Good evening!

I am an American, due to travel to Spain sometime next month. This will be my first trip to the country, and I will be travelling with passengers. I'm curious to know, what the expectations are when dealing with local and national police in Spain.

Specifically, things like:

  • If detained by authorities and asked for identification, do I need to provide it? Will I need to use a passport, or will another form of ID (such as my Colorado driver's license) suffice? Will they even ask, or just expect ID to be provided?

  • If a police officer initiates a traffic stop on me/my vehicle, should I remain in my vehicle or should I exit the vehicle and walk to the police officer?

  • If I am asked a question by an officer, should I answer it or remain silent?

  • 6
    What is your end goal? To enjoy your holiday, or to get arrested and thrown in jail for a day or two?
    – Doc
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 0:35
  • 5
    I don't see why you would do anything other than what you would normally do interacting with law enforcement anywhere: Be polite; be respectful; answer questions promptly; don't do anything or volunteer any information they don't ask for. Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 2:31
  • 3
    @GregHewgill, there are varying expectations for how you interact with the police. For example, there are countries where you can pay a traffic ticket on the spot; in the US, attempting to do so would look uncomfortably like an attempt to bribe the officer.
    – Mark
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 4:28
  • 5
    IMO the Spanish police are used to dealing with clueless foreigners, no need to worry too much. If there is a possibility to pay a fine on the spot, they'll tell you. Same is true for other questions. Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 10:39
  • 3
    Unfortunately, it depends on your race, age, overt religion, if you're drunk, on drugs, or sober, and whether you're dressed in a suit and tie or a tracksuit covered in marijuana leaves. And precisely where you are: most police in tourist resorts are used to dealing with tourists, although there are occasional crackdowns. Spanish police are no worse than most countries.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 16:18


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .