Digital certificate idCAT

What do you need to know?

idCAT is a digital certificate which, using an electronic signature, allows you to sign and encrypt emails, sign web forms and electronic documents, and complete different formalities with national authorities, the Government of Catalonia, local authorities, banks, etc.

Having a digital certificate means you can avoid having to go in person to various bodies to complete formalities. Therefore, obtaining the certificate once you are settled in the city is recommended.


You can also install the idCat digital certificate on an iOS or Android mobile device. It is protected with a secret password (PIN).

Barcelona City Council issues idCAT certificates at its citizens information offices (OAC).

There are other types of electronic authentication mechanisms for individuals, including those issued by the Spanish National Mint (FNMT- RCM), a public entity dependent on the Spanish government.

Who does it apply to?

It is for any Spanish or foreign national resident in Spain who wants to prove their identity securely over the Internet.

What requirements must be met?

You must be of legal age (over 18) or an emancipated minor.

You must have a Spanish national identity document (DNI), identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) or valid passport.

How long is it valid for?

Its period of validity is four years.

It can be renewed from two months before expiry. Before expiry, the CATCert issuing entity will send you a letter informing you that your idCAT is about to expire and what you must do to renew it. 

What do you need to do?

You can apply at any time.

To get your idCAT you must go to a registration entity to verify your identity. As all registration entities are in Catalonia, you cannot get your idCAT from abroad. If you cannot go in person for any reason, a third party may go on your behalf, but that person must first be authorised to do so before a notary.

What steps must you follow?

  1. Before starting the certification application process you must ensure that you have the necessary software installed on your computer to generate codes. Consult the installation instructions on idCAT Compatibility.

  2. Fill in the idCAT application form.

  3. To validate the certificate and verify your identity, arrange an appointment at any registration entity in Catalonia at Where can I get the idCAT certificate. If you are in Barcelona, you can do so at any citizens information office (OAC) in the city making an appointment at any OAC.

  4. On the day of the appointment, go to the chosen office with the necessary documents to complete the formality.

  5. Download the idCAT certificate and install it on your computer with the software necessary for it to function correctly. Remember, you must install it on the same device you used to apply for the certificate.

Who can submit the application?

Any individual of legal age resident in Spain who provides evidence of their identity with their Spanish national identity document, passport, identity number for foreign nationals or identity card for foreign nationals.

The certificate holder must validate the digital certificate at a citizens information office.

Another person may exceptionally apply on behalf of the holder with the digital certificate application authenticated by means of a notarial certificate.

What documentation is needed?

Documentation necessary to prove your identity from one of the following options:

  • Valid Spanish national identity document (DNI).

  • Passport.

  • Identity card for foreign nationals (TIE).

  • European Union national certificate (commonly called the “green NIE”), along with the passport or identity document from the country of origin.

Documentation as applicable:

  • Disabled persons incapable of signing (whether the disabled person attends the OAC in person or not):

    • Original and photocopy of the personal identity document of the interested party.

    • Original and photocopy of the personal identity document of the person who will sign.

    • Original and photocopy of the notarial certificate for this specific formality.

  • Individuals with a representative:

    • Original and photocopy of the personal identity document of the interested party.

    • Original and photocopy of the personal identity document of the representative.

    • Original and photocopy of the notarial certificate for this specific formality.

How long does it take?

The formality is immediate.

What does it cost?

It is free.

What should I do if I lose the certificate?

There are three possibilities:

  1. Suspension: you can suspend you idCAT if you suspect that you have lost it, it has been stolen or is damaged. You can also suspend it if your computer is broken. You must call 900 905 090, identify yourself properly and correctly answer the secret question you entered when applying.

    Suspension can be reversed in a maximum of 120 days, after which, if it has not been reactivated, you will be deemed not to want to use it and it will be automatically revoked.

  2. Reactivation: involves stopping the suspension and reactivating the digital certificate. This must be done within a maximum of 120 days after the date of suspension. To enable your idCAT, you must go to an idCAT registration entity with a document proving your identity.

  3. Revocation: the idCAT will cease to be valid. A certificate can voluntarily be revoked at the request of the holder or if 120 days have passed since suspension without reactivating the certificate. If you want to voluntarily revoke your idCAT digital certificate, you must go to an idCAT registration entity with a document accrediting your identity.

Want to know more?

Body responsible for the formality

The Catalan Certification Agency, CATCert, of the Open Administration Consortium of Catalonia.

Further information

You can go to the website.


The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.