Information on what to do when moving from Spain; more detailed information on this subject and many others, including links to relevant websites are available at

Local Authorities All foreigner residents in Spain need to have a foreigner’s tax identification number, an NIE (Numero de Identificatión de Extranjero). Prior to departure, contact the nearest police station that has a foreigner’s department or the offices of the local regional government and notify them of departure. If a residency permit has been issued then the issuing office should also be contacted.


Give schools a reasonable amount of notice of a child’s departure. There may be outstanding bills for school fees, transport or meals to be settled. Request a certificate stating the latest grade passed by the child and provide a forwarding address for any correspondence.

Housing Issues

Rental contract

It is normal to give one to three-month’s notice of intention to vacate. Consult the rental contract for any clauses relating to termination of the rental/tenancy. The notice letter should be sent by registered post (certificado).

Tenants pay a deposit at the start of the rental period and this should be returned at the end of the rental. Any damage or repair costs are deducted from this deposit.

Charges associated with the property such as community fees or real estate taxes (IBI) are usually paid by the owner. However if the tenant has been paying these, notice should be given to the authorities and possible tax refunds arranged.

Property sales

Estate agents in Spain handle most property sales, although it is possible to sell a property privately, for example via the Internet. Properties purchased with a mortgage will have had life insurance in place which may not be cancelled until the sale is completed.

Signing of the final deed of sale (escritura) is considered the legal completion of a sale. Anyone who cannot attend the event in person may give power of attorney (a poder) to a third party to sign on their behalf.


House insurance can be cancelled once a sale is completed and in some circumstances a partial refund may be due. It is best to cancel all insurance in writing and by recorded delivery.

Utility bills

Electricity, Water and Gas: Cancellation of an existing contract should be done in writing. Send a letter to the supplier attaching a copy of the account holder’s passport or Spanish NIE number. If you have been using butane bottled gas (bombonas) cancel any contracts and return the bottles for the deposit refund.

Telephone, Mobile and Internet: Spain has several companies providing telephone and Internet services and people will need to contact them to cancel their contract. In any correspondence, be ready to quote the customer reference numbers (which can be found on bills) and the NIE and passport number of the account holder. They will often also ask for bank account details.

Leave a forwarding address with all the companies involved and be aware that access may be required to read meters, etc.

Health Care and Social Security

Any private health insurance cover which has been in force may need changing or cancelling. Ensure that health insurance remains valid at least until arrival in the new country of residence.

Records of any Spanish medical treatment should be forwarded to your new practitioner or ask for a copy.

Spanish residents who have been employed or self-employed will need to return their social security card once residency and employment in Spain ceases.

Retirees and anyone in receipt of benefits from the Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS) needs to inform them of their relocation. Those who have made contributions to a pension fund (state and/or private), should inquire about the possibility of transferring benefits.


A Spanish bank account should be kept open for a short period to settle final bills (in Euros). Standing orders (domiciliación de pagos) and direct debits (domiciliación bancaria) need to be cancelled once final payments have been made. Some banks may allow accounts to be closed in writing instead of in person.

Credit card companies will also need to be notified of a new address for statements.


This is an extremely complex issue and individual circumstances will dictate if there are any outstanding liabilities upon departure from Spain. Be aware that under some circumstances the proceeds of property sales will be subject to Spanish capital gains tax.


A redirection service is offered by the Spanish post office (Correos). Arrange this at least one week prior to departure.

Vehicles and Driving

If exporting a Spanish-registered car, contact the traffic office (Jefatura Provincial or Local de Tráfico) to notify them of the intended move.

It may be necessary for some drivers to apply for a new driving licence when they relocate. Holders of a Spanish driving licence should also contact the traffic office.


Depending on the destination, some animals may require a period of quarantine. The EU pet passport covers dogs, cats and ferrets for movement within Europe and the Pets Travel Scheme (PETS) allows qualifying domestic pets to travel to and from the UK without a period of quarantine. Local vets can provide information and documentation.

This article is an extract from an AngloINFO INFOrmation sheet

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Bill Boyd

Director AngloINFO Costa Calida

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