Because of the mandatory need to carry certain documents with the vehicle, a common concern is that these documents might be lost or stolen. However, the good news is that if you are concerned about this, then there is an alternative.
Firstly, let´s look at the documents which must be carried.
Permiso de Circulacion
The Permiso de Circulacion is effectively the vehicle´s “log book”. It contains lots of information about the vehicle, including the registration and vehicle numbers, and the information of the registered owner.
The ITV Card
The ITV card is a document which is issued with the vehicle and must be presented for the mandatory vehicle inspection, the Inspección Técnica de Vehículos, or ITV, what we might know as an MOT. The different characteristics of the vehicle will determine the frequency with which the test must be carried out.
Some of the latest vehicles might not have an ITV card as the plan is for them to be phased out over time.
The ITV Report
If your vehicle has undergone an ITV test then you will have been issued with a sticker to place in the upper right hand side (looking outwards) of the windscreen, and a report of the test. The latest report must be carried with the vehicle. You must only display the latest ITV sticker too.
There are also documents which are not mandatory but it is recommended that you carry them as they contain valuable information, such as the insurance policy. The information is on a central computer for law enforcement officers to check, but if you are involved in an incident that requires the sharing of information, then you will need to know your insurance details.
Similarly, it is advised to carry a European Accident Form. This form is available in a variety of languages and, irrespective of the language, the layout of the form is exactly the same. That means that you and another driver of a different nationality are able to complete the form in your own language and agree on the content.
Now we are reminded of what we must carry, it brings us back to the question over our concerns for carrying the originals.
Although it is compulsory to carry these documents, and they must be the originals, there is one exception. You are able to take your original documents to a Notary and they will take a copy for you and add their original stamp, confirming their validity and originality.
It is not simply a case of photocopying them yourself, even if you copy them in colour and perhaps you even laminate them, they are still copies which are not valid as they are not certified by a Notary.
Most towns will have a Notary office and many of them speak English. It is a recognised service and so they will fully understand what you want, if you take your documents to them. The other good news is that it doesn´t cost a lot for them to provide these certified copies, so if you do want peace of mind of leaving your originals locked away safe, then you visit your local Notary and have them provide you with certified copies.
Remember, it is mandatory that the documents you carry are the originals, not photocopies. The only copy that is allowed is one that has been stamped and certified by a Notary. Notarised copies of documents are allowed, but that is the only exception.