Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of the most common questions we are asked, along with clear and simple answers. The answers are based on the current law which can be found by selecting the links below.
Original 1959 Decree - DECRETO 1513/1959
Proposed Additional Requirements - Royal Decree 933/2021
Questions for Property Owners and Management Companies
Is this a new law?
No. The law has been in effect since 1959 and is titled DECRETO 1513/1959, de 18 deAgosto. There have been several amendments to the law since then that extend the scope of the establishments covered but the basic principles remain the same.
In the past the Guardia Civil have concentrated on collecting the details from the hotels but since 2015 they have extended the enforcement of the law to all the types of accomodation that it covers.
What is the law for?
The law is related to Article 12 of Organic Law 1/1992 of 21 February, Protection of Citizen Security which requires any person undertaking an activity that could be related to citizen security (including accommodation establishments) to carry out the registration of official ID documents of travellers. This information must then be provided to the State Security Forces who have published the following statement on the use of the information:
Ensure compliance with the functions of prevention of criminal acts and facts from which they may derive criminal responsibilities in the investigation of terrorism and other serious forms of organized crime entrusted to the Civil Guard in the Organic Laws 2/1986, of Security Forces and Bodies, and 1/1992, on Security Protection Citizen, and enable the fulfilment of the commitment to adopt the measures necessary for the control of travellers who use the establishments of lodging, acquired by Spain in the Agreement of application of the Agreement of Schengen, of June 19, 1990. (Automated translation of the original Spanish)
Is this a way for the government to collect taxes?
This law is in no way related to tax collection.
Ultimately, as a property owner in Spain you are responsible for ensuring you comply with tax rules but that is a totally separate issue. The law is there for civil protection and that is made clear in the document referred to above. We have spoken directly with the Guardia Civil and they have assured us that their only concern is national security.
Does this really apply to me?
The original 1959 law covered only travellers staying at hotels. In 1974, the law was amended to include apartments, bungalows and other similar accommodations: The full text of the amendment is:
Article 1 of Decree 393/1974, of February 7 (BOE No. 43), provides:
The provisions of articles 1 and 2 of Decree 1513/1959, of August 18, and other provisions issued for its development, will apply to the rental of the apartments, bungalows and other similar accommodations of tourism character, regulated by the Order of the Ministry of Information and Tourism of 17 January 1967. (Automated translation of the original Spanish)
Basically, if you receive money in exchange for accommodation at your property then this law applies to you.
What should I do?
Firstly, your property needs to be registered with the Guardia Civil and given a registration number. Without this registration number you cannot comply with the rest of the requirements.
Once the property is registered, the details of the official identification (passport or national identity card) of people staying at your property must be collected on entry. The details have to be verified against the original document and every individual over the age of 16 is required to sign the registration. These details must then be presented to the Guardia Civil within 24 hours of the traveller arriving.
The details obtained and presented to the authorities must also be printed onto a specific form, along with the travellers’ signature, and filed in a book for inspection by the authorities at any time. Each complete book must be kept for 3 years.
When should the details be collected?
The law states that the details must be collected on entry. This allows the document and the signature to be validated, and the person collecting the information can confirm that the document corresponds to the person presenting it.
Can't I just ask my guests to send me their details?
The law requires that the passport details are collected on entry along with a signature from the person.
The Guardia Civil were keen to point out to us that it is essential to ensure that the details on the document are for the person that is staying in the property and this can only be done in person.
We are aware of other companies offering a service where the clients supply their passport details in advance, but this does not comply with the law. As the property owner, you are ultimately responsible for collecting these details. If you are inspected by the Guardia Civil, any irregularities in the process could result in you, not these other companies, facing fines of up to €10,000.
What about data protection and GDPR?
It's EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
Anyone collecting or storing personal information in Spain must publish a data protection policy. This is the same as any UK based data collector needing to register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and publish their policy.
On the 25th May 2018 a new set of EU wide rules (commonly referred to as GDPR) was introduced.
The fines for non-compliance with GDPR are harsh and are assessed on one of two levels depending on the infringement. The lower level is up to €10,000,000 or 2% of the worldwide annual revenue (whichever is the higher). The upper level is up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the worldwide annual revenue (whichever is the higher).
Villa Check In fully complies with all EU data protection requirements.
I don't have or want a VV License, is that a problem?
We'd obviously recommend getting a VV License but...
We have been assured by the Guardia Civil that their only concern is the protection of citizens. However, depending on which municipality your property is in, the need for a tourist license varies.