How complicated is printing a duplicate Padron Certificate? … Ask the Donkey!
Confession time (again!) . A short time ago, (actually I’ve just checked and it was twelve months ago), I wrote a rant about the idiotic bureaucratic system that we often face as residents in Spain.
Today, twelve months later, I have finally cancelled the private insurance policy we were incorrectly forced to take out to be able to renew my “illegal immigrant” husband’s residency status. The next step is to get him registered as one of my dependent’s on the social security for health cover.
So, we popped up to the pueblo this morning. We are lucky living in Mijas as the Town Hall are extremely friendly and helpful, despite having their hands firmly tied by the infamous red tape of the Spanish bureaucratic system and antiquated procedures.
Rather than walking down the three flights of stairs to where the Padron certificate issuing department had been the last time I visited, I decided to check at the information desk. Luckily I did as it had changed location, again.
Here is a brief outline of the scene that followed: (translated into English and names added for ease )
Me: Hi, I’d like an updated copy of our Padron certificate please
Maria: Do you not have access via the online digital system?
Me: I’m not sure, how does it work?
Maria dutifully scribbled some words down on a scrap piece of paper and handed it over to me.
Me: Can I have a new Padron certificate now though, as I’m here, I’ll try the online system later.
Maria: Yes but I’m afraid it will cost you €5 if I issue it and it will be free if you do it online.
Me: No problem. I’m happy to pay as I need it now and if I don’t do it immediately I will forget again and it will take another few months until I get sorted.
Maria: Ok, then you need to go over there to pay, then bring the receipt back to me.
So, we go over to the first desk only to be advised by Maria to go to the next desk.
Me: Hi, I’d like to pay for a new padron certificate.
Sonia: Can I have a passport please?
Me: Is the new padron certificate for all the family or just one person?
Sonia: Oh, I can’t answer that. You’ll have to go back to the other desk and ask Maria
Me: Oh, don’t worry. Just put it in my husband’s name then.
Sonia: That’s five euros please. Are you paying with credit card?
Me: No, I’ll pay cash thanks.
Sonia: Ok, then you’ll have to go and pay at the bank and bring me the receipt to issue you a receipt to take back to Maria.
Me: Ok, I’ll pay by card then.
I hand over my bank card to Sonia who nudges her colleague to ask her if she can process the payment, colleague grunts, staples a few more bits of paper. She asks Maria to give her the reference number which she duly types into her computer. She hands me the credit card machine to input my PIN. The receipt is printed and stapled to the invoice and handed to me. I thank them both politely and head back towards Maria’s desk.
By this time there is quite a queue at Maria’s desk. Hubby, (typically British in his politeness), heads to the back of the queue. I catch Maria’s eye, give her a smile and slip to the front of the queue. Before anyone has the time to notice, Maria is efficiently printing, logging and stamping our new Padron certificate.
I thank her politely for her friendly efficient service and wish her and her colleagues a lovely day.
I nudge hubby and walk out of the Town Hall, new Padron certificate in hand.
I will however be looking into using the online digital system in the future and will share my findings with you.
It is true to say that procedures are changing in Spain but at a donkey’s pace … the Burro will feature strongly in Spanash “burrocracia” for a few years to come. Just remember to be patient, be polite and give them a smile.
I’m sure many of you who already live in Spain can no doubt relate to this scenario. For those of you thinking about moving to Spain, just remember that the secret to successfully relocating to Spain is to bring your sense of humour with you and be prepared, typically by learning as much as you can beforehand and not stressing when things do not get done immediately. There’s always “Mañana” …