Update 12 July: As Diana has now posted on her own website HERE, the freeze on issuing Registros is over. I have updated my Forms & Formalities page HERE with the new rules. How this will impact on people moving over without work is anyone’s guess, but it will make it much more difficult, it seems to me, since they will now need at least to show that they are making social security contributions, either as an employee or as self-employed. This is no longer as straightforward as it used to be because social security numbers will no longer be issued without some form of evidence of employment or self-employed status. For pensioners to get a Registro, they will need not only an S1 (or private healthcare), but also to demonstrate “sufficient income” to avoid becoming a burden on the state.
Update 10 May: As Diana posted in the comments below, the police now seem to be issuing NIEs, but for non-residents only. Residents still need to obtain a Certificado de Registro and this is on hold for the moment. The NIEs that are being issued, however, are no longer just for three months, but are instead for non-resident “economic purposes”, e.g. buying a property or opening a bank account.
Original post 9 May: Due to new regulations announced on 25 March 2012, EU nationals who wish to remain in Spain for more than 3 months must comply with certain conditions before a Certificado de Registro will be issued. I updated my page HERE a little while ago, but there is now a problem in the Extranjería part of the Comisaría in Playa de las Américas. Until the rules are clarified, along with the necessary procedures the police must follow, the issuing of Certificados de Registro is on hold. Even worse, so is the issuing of NIEs. I will update as and when there is further information, but anyone now considering applying for a Registro should not do so, and anyone needing a NIE will need to go to the tax office to acquire a transitional one which will be ratified by the police in due course when they start processing them again.