The importance of keeping information up to date
In this issue we are going to remind our readers of why it is important to keep their address and other things up to date, bearing in mind recent fatal and near fatal accidents that have occurred in the south of the island.
In years past your full name and address would appear on your vehicles “permiso de ciculacion” as did it on the old-style paper driving licences. However, times and technology have moved on, and with the introduction of Data protection, Tráfico no longer print your address on the “permiso de circulacion” nor indeed on the Spanish Driving licence. Most will be aware that here you are normally identifiable by your NIE or DNI number from which the authorities can find your address when necessary. So far so good ……. However, many people rent property here and move fairly frequently for whatever reason but most do not give a moment’s thought to advising Tráfico, Hacienda and the Seguridad Social of the change of address, sometimes this can become very costly.
Why, one may ask? Well for example if you get a speeding ticket or another fine or infraction which is delivered by post, if your address is wrong, of course you will not receive it. The official line is that a minimum of two letters are sent (sometimes more) and then the “debt” is passed to Hacienda. They too then issue several letters and if there is no response the details are then published in the Oficial Boletin which is published daily. The first you may know of such a fine is when there is an embargo on your bank account or money has been taken about which you know nothing, in some cases clearing your account completely (although it does not stop you putting money in you cannot draw the amount embargoed out). If your address at Tráfico was up to date you would have received the first or second letter and could have dealt with it accordingly. This also applies to fines, non-payment of Social security, etc
There are also other reasons why your address should be up to date. In the event of a fatal accident the police may need to contact the next of kin or responsible person. To this end we always recommend that in your phone you have Aa contacts. These are people to whom you can contact in the case of an emergency, however not only does it mean that you, if you are able to, can contact them but in emergency situations the Aa contacts are accessible by the emergency services from your phone even if it is locked. What you should do is to enter in your contacts like this
Aa Andy Smith 629123123 for example. The police can then call this person if you are unconscious etc. it is also important that you are aware of all medication you take and any allergies and most phones Apple and Android have an app which enable you to record your medical information, emergency contacts, allergies, doctors who you are seeing etc. This can prove lifesaving if for example you are taking blood thinners and are involved in an accident.
Not only does this apply when you are driving but also be aware that as a pedestrian you should always have identification with you in case of an accident, illness etc…