Sailing in Spain either involves sailing:

– a Spanish registered yacht as a tourist
– a yacht registered in your home country
– a Spanish registered yacht as a Spanish resident

If you are a Spanish resident, see more.

When sailing as a tourist, or as a non-Spanish resident, you will have no problem using your national license. This is also the case if you are sailing a yacht which is not registered in Spain, and you are not a Spanish resident.

However, if you are sailing a Spanish yacht, or a yacht registered under another flag, as a Spanish resident having a “permanent” berth in Spain, you should be aware of the relevant Spanish laws and regulations. This includes sailing a chartered yacht as a Spanish resident.

To avoid any problems when sailing a yacht as a Spanish resident you should ask for Spanish confirmation of your national license. This can be done by visiting the office of the Ministerio de Fomento – Capitanía Maritima of your home port, and showing them your national license – you can also show your International Certificate of Competence (ICC), but this is not usually necessary.  They will check and confirm whether or not your license is recognised by the Spanish authorities. Presuming that it is, they will give you an application form (solicita) to complete, which formally requests Spanish confirmation of your national license.

If you do not have a office of the “Ministerio de Fomento – Capitanía Maritima” at your home port, you will find one in Dénia, besides the office of the “Cuerpo de la Policía Nacional“.

When presenting your application form, you also have to show them an original, and provide a copy of:
– your national license (which you are asking to be confirmed).
– your passport and Spanish NIE document.
– your ID card (if a Spanish citizen).

If your national license does not show the jurisdiction and additional limits of your license in Spanish, you will have to include a translation done by an official translator. This also has to be presented as an original, with one copy.

You will normally receive the Spanish confirmation (as shown below) of your national license 3-4 weeks after submitting your application.

They do not charge for processing your application and for issuing the confirmation.

Please note that these procedures could change in the future due to modifications in Spanish laws and regulations, so you should double-check during your first visit.

Here is a useful link to the RYA, which offers further information and translations to other languages.