The Credencial (pilgrim’s passport) is the successor to the “documents of safe conduct” given to medieval pilgrims. Nowadays there is only one official Credencial issued and recognised by the Pilgrims’ Office. It is available by applying in person from the Pilgrims’ Office or from other organisations authorised to distribute the official Credencial, such as Churches, Amigos groups, albergues etc. In some countries other than Spain voluntary organisations such as Confraternities who support the pilgrimage to Santiago have been permitted to supply their own Credenciales.
The Credencial issued by the Cathedral is printed on card and consists of 14 panels which open out for ease of use. Above is an illustration of the first and last pages. The first page functions as a letter of recommendation and should be filled in with the pilgrim’s details by the organisation issuing it.
The Credencial also clearly states that pilgrims should obtain at least two sellos per day. You must ensure that you do this at least in the last 100 kms from the Cathedral of Santiago if you are walking or on horseback and 200 kms if you are travelling by bicycle.
There is a special space for the final stamp of the Cathedral on arrival in Santiago.
The Credencial then has panels with boxes in which sellos should be collected. These are usually collected by pilgrims in the place where they sleep such as an albergue. They can also be obtained in Churches, hostales, ayuntamientos and many other places along the routes to Santiago.
Reference: Pilgrim’s Office