Tag Archives: Fingerprinting

Getting fingerprinted in Spain

When getting fingerprinted is a pleasant experience (Policía Científica Madrid)

Most likely when you think of getting your fingerprints taken, you think of being in trouble. (and if you’re an American reading this, jail probably comes to mind). Having lived here in Spain for almost nine years now I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been fingerprinted (and all for legal reasons!). Strangely enough it seems totally normal to me now. fingerprints Not every experience has been what I would call “pleasant” (I’ll refer to this in another blog about getting my NIE, foreign national ID card). However, during one of my many paperwork processes (if I remember correctly this one could be related to getting married here – see other blog), I had to get “special fingerprints” to send to the FBI for an official background check. What do I mean by “special fingerprints”? Well, this involves going to a special scientific unit of the national police and getting all ten fingers printed on a special fingerprint card that has to be previously picked up at the US Embassy (no cost, nor appointment needed. You just have to go to the US Embassy on Calle Serrano). Note: The first time I went to the Policía Científica for the fingerprinting I didn’t realize that I needed to have the official form from the embassy and that a copy of the form printed out on my computer wouldn’t work – IMPORTANT! That was about an hour of a half wasted to figure that out and run back and forth. Once you have the official form you have to go to the main headquarters (Comisaría General) for the police in Calle Julián González Segador (Metro: Pinar del Rey). Once there and after checking in at the main desk, they’ll escort you (literally with a police escort so you don’t get lost) to the Policía Científica Building (http://www.interior.gob.es/web/interior/el-ministerio/directorio/servicios-centrales/direccion-general-de-la-policia1) Both times I’ve had to do this (the first time wasn’t valid since the US changed their rules with the length of document validity…) I’ve been treated extremely kindly and even had a few jokes with the police. Once inside the police complex, people were quite friendly. Inside the Policía Científica building the two people who took my fingerprints were very friendly, and I was even able to chit chat a bit with them (I love to talk, but usually with formal settings don’t feel like it’s encouraged). With one of the woman officers we were even chatting about my new son and how she was going to be an aunt soon. I got fingerprinted and headed on my way in a great mood. No lines, snarls or nerves, overall a great police fingerprinting customer experience 🙂