spanish (Castilian) or whether they would also be listed in an another co-official language (November 2004 - November 2005)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 22 November 2005
Citation / Document Symbol ESP100779.E
Reference 5
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Spain: National Identity Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad, DNI) issued by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior; whether the card would indicate that it is a National Identity Card; whether, when and why it would be issued to minors, and its validity period; whether the information fields would be listed only in Spanish (Castilian) or whether they would also be listed in an another co-official language (November 2004 - November 2005), 22 November 2005, ESP100779.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147f011.html [accessed 20 August 2014]
Comments Corrected version March 2007
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Website of the Ministry of the Interior (Ministerio del Interior) of Spain states that the National Identity Card (Documento nacional de identidad, DNI) establishes the identity of a person, and, in the absence of any documentation to the contrary, proves the nationality of the holder (Spain, n.d.b). According to 9 November 2005 correspondence from a counsellor at the Embassy of Spain in Canada, the Website of the Ministry of the Interior is up to date and its contents are valid.

The same Website indicates that from the time a Spanish citizen turns 14 years of age, he or she must hold a DNI (Spain, n.d.b). However, all Spaniards can obtain a DNI from the moment they have been registered in the Civil Registry (ibid.). The period of validity is indicated on the DNI (ibid.). The DNI must be renewed every five years until the holder's thirtieth birthday (ibid.). Thereafter, the DNI is valid for ten years until the holder's seventieth birthday, after which it is valid indefinitely (ibid.). Cards for those who are severely physically or mentally disabled are also valid indefinitely (ibid.).

According to a counsellor at the Embassy of Spain in Ottawa, the DNI is issued in Spanish (Castilian) and, where required, in the co-official language of Spain's Independent Communities (Catalonia, Basque Country, Galicia, Valencian Community and Balearic Islands) (ibid. 9 Nov. 2005; ibid. n.d.c). Alicante is part of the Valencian Community, and the DNI would be issued in Spanish and Catalan (called "Valencian" in the Valencian community) (Sí España n.d.).

The DNI is a two-sided document, 86 by 54 millimetres (the size of a credit card) (Spain 12 July 1990; ibid. n.d.a). The front of any DNI issued after 27 April 1996 has a digital laser-printed photograph of the bearer's face along with the document number which includes the letter of the NIF (fiscal identification number) (ibid.). The NIF is a tax identification number; for Spaniards, it is composed of the DNI plus one letter (Strong Abogados n.d.). The background of the document is multicoloured filigreed. The upper left-hand corner bears the word "España" and the upper right-hand corner has the letters DNI. In the centre is the constitutional shield. On the lower right-hand corner are the words "Ministerio del Interior" preceded by its government logo (Spain n.d.a). The back of the card is multicoloured, has a constitutional shield in the middle encircled by the letters DNI in the background (ibid.; ibid. 9 Nov. 2005). On any card issued after 27 April 1996 there are three lines of 30 characters each printed in the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) B1 Eurobanking font (ibid. n.d.a; ibid. 26 April 1996; IDautomation.com n.d.). The first line of characters specifies the type of document and the nationality of the holder; the second one, the number of the document and the third one, the name and surname of the holder (Spain n.d.a).

According to the Keesing Reference Systems, which provides information on identity documents, the National Identity Card does not indicate that it is a National Identity Card (n.d.). Please consult the attached documents from Keesing Reference Systems that provide examples of the National Identity Card (Keesing Reference Systems n.d.).

About Keesing

In a 16 November 2005 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the international account manager for the Keesing Reference Systems provided the following information on his company:

Keesing was founded in 1923 in the Netherlands and provides information on identity documents and banknotes for 180 countries. The company obtains information not only from Interpol, with which it remains in close contact, but also from the Dutch police, international governments, state printing houses, and banks such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, among others. A member of the Keesing group of companies, the company updates its Website database on a bi-weekly basis and includes the most recent identity documents available. The Website database also contains examples of invalid and fraudulent documents.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

IDautomation.com N.d. "ID Automation OCR Font Advantage Package." [Accessed 14 Nov. 2005]

Keesing Reference Systems [Amsterdam]. 16 November 2005. Telephone interview with an International Account Manager.

Sí, España. N.d. Lenguas habladas en España: Catalán. [Accessed 4 Nov. 2005]

Spain. 9 November 2005. Embassy of Spain in Canada, Ottawa. Correspondence from a counsellor.
_____. 26 April 1996. Ministerio del Interior. Secretaría General Técnica. Subdirección general de atención al ciudadano y de asistencia a las victimas del terrorismo. Orden de 26 de abril por la que se modifica el contenido y el formato de la tarjeta del documento nacional de identidad. [Accessed 4 Nov. 2005]
_____. 12 July 1990. Ministerio del Interior. Secretaría General Técnica. Subdirección general de atención al ciudadano y de asistencia a las victimas del terrorismo. Orden de 12 de Julio de 1990 sobre contenido y formato del documento nacional de identidad. [Accessed 4 Nov. 2005]
_____. 23 November 1983. Ley 4/1983, de 23 de noviembre, de uso y enseñanza del valenciano. [Accessed 7 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.a. Ministerio del Interior. Secretaría Estado de Seguridad. Dirección General de la policía. "Formato-DNI". [Accessed 4 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.b. Ministerio del Interior. "D.N.I – Concepto". [Accessed 4 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.c. Ministerio del Interior. Secretaría General Técnica. Subdirección general de atención al ciudadano y de asistencia a las victimas del terrorismo. "Cómo obtener su DNI" < http://www.mir.es/sites/mir/dni/obtencion_dni.html> [Accessed 4 Nov. 2005]

Strong Abogados. N.d. Corporate taxes in Spain – ID Numbers in Spain. [Accessed 7 November 2005]

Attachments

Keesing Reference System. N.d.a. "Spain-ESP-Identity Cards: Front." [Accessed 15 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.b. "Spain-ESP-Identity Cards: Back." [Accessed 15 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.c. "Spain-ESP-Identity Cards: Front." [Accessed 15 Nov. 2005]
_____. N.d.d. "Spain-ESP-Identity Cards: Back." [Accessed 15 Nov. 2005]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including : Alicante City Hall, Barcelona City Hall, Centro de Información y Documentación Jurídico Administrativa de la Generalitat Valenciana, Diario de noticias (Pamplona), Solicitud de reconocimiento en la unión europea de todas las lenguas oficiales en España (Memorandum del gobierno español).

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld

Countries