Obtaining a Digital Signature (Electronic Certificate)

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Obtaining a Digital Signature (Electronic Certificate)

Postby Beachcomber » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:36 pm

Credit for this information goes to Chrissiehope who made the original post on 4th September 2011

For all those who like me struggle with Spanish & Spanish paperwork, technophobes & authorityphobes.. :wink:

We have just got our digital signatures / User certificates, and thought this step by step info might be of some use !

For the record, we are using Windows XP & IE8 – some pages / dialogue boxes may be different with other combinations.

• Go to the link:


• Under ‘Citizens’ click on ‘Applying for your certifícate online’. When the new page loads, you might get a warning bar at the top of the page regarding running add-ons – if you get this, allow temporarily.
• Enter your NIE number in the box, without hyphens (i.e. X0123456Y), and click ‘Enviar peticion’
• You will get a warning message asking if it is OK to issue a security certifícate – click OK
• You will then get another warning message saying ‘creating a new RSA Exchange Key’ – click OK
• The next page will show a 9 digit number in blue. This is your ‘code’ – print this page.


• Go back to the starting page, and click on ‘Nearest Offices’, where you can search for the nearest authorisation office to you. Be aware that this part of the site is not up to date – there were 2 offices nearest to us, and neither were doing it any more !

If the 'Nearest Offices' link does not work try here:


You can also accredit your identity in the Spanish consulates of the capital cities of most countries. See here for a list:


• Visit the approved office in person, taking your printed 9 digit number; and the appropriate ID:
• This is taken from the website:-
o Si el titular es una persona física, deberá presentar:
o DNI o tarjeta de residencia (NIE) para las ciudadanos extracomunitarios
o Los ciudadanos comunitarios que no tengan la tarjeta de residencia, presentaran el "Certificado de Registro de Ciudadanos de la Unión y su Pasaporte"
{DNI or NIE (tarjeta de residencia)
Certificado de Registro de Cuidadanos and Passport}

We are not resident, but took the following:
o NIE plus copy
o Passport plus copy
and this was fine.
• You will be asked for your telephone number & email address, and they print out 3 copies of a form. Sign each copy, and one will be given to you to keep.

The FOLLOWING DAY or later (we were told), go to the site, and click on ‘3. Downloading your Certificate’.
• Enter your NIE and the 9 digit code (this is on the top right hand side of the printed form you were given), and click ‘Enviar’.
• You will get a Windows warning about the security certifícate – click OK
• You will then get a message that basically says you have now downloaded your User certifícate !!

How can I export a Certificate in I.E. 8.x? (translation from webpage)
• To export personal Certificates in Internet Explorer 8.x take the following steps:
• In the browser window, go to the menu Tools, Internet Options. Once there, select the "Content" tab. In the Certificates section press the "Certified" button and once in that window press the "Personal" tab. You will get a screen with the list of personal Certificates installed in your navigator. Select the one that you want to export and press "Export”.
• From here you get a Windows assistant.
Choose between exporting the key as private or not (see FAQ 1063 - if you can find it – I gave up and just decided to go Private !) depending on the use that you want to make of the certificate.

Export of Certificates with the Private key
• Leave the options as they are shown by default, and click “Next”
• You will then get a screen where you are asked for a password and confirmation, to protect the file that contains the exported Certificate. Enter these and press “Next”
• In the following dialogue box, indicate a destination and a name for the file that you want to contain the exported certificate, and press “Next”
• Next you will get a window with the details of the exported certificate, press “Finish" and you get a warning message saying that the private key will be exported, press to "Accept" and if the operation has been correctly carried out, you will get a box informing you that the certificate has been successfully exported.

Export of Certificates with a Public key
• Select the option of not exporting the private key and click “Next"
• Select the option coded binary "DER X.509 (. CER) and click “Next"

(Added by Beachcomber 16/05/2014
You may need to change the option to .p12 They seem to come in various formats.)

• Indicate a destination and a name for the file that you want to contain the exported certificate, and press “Next”
• Next you will get a screen with the properties of the exported certificate, click “Finish" and if the operation has been carried out correctly you will get a message confirming the correct export of the certificate

NOTE: Make a security copy of your certificate together with the private key on a removable disk and keep it in a secure place. Never give a copy of your private key to anybody under any circumstance.

Some extra info from Beachcomber:
After doing all this you then have to use your digital signature to register with the entities from whom you wish to receive communications; AEAT, DGT etc.

This is the information from DGT regarding registration for the notification of traffic fines etc by email and text:

DGT registration information

and once you have your certificates/signatures you click here, select your certificate and enter the registration page:

Register here

You can do the same for AEAT and some other entities.

To transfer to another computer:
Using the removable media (memory stick etc) that you Exported the copy onto, load onto the ‘new’ computer/ laptop.
Right click the certificate icon, and select ‘Install’ – you will then get a Windows assistant which guides you through the process (it’s very simple). If you Exported as ‘Private’, you will be asked for the password.

I now have the certificates on the laptop in Spain; the computer in UK; and 2 memory sticks (one for UK & one for Spain) :thumbup:

Originally posted by Chrissiehope in the 'You and the Law in Spain' topic on 4th September 2011

Updated 16/05/2014

I recently was asked to update two certificates for a friend. The procedure failed at various stages on two PCs both fairly new and with latest versions of Pale Moon and Firefox. The FNMT page would not even load in Internet explorer.

I knew that both PCs were properly configured as I have carried out the procedure successfully on previous occasions. I tried reconfiguring and made sure that all of the trusts were enabled but nothing worked.

Finally I fired up my wife's nine year old laptop with an old version of Firefox which had not been updated for several months and went through the whole procedure without a hitch. It would appear that FNMT has not kept up to date with the 'improvements' to and reconfiguring of new versions of Firefox.

The moral is, if you are having difficulty keep trying different PCs and different browsers until you find one that will work with the very temperamental FNMT web site.

Updated 12/09/2017

El Cid
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Re: Obtaining a Digital Signature (Electronic Certificate)

Postby El Cid » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:26 pm

A short update.

I had to renew my certificate as I forgot that it expired. You can renew it online if it has not expired but mine had so I had to go through the process again.

I tried to use Chrome to download the code but that is not an approved browser. I tried IE9 but that doesn't work either unless you follow the special instructions given on the site. As they are a bit complicated I tried Firefox. No problems - immediate download!

Off to the Ayuntamiento armed with passport and foreigners certificate. They also wanted a card! My wife's out of date residencia card was OK. I didn't have mine but my Junta over 65 card was accepted!

Back home I downloaded the certificate in Firefox. It appears that you can only download it into the PC and browser you used to apply for the codes.

It is possible to export the certificates from Firefox and install them in IE9. Once they are in the IE9 store you can use them from within Chrome and Safari as they use the IE store.

They now work fine in all 4 browsers and on my other PCs.

Incidentally they have a 3 year expiry date.


Update 1/2/2013 Chrome is now listed on their site as an approved browser.

Update 14/2/2013 There is an excellent article about certificates generally here http://goo.gl/Qk8Dm

El Cid
Andalucia Guru
Posts: 13404
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 10:42 pm
Location: La Herradura, Costa Tropical, Granada

Re: Obtaining a Digital Signature (Electronic Certificate)

Postby El Cid » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:27 pm

A few more notes
by alpujarran on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:20 pm

After you've signed and sent your application you get a message like . .

El codigo de solicitud para el NIF X1234567S es:

Imprima esta pagina, o en su defecto apunte este codigo y guardelo en lugar seguro, pues lo necesitar· para descargar su nuevo certificado.

Para descargar el certificado debe usar el mismo ordenador, el mismo navegador y el mismo usuario con el que realizo la Solicitud.
Si usted ha extraviado su codigo de solicitud, por favor pongase en contacto con nuestro servicio de Soporte.

Then when you go to the download page, you get.....


Rellene el siguiente formulario y pulse el boton "Enviar peticion" para completar la obtencion del Certificado de Usuario de la FNMT.

mas sobre el proceso de descarga del certificado de usuario

NIF / NIE : [fill in from above results]
Codigo : [fill in from above results]

Introduzca en la casilla correspondiente el NIF o NIE del titular del certificado, a˙n en el caso de que Ud. sea el representante del titular. En caso de ser un certificado de persona jurÌdica introduzca el NIF (antes denominado CIF) de la entidad. El NIF o NIE deber· tener una longitud de 9 caracteres. Rellene con ceros a la izquierda si es necesario.

If you try to do this too quickly after applying you'll get a meesage like . . .

El usuario de NIF X1234567S no tiene ninguna peticion en estado de descarga correspondiente a la solicitud con el codigo 123456789.
Para obtener el certificado debe acreditarse en una oficina de registro y esperar 24 h para que se procese su solicitud

Volver a intentarlo

Don't consider this as a failure - it just takes time before the DS is availabe for download. After about half an hour or so it worked for me.

This is Beachcomber just adding a note to Sid's post (16th April 2014)

I did one recently for someone and it took nearly eight hours before the certificate was ready to download. Validation of ID in this case was done in AEAT in Málaga.

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