The Pilgrim’s Credential or accreditation is the document given to pilgrims in the Middle Ages as a safeguard. Today there is an official Credential model distributed and accepted by the Office of Pilgrimages of the Diocese of Santiago. You can get it by requesting it in person at the Pilgrim’s Reception Office or other institutions authorized by the Cathedral of Santiago for their distribution, such as parish churches, Associations of Friends of the Way of St. James, pilgrim hostels, confraternities, etc.
In Spain and abroad, some associations related to the pilgrimage have been authorized to distribute their own Credentials with a reference to the goal of the pilgrimage at the Cathedral of Santiago.
The American Pilgrims on the Camino, our national organization is recognized by the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. We issue pilgrims credentials to any pilgrims who request them at no charge. you can request a Credential here. If you do not get your pilgrims credentials before you leave for your Camino there are many places where they are available in France and Spain. In Saint Jean pied du Port you can get one at the pilgrims office. In many locations you can go to the Cathedral in town and simply ask. They may be able to offer you one or may direct you to a bar, restaurant or even the local pilgrims office. It is very important that you have your credential stamped each day. Typically this will be done at the albergue where you spend the night. If you do not stay in an albergue you should still be able to get a stamp of some sort at the place where you do stay. Once you are 100 km from Santiago de Compostela you must then get two stamps per day. Again, typically at the location where you spend the night and usually at a bar or restaurant during your day. The “Compostela” is only granted to those who make the pilgrimage with Christian sentiment: devotionis affectu, voti vel pietatis causa (motivated by devotion, vote or mercy). And it is only granted to those who make the pilgrimage to reach the Tomb of the Apostle, doing in full at least the last 100 kilometers on foot or horseback, or the last 200 km by bike or 100 nautical miles and last km on foot.