When registering at an albergue, pilgrims will be asked to present their credential to verify that they are walking or cycling the Camino. In addition, upon reaching Santiago de Compostela, at the Oficina de Acogida de Peregrinos (Pilgrims' Welcome Office, Rúa do Vilar 3/1, MapQuest map, Google Earth image and there are signs all over Santiago pointing to the office), pilgrims can present the stamped credential to confirm that they have walked at least the last 100 kilometers or cycled at least the last 200 kilometers, whereupon they receive a Compostela, a document that certifies their pilgrimage.
One can obtain a pilgrim credencial from numerous sources—including from American Pilgrims via this form—before you set out on the Camino or from sites actually on the Camino. The Camino associations in a number of other countries also offer credentials. For further information see the section "Other associations providing assistance to pilgrims" on our Internet Resources page.
American Pilgrims on the Camino is pleased to provide credentials authorized by the Pilgrims Office in Santiago de Compostela. We are able to fill credential requests at no charge to individuals, families and small groups requesting up to 10 credentials total. (See note below about requests for between 11 and 20 credentials.) Membership in American Pilgrims in not required to receive a credential but donations are of course gratefully accepted, either online when you submit your credential request or by check to the address below.
American Pilgrims on the Camino
1514 Channing Avenue
Palo Alto CA 94303-2801
While credential requesters can certainly mail a donation check rather than make an online payment, we ask that the requests themselves not be sent through the mail. Coordination of a donation and the online request is not necessary.
We require a $35 administrative fee to fill requests for 11 to 20 credentials, which is the maximum number we are able to provide. If you wish to request 11 to 20 credentials, please click HERE.
Please allow at least one month for processing for North American addresses and five weeks for all others! We try to deliver credentials at least one month before your indicated departure date. If you would like some other arrangement, please note this in the comment field provided below. We do not use expedited delivery services, even if you offer to cover the cost.
Please take note of and abide by the following:
• Double-check your mailing address as you entered it, especially the street address and the ZIP-code. Errors result in delays!
• Be sure that your full credential name is the way you want it on your document.
• If you are not the primary resident at the mailing address provide a C/O name.
• We ask that you use normal capitalization in your entries, i.e., not all caps and not all lower case.
• Please do not submit requests until within three months of your departure date.
A note about sellos: Generally one sello per day is sufficient but the Pilgrims' Office in Santiago advises that all pilgrims should obtain two per day during the final 100 km if on foot or horseback or the last 200 km if on bicycle. On the francés this would be Sarria (112 km) or Ponferrada (205 km) respectively. Please note that this applies even to pilgrims who have started outside the 100 and 200 km limits.
See our FAQs page for additional information on the credential and the compostela. If you still have questions about the credential or your request you can always contact the credential coordinator.
Finally, there may be an American Pilgrims local chapter near you! Whether you would like to join in activities with fellow Caminophiles or would like to be connected with a Camino veteran for advice, you will want to contact them. After completing your credential request go to the Local Chapters page under "American Pilgrims" in the menu bar.