The following is copied from the Round Town News, 9th March 2007.
The Royal Decree 240/2007 approved on 16th February 2007 by the Spanish Council of Ministers establishes that from 28th March 2007, European Union citizens will no longer be issued with residence cards. However, the new decree requires all EU citizens planning to reside in Spain for more than three months to register in person at the Foreigners' Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) in their province of residence or at designated police stations. The notice does not specify but they are probably comiserias or National Police Stations. They will then be issued a certificate stating their name, address, nationality, identity number and date of registration. Those EU citizens in Spain who already have residence cards will not need to re-register until their residence card expires upon which they will be issued with a certificate.
Again, the notice does not say what you should take along to prove residence but a current nota de empadronamiento is now OK, or your passport/s with originals of the nota simple for your Spanish property, or a rental contract for at least one year. Normally to obtain the nota de empadronamiento, you need these two already, plus a current invoice showing, for example, your Telefonica or an electricity bill with the name and address on it.
The British Consular services recommend British citizens in Spain to always carry with them some proof of identity. Royal Decree 240/2007 is a transposition of European Directive 2004/38/EC to Spanish legislation. The agreed procedure dictates that the Decree must now have to go to the EU Justice Commission for approval to ensure that it meets with all the requirements, as set out in the original EU Directive 2004/38.EC.
(Suggested proof of identity can be a driving licence with a photo, a certified passport copy to save carrying your passport and you should always carry a copy of your nota de empadronamiento now.)
Meanwhile 'Infringement' proceedings will continue against Spain for her failure to comply earlier with the Directive, since they are 11 months late in their compliance. Further information is awaited as to the exact details and method to be employed to register Union citizens in order to secure other additional rights, as set out in the EU Directive.
My note: It has been said elsewhere that you cannot be punished for not carrying or having applied for a residencia if you arrived after the 29th April 2006.
Those EU citizens, together with certain close family members, who have already been living in Spain legally for five years, will now acquire more rights, plus a permanent right to residence. More information on the new requirements will be available on Spanish Ministry of Interior's website www.mir.es in due course. Working closely with the Consular Services, the Round Town News will keep you informed as and when information is released and acquired by us. The Spanish ID, known as the Documento National de Identidad (DNI), is compulsory at age 14 but can be issued before if necessary (to travel to other European countries, for example). By law, it has to be carried at all times, and it is routinely used for identification, and it is often photocopied by private and public bureaux. Credit-card purchases cannot be made without showing this ID. It is due to be replaced by an electronic DNI.