Living in Spain

On this page

Visas for Spain

The New Zealand Embassy in Madrid is not responsible for issuing work or residence permits for New Zealanders wishing to work or reside in Spain.

If you are currently in Spain, all questions relating to your visa status should be directed to the nearest office of the Policia Nacional (Oficina de Extranjeros/Extranjería)(external link).

If you plan to visit Spain for more than three months, or work or study in Spain, you should contact the nearest Spanish Consulate or Embassy. If you are resident in New Zealand this is:

Embassy of Spain

Level 11, BNZ Trust House Building
50 Manners Street
Wellington 6142
New Zealand
Tel: (04) 802 5665
Fax: (04) 801 7701

Getting married in Spain

A wedding in a park.

Making arrangements for a wedding in Spain, including obtaining the required documentation, can be a time consuming and costly process. We recommend that you commence planning early and allow plenty of time.

Generally a marriage solemnised in a non-polygamous country in accordance with the laws of that country will be deemed valid in New Zealand.

The documents required for marriage in Spain may be different from one part of the country to another. It is your responsibility to find out what is required from the church or civil registry (Registro Civil) where the wedding will take place.

  • Usually the documents must be authenticated with the Apostille seal(external link) (Apostilla de la Haya) and translated.
  • Most Spanish authorities require that documents have a date of issue no greater than three months.
  • Usually, once you have submitted documents to the authorities, they will not be returned to you.

We recommend that you ask that documents be translated by the Translation Unit of the Department of Internal Affairs(external link) in Wellington. In Spain, we recommend that you use a Sworn Translator (traductor jurado).

To marry in Spain, a New Zealand citizen will probably be asked to provide the following documents:

Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage

This certificate is issued by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Office(external link) of the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs once they have checked that you are not recorded on the New Zealand marriage register as being married. It is the equivalent of the Spanish "Certificado de Solteria".

If you are legally divorced, and your divorce has been registered in New Zealand, you may still obtain this certificate although you may also have to present a copy of your divorce decree (authenticated and translated).

Under New Zealand law, 14 days must elapse from the date your application is received until a certificate can be issued. You should allow one month, which includes post or courier delivery time. Ask for this certificate to be authenticated and translated in New Zealand.

You can check on how to obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage and download a form from the New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages office website.

Certificado de Solteria

If you are required to present this certificate, you should first obtain a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (authenticated) and then contact the embassy.

New Zealand Birth Certificate

The Spanish authorities usually require an original (authenticated) copy of your birth certificate, translated into Spanish. You can check on how to obtain a copy of your birth certificate and download a form from the New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages office website.

If you were born in another country and your birth has not been registered in New Zealand, then you should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of that country to find out how to obtain a copy of your birth certificate and have it authenticated and translated.

Certificate on the Publication of "Edicts"

The Spanish authorities may request a certificate stating whether, under New Zealand law, an "edict" must be published when marrying in a civil registry in Spain. Please contact the embassy for a certificate in Spanish, confirming that this is not required by New Zealand law.

Driving in Spain

A busy street in Spain.

New Zealanders over the age of 18 years with a valid New Zealand driver´s licence who are in Spain as legal visitors may drive on their New Zealand driving licence, for up to six months. New Zealand driving licence must be translated into Spanish, and must carry both all the time.
New Zealanders in Spain in any other circumstances should contact their local Dirección General de Tráfico(external link).

New Zealand citizens must, within six months of having obtained residency in Spain apply for a Spanish driver’s licence. There is no bilateral agreement between New Zealand and Spain on the exchange of New Zealand driver’s licences for a Spanish driver’s licence. Therefore, New Zealand residents in Spain, although they may be experienced drivers, must comply with all the requirements for obtaining a Spanish driver’s licence which includes passing both the written and the practical driving test.

If you have lost or had your valid New Zealand Photo Drivers Licence stolen, you can apply to have it reissued by the New Zealand Transport Agency in New Zealand. To obtain an application form, contact the New Zealand Transport Agency(external link).

You will need to enclose certified copies of your ID when you post the forms back to New Zealand for processing. Refer Embassy services and fees for the cost of certifying in this Embassy.

If your photo licence has expired you will not be able to renew it until you are back in New Zealand. You will not be able to hire a car or drive with an expired licence. For any queries about this process please contact the NZ Transport Agency directly:

Certificate of Particulars

If you need to prove you are a licenced New Zealand driver, you can request a Certificate of Particulars(external link). This certificate sets out all details relevant to your NZ licence. To apply, fax or email the New Zealand Transport Registry Centre with details of your name, date of birth and address and how you want to receive the certificate. Fax: +64 6 953 6267 or email:


We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. You can find out more information on our Privacy Page.