Where is my new EHIC?


By Pete Woodall

(Woody’s Los Boliches)

THE EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), issued by the British healthcare system to British pensioners resident abroad, cannot be renewed online. That service is reserved for residents of the UK only.


To renew a British EHIC from Spain call 0044 191 218 1999, Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm, and be sure to press option #1. DWP phone lines are very busy so be prepared to hold.

Applicants should have their national insurance or national health number to hand and any change of address details, as the operator will arrange to forward a form to that address which must be filled in and returned to the UK.

Once the process has been completed, a new medical card will be sent through the mail.

This whole process can take up to one month.

The EHIC card is for free or reduced cost emergency medical treatment for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals when temporarily outside their own country or usual country of residence.

It is free and entitles the holder to the same state medical care, under the same conditions, as would be provided to a national or resident of the country they are in.

In some EU/EAA countries there may be a partial payment charge for this which is generally no longer reimbursable.


Anyone resident and working in Spain needs to apply for their EHIC card from their local Spanish social security office or online at http://www.seg-social.es. The information is available in Spanish, English and other languages. Residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not eligible for an EHIC


  1. Following your article on EHIC renewal. I have just renewed ours. the whole exercise was completed over the phone.it was not necessary to fill in any forms, and the cards arrived within 10 days,
    Information requested was,
    Date of birth, address, verbal confirmation we were already registered in the Spanish health system.
    Have your old card handy as it has your details on it.
    The phone number provided for renewal that came with the cards. is +44 191 279 0575.
    Hope this helps.

  2. I am writing to correct the artile by your Mr Pete Woodhall (re article on EHIC, page 25 last weeks edition).

    It is indeed possible to renew the EHIC online, as I have just done it and received my new cards, for myself and my wife within a week.

    For anyone wishing to renew online and save having to pay for a phone call to the UK and possibly having to wait for ages whilst you get ‘put through’ this is the website ( NHS):
    If you go down the page to ‘Apply to renew your EHIC’ and click on it will automatically download S1 renewal application form (Doc.263kb) it will then automatically download form S1 (word document) for you to fill in and then click on SEND ( all done online), Simples!

  3. I’ve just read the article by Peter Woodall who says you can’t apply for this online from Spain. I have just done exactly that.

    I emailed and filled in the form online last Saturday, got an immediate response, had to give them my Spanish address. The last email from them was dated the 17th of January which states that they will dispatch the new card with 3 working days.

    Let’s assume that would be by the 20th, so i imagine it’s on it’s way.
    I have to admit I have been stunned by the speed of the response!

    This would make it a process much more rapid than a month.

    Jenny Dodd

    Here is part of the last email from them:

    Thank you for your email regarding the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

    I can confirm that I have renewed your EHIC for you, this will last for the next 5 years. Your EHIC will be dispatched within 3 working days.

    If you are travelling soon, you will still be covered by your EHIC, if it does not arrive before your departure and the need for treatment arises during your visit to an EEA member state or Switzerland, you can apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) from the Department for Work and Pensions on 00 44 191 218 1999.

    Please note there is no other reference number available as only an EHIC or a PRC will be accepted. You cannot apply for a PRC unless the need for treatment abroad arises.

  4. I think your contributor should retract their misleading information regarding the renewal of the EHIC Card from Spain.

    The EHIC card CAN be renewed from Spain as I have recently applied and received my card 9 days later. The email address is: [email protected]


  5. Your Article Page 35 EHIC
    The phone number is now 0044 191 279 0575 and before you contact them you have to check either with Pensions Centre or HMRC if your Form S1 is in force otherwise they cannot send you a card or a form. I know this after 45 minutes on the phone to UK

  6. The phone number is now 0044 191 279 0575 and before you contact them you have to check either with Pensions Centre or HMRC if your Form S1 is in force otherwise they cannot send you a card or a form. I know this after 45 minutes on the phone to UK

  7. In last week’s issue Mr Wood all gave information on renewing EHIC cards. I do not believe that Residents or anyone working in Spain should be using this? Surely it is only valid for 90 days for emergency cover only, or am I wrong?

  8. unfortunately it seems to be DWP in UK that are giving mixed messages.. I called their overseas office on the number they give on their site and about 3 weeks later was sent a form S1. The form had been fully completed by DWP and there was nothing further to fill in or sign by me. So, confused I rang the number given by Keith Braddock, above, and explained again and the young man was as confused as I was. He merely took the reference from my old EHIC and said I did not need a form but I will now receive new card in post. I will let you know if it doesn’t turn up. Meanwhile, thank you Keith Braddock.

  9. May I relate my experience in obtaining my replacement card. Contrary to the expected long wait, waiting for forms to br sent etc, I telephoned 0044 1911 279 0575, I got through immediately, spoke to a very helpful advisor, I confirmed I lived in Spain permanently, confirmed other details required, and was told the new cards would be sent out straight away. In three days I received my new cards. This may be of interest to your readers


  10. Hello. Your letters on EHIC are confusing. Perhaps there is one law for folk with Residencia and another for the vast number of us who do not! When my husband had an accident last year, he was taken to Denia hospital. Before they would do anything for him they needed to photocopy his EHIC, his SIP card (only available if you have an EHIC) and ID/Passport. We also had to fill in two forms, one in Spanish.
    The letters reminded us that we need to renew our EHIC when we return to UK!
    N M Cummins


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