• This section is a collection of FAQs on the Camino. No new questions can be posted here, but questions that are asked often will be move here by a moderator.
  • Missing the daily forum e-mail? Subscribe again.
  • Buy any Camino Book and get 50% off any Camino Badge.
    Discount taken off at Check Out
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement


Buy any book, get free camino shell

PLEASE - ID your Credential

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
#1
I will be finishing a two-week volunteer period in the Pilgrim Office this weekend and I have a few observations to share.

1. People are showing up with the TITLE PAGE of the credential BLANK. What happens if you lose it along the way? Please fill in your name CLEARLY. Otherwise we have to ask for another document in order to be able to properly make out the Compostela and the optional Certificate of Distance. This slows the line down.

2. PLEASE include your e-mail address and mobile number in addition. Someone who finds a lost credential will then be able to promptly get in contact with you and a return arranged.

3. Get two stamps per day for the last 100 kms of whichever Camino you are doing. The enforcement of this rule seems to be pretty lenient, but better safe than sorry. I am a stamp addict and often get 10+ per day, so this is not an issue to which I can relate. Last year, on the Francés, I filled SEVEN of the two-sided SJPP credentials.

4. Add the date to each sello in case THEY don’t write it in for you. It makes it much easier for us to follow the continuity of your route.

5. Be patient in line. We try to produce well-centered names on the certificates with decent handwriting, and we tend to converse with each pilgrim. I can’t seem to process any more than 5/6 people per hour and my volunteer colleagues seem to work at about the same rate. The regular staff is much faster because they know a lot of the stuff (mileages, Latin names, etc.), by heart. We have to keep looking everything up.

6. If you arrive as a couple, do NOT come up to the counter together. You will end up waiting LONGER. Wait for the next free person and chances are your waiting time at the counter will be cut in half.

7. Do NOT bring another person’s documents with you and expect to walk away with two Compostelas. EACH PERSON must be physically present. We cannot issue a Compostela in absentia.

8. If you are hungry after leaving, turn left and head up the hill toward the big church (San Francisco). Just before reaching the church, turn right into the university Medical School Cafeteria. They have a menú del día for 5/6 euros and a well-priced à la carte menu as well. They open at 1:00 for lunch and I think they close for the day at 4:00. You can get well priced breakfast fare all morning too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#2
I will be finishing a two-week volunteer period in the Pilgrim Office this weekend and I have a few observations to share.

1. People are showing up with the TITLE PAGE of the credential BLANK. What happens if you lose it along the way? Please fill in your name CLEARLY. Otherwise we have to ask for another document in order to be able to properly make out the Compostela and the optional Certificate of Distance. This slows the line down.

2. PLEASE include your e-mail address and mobile number in addition. Someone who finds a lost credential will then be able to promptly get in contact with you and a return arranged.

3. Get two stamps per day for the last 100 kms of whichever Camino you are doing. The enforcement of this rule seems to be pretty lenient, but better safe than sorry. I am a stsmp addict and often get 10+ per day, so this is not an issue to which I can relate. Last year, on the Francés, I filled SEVEN of the two-sided SJPP credentials.

4. Add the date to each sello in case THEY don’t write it in for you. It makes it much easier for us to follow the continuity of your route.

5. Be patient in line. We try to produce well-centered names on the certificates with decent handwriting, and we tend to converse with each pilgrim. I can’t seem to process any more than 5/6 people per hour and my volunteer colleagues seem to work at about the same rate. The regular staff is much faster because they know a lot of the stuff (mileages, Latin names, etc.), by heart. We have to keep looking everything up.

6. If you arrive as a couple, do NOT come up to the counter together. You will end up waiting LONGER. Wait for the next free person and chances are your waiting time at the counter will be cut in half.

7. Do NOT bring another person’s documents with you and expect to walk away with two Compostelas. EACH PERSON must be physically present. We cannot issue a Compostela in absentia.

8. If you are hungry after leaving, turn left and head up the hill toward the big church (San Francisco). Just before reaching the church, turn right into the university Medical School Cafeteria. They have a menú del día for 5/6 euros and a well-priced à la carte menu as well. They open at 1:00 for lunch and I think they close for the day at 4:00. You can get well priced breakfast fare all morning too.
A very useful post. I can endorse the point about filling in details on the credential. Hospitaleros have to ask for national passport or other ID if that is not on the credential, to fill in the albergue register. The information recorded in the albergues is rarely needed, but if any problems arise, it is there for reference.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#3
Thank you for posting!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#4
Allow me to add to the original, excellent post... The Pilgrim Office at Santiago receives A LOT of lost credencials that are mailed there from all Camino routes. If you lost your credencial along the way, there is at least a 50/50 chance that it will turn up in the mail at the office. Help us help you.
  1. If you FULLY FILL OUT the inside front cover with your identity information, AND add your e-mail and mobile phone number, there is a good chance that we can reunite you with your original credencial when you arrive in Santiago.
  2. Once you lose your credencial, obtain another along the way to gather necessary sellos. Failing this, use a blank sheet of paper. Make sure the sellos are affixed in correct chronological order. This will help the P/O staff decipher the sellos.
  3. When you arrive at the head of the line, ask a staff person to search for your lost credencial. Tell us when and approximately where you lost it. We have a large box with all the found credencials in it. Perhaps you will get lucky...
Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
#5
I will be finishing a two-week volunteer period in the Pilgrim Office this weekend and I have a few observations to share.

1. People are showing up with the TITLE PAGE of the credential BLANK. What happens if you lose it along the way? Please fill in your name CLEARLY. Otherwise we have to ask for another document in order to be able to properly make out the Compostela and the optional Certificate of Distance. This slows the line down.

2. PLEASE include your e-mail address and mobile number in addition. Someone who finds a lost credential will then be able to promptly get in contact with you and a return arranged.

3. Get two stamps per day for the last 100 kms of whichever Camino you are doing. The enforcement of this rule seems to be pretty lenient, but better safe than sorry. I am a stamp addict and often get 10+ per day, so this is not an issue to which I can relate. Last year, on the Francés, I filled SEVEN of the two-sided SJPP credentials.

4. Add the date to each sello in case THEY don’t write it in for you. It makes it much easier for us to follow the continuity of your route.

5. Be patient in line. We try to produce well-centered names on the certificates with decent handwriting, and we tend to converse with each pilgrim. I can’t seem to process any more than 5/6 people per hour and my volunteer colleagues seem to work at about the same rate. The regular staff is much faster because they know a lot of the stuff (mileages, Latin names, etc.), by heart. We have to keep looking everything up.

6. If you arrive as a couple, do NOT come up to the counter together. You will end up waiting LONGER. Wait for the next free person and chances are your waiting time at the counter will be cut in half.

7. Do NOT bring another person’s documents with you and expect to walk away with two Compostelas. EACH PERSON must be physically present. We cannot issue a Compostela in absentia.

8. If you are hungry after leaving, turn left and head up the hill toward the big church (San Francisco). Just before reaching the church, turn right into the university Medical School Cafeteria. They have a menú del día for 5/6 euros and a well-priced à la carte menu as well. They open at 1:00 for lunch and I think they close for the day at 4:00. You can get well priced breakfast fare all morning too.
When filling out your credential, pilgrims passport, do not forget your national passport number. Hospitaleros need this info for daily logs..... Thank you..... Ultreya
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) SJPDP-SDC
Camino Norte 2018
Pilgrims Office Volunteer 2018
#6
These are great posts and very helpful for everyone!!! It also gives us some insight in what we can expect as
"mi esposa" and I will be serving at the Pilgrims Office 10-24 September this year. Thank you all for your service!!!

Ed
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
#7
Great write-up.

However, if you have walked a full/long camino you dont really need the two stamps Per day for the last 100km. At least that was the message i got when I got from SJPDP to SDC last year.

As someone who is not a stamp-maniac, I prefer to only have stamps of the places where i sleep - and was sad that I got extra the last 100km, so I asked in SDC. It is more to ensure that people dont cheat the last 100km, and nobody really cheats for 800km (and it is properly pretty easy to see if one has truely walked this far or not). However, use this info at own risk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#8
The immediate post above might create confusion. Allow me to elaborate.

The OFFICIAL rules require that pilgrims obtain a minimum of two sellos daily within the final 100km on any Camino route leading into Santiago. Before that, one sello daily is sufficient to establish the line of march and your pace...the number of days it took you to get from place to place.

HOWEVER, it is not uncommon to encounter pilgrims who CLEARLY and OBVIOUSLY have walked a long distance over a long time. Their credencials may not always have the required two sellos for the final 100 km. However, their appearance, condition of their gear, and demeanor all support a finding by a Pilgrim Office staffer that this pilgrim clearly went the distance... In THAT case, the requirement is more flexible. THAT is what the above post is referring to...an individual decision made on a case-by-case basis. DO NOT misunderstand. If in doubt, get the sello...

This has happened to me on three of my six Caminos. Unlike some, I always obtain a sello at my nightly lodging, but, I sometimes fail to obtain a second one during the day. Sometimes, I just forget. However, when I walk from Lisbon in Portugal, or from Saint Jean Pied de Port, in France, the staff can just TELL. Thus, the Compostela is issued.

The above post is essentially correct, but I felt required more explanation to avoid mistakes.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#9
Allow me to add to the original, excellent post... The Pilgrim Office at Santiago receives A LOT of lost credencials that are mailed there from all Camino routes. If you lost your credencial along the way, there is at least a 50/50 chance that it will turn up in the mail at the office. Help us help you.
  1. If you FULLY FILL OUT the inside front cover with your identity information, AND add your e-mail and mobile phone number, there is a good chance that we can reunite you with your original credencial when you arrive in Santiago.
  2. Once you lose your credencial, obtain another along the way to gather necessary sellos. Failing this, use a blank sheet of paper. Make sure the sellos are affixed in correct chronological order. This will help the P/O staff decipher the sellos.
  3. When you arrive at the head of the line, ask a staff person to search for your lost credencial. Tell us when and approximately where you lost it. We have a large box with all the found credencials in it. Perhaps you will get lucky...
Hope this helps.
How long do they keep the found credencials? It would be great to be reunited with mine when I come back in September. My lost national passport has been cancelled and replaced but I should dearly love to have the credential back!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#10
Great write-up.

However, if you have walked a full/long camino you dont really need the two stamps Per day for the last 100km. At least that was the message i got when I got from SJPDP to SDC last year.

As someone who is not a stamp-maniac, I prefer to only have stamps of the places where i sleep - and was sad that I got extra the last 100km, so I asked in SDC. It is more to ensure that people dont cheat the last 100km, and nobody really cheats for 800km (and it is properly pretty easy to see if one has truely walked this far or not). However, use this info at own risk.
Definitely use this info at your own risk. The official rules provide no exceptions for the "2 stamps per day for the last 100 kms". It would be a shame to walk 800 (or 1500) kms and then find at the end that you couldn't get a compostela that you wanted because you were counting on getting a relaxed volunteer and ended up with one who believes in following the rules.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#11
How long do they keep the found credencials? It would be great to be reunited with mine when I come back in September. My lost national passport has been cancelled and replaced but I should dearly love to have the credential back!
Jeff:

I do not know how long they hold these credencials. When I arrive in mid-July, there are several months worth in the box.

This year, I will again be there for a month, starting on 9 July. Send me a private conversation / message containing enough details to allow me to locate your credential. Please include a return e-mail address so I can contact you directly. If you can tell me:
  • What variety of credencial I am looking for: APOC, CSJ, SJpDp Pilgrim Office, Cathedral Issue (also what Ivar provides). Knowing this helps me to sort the pile faster.
  • What information is written on the covers, anywhere.
  • Any special sellos or characteristics... wine stains, beer stains, water staining, custom 'art,' etc.
...I promise to make a search of the entire existing stash within the first few days. I will contact you with my results.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#13
How long do they keep the found credencials? It would be great to be reunited with mine when I come back in September. My lost national passport has been cancelled and replaced but I should dearly love to have the credential back!
I have just paid attention to your information, and see that your recent camino is labelled as your last. All the more reason to hope that your lost credential will be found!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#15
Jeff:

I do not know how long they hold these credencials. When I arrive in mid-July, there are several months worth in the box.

This year, I will again be there for a month, starting on 9 July. Send me a private conversation / message containing enough details to allow me to locate your credential. Please include a return e-mail address so I can contact you directly. If you can tell me:
  • What variety of credencial I am looking for: APOC, CSJ, SJpDp Pilgrim Office, Cathedral Issue (also what Ivar provides). Knowing this helps me to sort the pile faster.
  • What information is written on the covers, anywhere.
  • Any special sellos or characteristics... wine stains, beer stains, water staining, custom 'art,' etc.
...I promise to make a search of the entire existing stash within the first few days. I will contact you with my results.

Hope this helps.

Tom
Thanks Tom, shall send a message.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#16
I have just paid attention to your information, and see that your recent camino is labelled as your last. All the more reason to hope that your lost credential will be found!
Kirkie, EVERY Camino I do is my last! I remember in 2016 telling the clerk at the Pilgrim Office that I'd never, ever do it again and he said "See you next year then!"

Kirkie is an interesting name (my late father's best friend) are you from Scotland?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances, 2017 Frances, (2019 ???)
#17
In 2015 got all my sellos and the last 100km I doubled up and received my Compestella.

In 2017 I did not double up, and I got my Compostella.

???

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#18
Kirkie, EVERY Camino I do is my last! I remember in 2016 telling the clerk at the Pilgrim Office that I'd never, ever do it again and he said "See you next year then!"

Kirkie is an interesting name (my late father's best friend) are you from Scotland?
There was a Kirk and in that Kirk there was an in and in that in there was a til and in that til there was a loch and in that loch there was... Kirkintilloch.
That is how we learned to spell the name of our town, which like many names, got itself a shortcut to ... Kirkie.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#19
In 2015 got all my sellos and the last 100km I doubled up and received my Compestella.

In 2017 I did not double up, and I got my Compostella.

???

Buen Camino
Maybe, if you'd walked a long way and had a credential with an arm's length of sellos, looked scruffy and weary they just thought "yeah, he's a pilgrim alright,!"
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#20
I will be finishing a two-week volunteer period in the Pilgrim Office this weekend and I have a few observations to share.

1. People are showing up with the TITLE PAGE of the credential BLANK. What happens if you lose it along the way? Please fill in your name CLEARLY. Otherwise we have to ask for another document in order to be able to properly make out the Compostela and the optional Certificate of Distance. This slows the line down.

2. PLEASE include your e-mail address and mobile number in addition. Someone who finds a lost credential will then be able to promptly get in contact with you and a return arranged.

3. Get two stamps per day for the last 100 kms of whichever Camino you are doing. The enforcement of this rule seems to be pretty lenient, but better safe than sorry. I am a stamp addict and often get 10+ per day, so this is not an issue to which I can relate. Last year, on the Francés, I filled SEVEN of the two-sided SJPP credentials.

4. Add the date to each sello in case THEY don’t write it in for you. It makes it much easier for us to follow the continuity of your route.

5. Be patient in line. We try to produce well-centered names on the certificates with decent handwriting, and we tend to converse with each pilgrim. I can’t seem to process any more than 5/6 people per hour and my volunteer colleagues seem to work at about the same rate. The regular staff is much faster because they know a lot of the stuff (mileages, Latin names, etc.), by heart. We have to keep looking everything up.

6. If you arrive as a couple, do NOT come up to the counter together. You will end up waiting LONGER. Wait for the next free person and chances are your waiting time at the counter will be cut in half.

7. Do NOT bring another person’s documents with you and expect to walk away with two Compostelas. EACH PERSON must be physically present. We cannot issue a Compostela in absentia.

8. If you are hungry after leaving, turn left and head up the hill toward the big church (San Francisco). Just before reaching the church, turn right into the university Medical School Cafeteria. They have a menú del día for 5/6 euros and a well-priced à la carte menu as well. They open at 1:00 for lunch and I think they close for the day at 4:00. You can get well priced breakfast fare all morning too.

I might add: Do not 'hold' a place in line for your 6+ friends. After waiting long hours in line, we saw numerous 'friends' of others cut in front to join their acquaintances. There's no fairness in cutting the cuque. Get in line and wait like everyone else. I think this should be monitored. At least 30 people jumped in line ahead of us who had not waited all day. Very disrespectful to those who waited their turn endlessly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#21
We usually allow it for small groups, less than six +/-. As a practical matter, using the toilet, getting drink of water, or something similar is not unreasonable. But, when half a dozen or more folks magically appear to cause a 'bulge' in the queue, then I would take issue. I agree that it is not fair. I can imagine how this would annoy everyone who had been waiting, more or less, patiently, for an hour or more.

All I can say is that I start work on 9 July for a month. My nickname when there is "el Sherif." This is Spanish for the Sheriff. I do run a tight and orderly queue.

Better late than never...
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino ; Frances Way ; 2017 Camino Frances begins August 10,2017
#23
We walked two Frances their full length in 11 months apart with full backpacks. The first Camino Frances we walked in the fall and received our Compostela. The second Frances which was done August through September we went to the office to get our Compostela and it looked like the entrance to Disney World with a myriad of people. Along the Way we saw and passed many 100 kilometer walkers or "touristas" as a lot of the locals referred to them, which got on and off tour buses/ vans to walk through the towns to get their two stamps and then get back on their bus or van to their hotel. Needless to say we did not bother to get our second Compostela after seeing that and having an epiphany we realized the Compostela had nothing to do with our 850km treks, it was about us, the people we met along the WAY, our pain and joy and ... the WAY and nothing else. Our Compostela certificates are rolled up in a tube and in a drawer, we know what we did, those who trekked with us know what we did, our friends and family know too. We will be doing a 3rd Camino in September 2019 ( Via de la Plata ) we will finish in Santiago and go home having been enriched by the people we meet and the experience, no piece of paper can ever equal that.
Vaya con Dios' y
Buen Camino !
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#24
Hi,

during my pilgrimage on the Camino Primitivo I became witness that two pilgrim passports had been mixed up.

We were 4 pilgrims arriving at Melide public albergue before opening. The hospitalera was a bit early, too. So she asked us if we already wanted to give her our pilgrim passports so that she could start and fill the registration forms. We did so. When giving them back, she by accident gave the credencial of a chinese woman to a pilgrim from Russia. None of them recognized, that there had been a confusion. only the next day the man from Russia who hat walked all the way from France recognized, that he had got the wrong passport. So he kept waiting for the chinese woman in Salceda for hours. I do not know, if he actually met her again or if she only walked to Arzua that day. And I do not know either, if any of them did get a compostela if they have not met again.

So, after registration in an albergue you should always check, that you have got your own passport.

It would also have been helpful, if they had written their mobile-number or e-mail in their credencial!

BC
Alexandra
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#26
@Travelite they don't have to be signed at all, but if you want a Compostela they do have to be stamped twice a day for the last 100km into Santiago. And if you want a distance certificate they need to be stamped once every day from the beginning of your walk. If you stay at albergues your credential will be stamped when you book in. Stamps are also available in pretty much every other accommodation provider, cafe, bar, restaurant, and shop.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First camino beginning September 2018
#27
@Travelite they don't have to be signed at all, but if you want a Compostela they do have to be stamped twice a day for the last 100km into Santiago. And if you want a distance certificate they need to be stamped once every day from the beginning of your walk. If you stay at albergues your credential will be stamped when you book in. Stamps are also available in pretty much every other accommodation provider, cafe, bar, restaurant, and shop.
Thanks, Kanga. The credencial situation is clearer now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#28
@Travelite they don't have to be signed at all, but if you want a Compostela they do have to be stamped twice a day for the last 100km into Santiago. And if you want a distance certificate they need to be stamped once every day from the beginning of your walk. If you stay at albergues your credential will be stamped when you book in. Stamps are also available in pretty much every other accommodation provider, cafe, bar, restaurant, and shop.
And many churches.
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
#29
IF you can find a church that is OPEN, AND that has a stamp available. MOST churches in small towns are simply CLOSED. Other churches might be open for part of the morning and part of the afternoon, BUT there is no one around to give you a stamp unless you are lucky enough to be there just before or just after a Mass when the sacristy is open. There ARE a few churches that leave a stamp and ink pad on a small table near the entrance, but these are few and far between. I am a "stamp addict" and my big regret is that I was unable to get more stamps from churches along the way. It was VERY disappointing.
 

OLDER threads on this topic




A few items available from the Camino Forum Store




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 9 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 34 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 112 14.7%
  • May

    Votes: 188 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 54 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 227 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 93 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top