Healthplan Spain


Car Insurance Receipts: The DGT's Stance On Mandatory Documentation Expat Tips

One of the most common questions among drivers in Spain revolves around the necessity of carrying certain documentation in their vehicles. A prevalent belief is that it is mandatory to have the car insurance receipt on hand, indicating an active and valid policy. To avoid confusion the Spanish Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) has identified the three essential documents that should be present in every vehicle.

This article aims to clarify the confusion surrounding the requirement of carrying proof of insurance, explore the introduction of the Insured Vehicle Information File (FIVA), and shed light on the three crucial documents all drivers must have.

What is FIVA?

The Insured Vehicle Information File (FIVA) is a database implemented in Spain to facilitate the verification of vehicle insurance coverage. It was introduced in 2008 and is managed by the Insurance Compensation Consortium (Consorcio de Compensación de Seguros). The purpose of FIVA is to provide a centralised system that enables individuals involved in accidents or incidents to access information about their own insurance policies, as well as assist authorities in verifying insurance coverage.

The FIVA database is particularly relevant in cases of accidents caused by meteorological events or natural disasters. The Insurance Compensation Consortium is responsible for managing claims related to such incidents. Insurance companies are required to provide daily updates to the consortium, including the first four letters of the vehicle brand, registration information, type of insurance contract, and policy validity and termination dates.

With the implementation of the FIVA system, authorities and relevant parties can quickly verify whether a vehicle is insured or not. This electronic system has replaced the need for drivers to carry a physical proof of insurance, such as an insurance receipt, in their vehicles. Instead, the FIVA database serves as the primary resource for confirming insurance coverage.

The FIVA system provides various advantages, including streamlined processes for verifying insurance, reducing administrative burden, and enhancing efficiency for authorities and insurance companies.

As a result, the need for physical proof of insurance in the vehicle became obsolete, so this begs the question: if the car insurance receipt is no longer necessary, what are the three essential documents all drivers must carry?

Essential documentation that should be carried by drivers

The following three documents are considered essential and must be carried while driving in Spain.

It is important to note that these documents can be either in their original form or computed copies, but certified copies are not valid. Additionally, rental vehicles are also required to have these documents available for inspection. Failure to present any of these documents when requested by the authorities may result in fines or penalties.

  • Driving Licence: Every driver must carry a valid driving licence. This can either be the final licence or a provisional authorisation provided by the Traffic Department. The driving licence serves as proof that you are authorised to operate a vehicle.
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate: It is mandatory to carry the registration certificate of the vehicle, commonly known as "Permiso de Circulación" in Spain. This document contains important information about the vehicle, including the owner's personal details, vehicle identification number (VIN), technical specifications, and registration information. It confirms the legal ownership and registration of the vehicle.
  • Technical Inspection Report (ITV): The technical inspection, known as "Inspección Técnica de Vehículos" (ITV), is a periodic inspection that certifies the roadworthiness and safety of vehicles in Spain. After successfully passing the ITV, a valid sticker is provided, which must be affixed to the windshield. It is mandatory to carry the ITV report and have the valid sticker displayed to demonstrate that the vehicle has passed the required inspection. Learn more about Spain’s ITV Test.

Penalty and fines for not carrying the correct documentation

In Spain, not carrying the required documents while driving can lead to penalties and fines. The penalties vary depending on the specific document that is missing or not presented when requested by the authorities.

Here are the potential penalties for not carrying the essential documents:

  • Driving Licence: If you fail to carry a valid driving licence while driving in Spain, you can face a penalty of 10 euros for not having this document on hand.
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate: Not having the vehicle registration certificate, (Permiso de Circulación), can result in a fine of 10 euros for each missing document. So, if both the original and the copy of the registration certificate are not available, the total penalty can amount to 20 euros.
  • Technical Inspection Report (ITV): If you fail to carry the ITV (Inspección Técnica de Vehículos) report or do not have the valid sticker displayed on the windshield, you may be fined 10 euros for not having this document available.

It's important to note that the penalties mentioned above are the general fines associated with not carrying the required documents. These amounts can vary, and there may be additional legal consequences depending on the specific circumstances, local regulations, and any aggravating factors involved.

Moreover, it's crucial to comply with the documentation requirements to avoid potential complications during routine traffic stops, checkpoints, or incidents where presenting the necessary documents is mandatory.

Remember to always carry your driving licence, vehicle registration certificate, and valid ITV report to ensure compliance with Spanish traffic regulations and avoid unnecessary penalties.

Check out the other important items that you have to carry in your vehicle by law.