Here is how to obtain your digital certificate and some things you can do with it.
Last week we talked about how to register for CLAVE and how to get your CL@VE PIN, this week we look at obtaining a Digital Certificate.
This will allow you all the benefits of the CL@VE PIN plus access to some sites that right now do not accept the CL@VE PIN, an example being making a doctor’s appointment or checking your personal medical file.
Having a Digital Certificate simply makes one’s paperwork life easier in Spain. The application process may seem dauting, but in reality you should be able to do this without any difficulty on your own, the only part which may take some time is getting an appointment to have your Identity verified at a public office.
What is a digital certificate?
Digital signature, or digital certificate (el certificado electrónico) is basically a file that contains your personal identification data and it is used to identify citizens in the process of administrative interactions and operations with e-government offices such as Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria) and Social Security Services (Seguridad Social) among others.
Where you can use it?
There is a growing number of official sites that allow you access to carry out procedures safely with the Public Administration and Private Entities through the Internet, with a digital certificate, some but not all are listed below.
• Tax filing and settlement
• Presentation of appeals and claims
• Consultation and registration in the municipal register
• Consultation of traffic fines
• Electronic signature of official documents and forms
• This link provides a comprehensive list of the organisations that you can access with a Digital Certificate:
Who can apply for a digital certificate?
Any Spanish or foreign citizen, of legal age who is in possession of their DNI or NIE, may request and obtain their digital certificate free of charge.
How to apply for a digital certificate
There are two ways to obtain your digital Certificate:
A) As a downloadable file on your computer.
B) Using your DNIe. (this option is mainly for Spanish Citizens)
This article focuses on the downloadable file on your computer, please note that the entire process MUST be carried out from the same computer and same user.
Note also there are different forms of the digital certificate, in this article we are only looking at the persona física” (natural person) version.
Start here on the website of the Royal Mint. https://www.sede.fnmt.gob.es/certificados
The page looks like this:
Click on the area marked ‘Physical person’ as highlighted above, a new window open as shown below.
Click on the ‘Get Software Certificate’ as highlighted below.
A new screen opens with four steps that you need to complete. You will be coming back to this screen a number of times to complete the application.
First step: Click on ‘Previous Configuration’ as shown below:
You are taken to a screen that looks like the below: after reading the information displayed, Click on the highlighted section ‘FNMT Configurator Download Area’ at the bottom.
A new window opens as below where you are given the options to choose your operating system. Click on the version you require, and a file is downloaded to your computer.
Step two: You then need to go back to the initial screen and undertake step two: Online request for your Certificate.
Click on 2. ‘Online request for your Certificate’. A new windows opens:
Click on ‘REQUEST CERTIFICATE’ a form opens that you need to complete with your NIE, name and email address.* It is important to enter an email that you have access to, as you will immediately be sent a verification code.
When you have filled in the fields, accept the Terms and conditions by clicking on the highlighted area then click on ‘SEND REQUEST‘
Check your email for a verification code and print it out. As you will need it for step three, which is to verify your identity.
Step Three: Verify your identity at any Public Administration office
Once again go back to the initial screen and click on Prove Identity.
Once you have completed the online procedure, and have an email with a verification code, you need to go and have your identity checked at a public office. You will need to take the verification code, your passport and your NIE. You will need to make sure to get an appointment before attending. A list of the offices you can attend is provided through this weblink: http://mapaoficinascert.appspot.com/
Or we found that the easiest option was to go to one of the Social Security offices as found on this link: http://www.seg-social.es/wps/portal/wss/internet/OficinaSeguridadSocial/
Select Digital Certificate Registry Offices and your Area.
You will need to make an appointment, to do this follow the on-screen instructions once you have selected the office best suited to your location.
The appointment itself takes about 10 minutes, after which you will be emailed another code and web link that allows you to download your actual certificate to your computer.
Click on the link in the email using the ORIGINAL computer, a screen will open up, in which you enter your NIE, last name, and the code that you have just received by mail, accept the T&C’s and click on ‘DOWNLOAD CERTIFICATE’ and that’s it. You will be able to use your Digital certificate on any sites that support it.
To use it is very simple, once you access a site that requires a digital certificate as shown below, you simply click on the link, you will get a prompt box on your computer screen asking you to choose a digital certificate to use, click on yours and that it you will have access to the information or service you need.
Export the digital Certificate
One last thing, it is useful to keep a copy of your digital certificate, to do this you need to ‘Export’ it, to do so may depend on your browser, but typically in your web browser you would go to preferences, privacy and then security settings, and scroll down to “certificates”. Click on “see certificate,” and it should appear.
Click on ‘make a copy’ and save it on your computer. Your browser may ask you for a password.
Once you have saved the certificate you can export it to use on other computers that you access to.