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Two-month delays for renewing ID cards annoy residents
RESIDENTS' associations have complained of 'intolerable delays' in renewing their DNI, or Spanish identity cards, with waits of 'up to 37 days on average' across the country.
The worst-hit regions are Navarra and La Rioja in the north, and seven in 10 ID card offices at National Police stations – which also handle NIE cards for expats and passports for Spanish citizens – have waiting lists of over two months.
Spain's interior ministry has called for another 504 civil servants to be taken on to cover renewals, without which DNI holders cannot carry out any administration at all – and as most use them as passports, particularly within the EU, delays can also affect travel.
The State Confederation of Residents' Associations (CEAV) has called for a meeting with National Police director-general, Germán López Iglesias, and for a commission to monitor progress and jump on top of excessive delays.
According to the CEAV, the longest waiting lists are in Sabadell (Barcelona province), Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz province) and Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife), reaching an average of 63 days – and in some cases, residents within these catchment areas cannot even book appointments since there are none available.
Some are having to travel to other offices within the same province, but as DNI and NIE renewals and applications can only be transacted in the holder's province of residence, this means if waiting lists are the same everywhere, they are unable to process their documents at all.
Although these three towns are the worst in their areas, the regional averages for La Rioja and Navarra are 49 and 47 days respectively.
Ávila, in Castilla y León, has a waiting list of over two months to replace DNIs, NIEs and passports which have been lost or stolen.
Expired cards are not accepted anywhere, even if they are only one day out of date and the photograph is still a faithful likeness of the holder.
The CEAV covers around 3,000 residents' associations across the country, with approximately 1.2 million members.
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