Anyone who has one of the old-style “tarjetas” which is due to expire or who has livedhere with just a NIE, will have to decide whether to get a certificate of residency. It is fair to say that living permanently in Spain and undertaking any significant level of activitycould require producing one or more of four identification documents at different times:-passport-NIE-residency certificate or card-Certificado de empadronamiento (“Padron” – a certificate showing you areregistered with your local town hall)The passport and NIE are indispensable and the in both private and public sector situations and the padron essential in many situations, such as registering with a school or buying a car or signing up with a doctor. The situation with the residency certificate isfluid with the authorities perhaps still adjusting to its diminished status and there may beregional variatons. Here are some areas where residency is still essential:Applying for a Spanish driving licenceObtaining pensioner benefitsThere are many situations where there is a good chance the residency certificate will beasked for:Cashing a chequeLocal authority facilities such as health centres (more commonly will ask for padron)Getting a loanStarting a businessHow will this affect my tax situation?Tax residency and applying for a residency certificate are separate matters. If you spendthe majority of your time in Spain or most of your business is conducted here then youwill probably be deemed resident for tax purposes and you should register for Spanish taxwith the Agencia Tributaria (email us for further details). You can register for taxresidency without having a residency certificate and not having a residency certificate isnot a valid reason for not registering for tax.How often do I renew my residency?Residency certificates do not need to be renewed unlike the old cards which expire after 5years. The residency cards issued to non EU members do expire after 5 years.I’m not from the EU. How does that change things?