There are a number of requirements when living in Spain including The Padrón. This gives you access to various services in Spain and here we explain the advantages and how to register on The Padrón.
The Padrón is a Municipal Civil Register on which every resident must be registered. It is a legal obligation to register on the Padrón alongside obtaining an NIE number. El Padrón records how many people live in the community. This is the basis of the funding the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) receives from central government to pay for services such as policing, health centres, cleaning and the postal service. You also need to be on the Padrón to be able to vote in local, regional, national or European elections.
You get a certificate when you register at the town hall in the area where you reside in Spain called ‘certificado de empadronamiento’ in Spanish. You can only be registered in one Padrón system even if you have properties in different cities in Spain.
Advantages of being on the Padrón
The main advantages of being on the Padrón for foreigners are:
- Spanish residency – you will need to be registered on your local Padrón as proof of address before you can apply to become a resident.
- Spanish health card – the Padrón is also used as proof of address to determine which medical centre you will join.
- Spanish driving licence – you also need the Padrón certificate to prove your address when you register a car or exchange your driving licence for a Spanish one.
- Pensioner’s card – the Padrón certificate will show the local authorities where you live.
- School registration – the Padrón certificate will let the schools know where children live.
The Padrón is not a form of ID and does not have to be kept with you. It does not give you rights to Spanish residency. It does not have to be renewed regularly except when specified by the town hall.
How do I register?
To register you just have to have an address where you habitually live, no matter whether you are the owner, you rent, or live with family or friends. You do not have to own your house to register.
It is a simple process. You just need to go to the Padrón office for your town hall and fill in the form they provide. You need to have:
- an official identification document, such as a passport
- your NIE or residence certificate/card
- the escritura (deeds) to your house or a copy of your rental contract (in Spanish). A recent utility bill in your name may be required. If the initial term of your rental agreement has passed you will need to show that it is still in place with evidence such as a bank statement showing the most recent rental payment. If you are living in a home without a rental contract (for example, where you are living in a family home and it is not registered in your name), you will need a signed letter showing you have permission to live in the house plus a recent receipt for the address
They will generally scan the documents, but it is worth taking copies of the documents in case they are requested.
The registration will be completed on the day, although in some places you may have to return to collect your certificate.