Question about cheque bancario when renewing the US passport in Spain


I am preparing everything to renew my US passport online through the Madrid embassy and I’ve got a question about about cheque bancario. I know we have to send the cheque bancario for 99€ and that no other form of payment is accepted, but here’s my problem. At Santander (my bank) they take a 40€ commission for a cheque bancario, which absolutely blows my mind. My question is: how much commission have y’all paid, and with what bank? Can I give a friend who has an account at a different bank the money and have them get the cheque bancario for me (and thus avoid a 40% comission), or does the cheque have to be drawn against my account or name somehow? Can the cheque bancario come from a friend or family members account instead?


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“I paid €6 at Sabadell in August of 2020.”

“Outrageous! I cannot remember what I paid, but it was not that much. The cheque is a BANK cheque, not a personal one, so it doesn’t matter who requests it or from which bank. Good luck! (BTW, the turn around time was surprisingly rapid earlier this year!)”

“My cuñada works at Santander and she got a cheque for me without any fees… dunno how! She just asked I guess”

“Is there anyway to renew your passport in person? That’s what I did last year and the guy told me it would be easier to use my American credit card to pay. But to answer your question, it doesn’t matter where the check comes from, just that it’s from a bank and certified. You might be able to use Sabadell and pay a much smaller fee.”

“I did it at Bankia (now CaixaBank) last year and I think it was either an €11-12 fee. Even the bank teller said that it was ridiculous”

“I paid 14€ at Bankia! Absurd you can’t pay by bank transfer.”

“+1 for ING, opened an account when first moved to Spain 5 years ago, they’ve been excellent thus far.”

“I have BBVA and it was free! No bank charge for the cheque bancario. I sent my renewal paperwork in at the end of November and got an email that it will arrive tomorrow. They are pretty good at sticking to the three week turnaround.”

“I did this through EVO Banco and had to pay a fee but it was under 10€ if I remember correctly. As far as your other question, the check can be from anyone as long as it’s made out to the Emba$$y”

“I did openbank and paid 12 euros which also includes them shipping me the check. This was in November 2021”

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