Why should I register on the Padrón in Spain?

In Spain the Padrón is a re­gister of all the people res­id­ent in the town/area – similar to the electoral roll in the UK – which is kept by the local town hall and used by the gov­ern­ment and local au­thor­it­ies to keep track of how many people live in the area. Ok, that may sound a bit ‘Big Brother’ but in reality, there are many benefits to registering on the Padrón in Spain. Particularly in the light of Brexit, as registering on the Padrón can help to confirm your residency status in Spain.

What is the Padrón in Spain? 

The Spanish Padrón is a register, which records details about local residents including your name, NIE number, nationality, date of birth and address. Once registered you will receive a padrón certificate.

Do I have to register on the Padrón?

If you spend more than six months a year in Spain in total, you are legally required to register on the Padrón at your local town hall. So, for example, if you spend three months a year in Spain twice a year, you will need to register.

You can only be registered in one padrón system, so if you have several properties in different places in Spain, you should register on the padrón of the town/city where you spend most time.

What are the benefits to registering on the Padrón?

Registering on the Padrón has advantages for you an individual, as well as being beneficial for the town in which you register.

In the case of foreigners living in Spain here are just some of the benefits to being registered on the Padrón:

  • Access to public services and discounts
  • Access to income-related benefits and social care
  • Reduced taxes
  • Voting rights in local elections
  • Ability to apply for residency
  • Discounted travel for residents on Spanish islands
  • Ability to register for local healthcare
  • Ability to apply for a Spanish driving licence
  • Access to enrol in Spanish schools
  • Register a car with a Spanish number plate

There are likely many more reasons that you will need a Spanish padrón certificate too, such as importing a foreign vehicle, but the above are the most common things people encounter.

By registering on the Padrón, the town or city in which you live will also benefit as the government and local authorities provide financial assistance in the form of subsidies and grants for the provision of services, depending on the amount of people registered on the Padrón. 

How do I register on the Padrón? 

To register on the Padrón you will need to complete and sign the relevant form at your local town hall. Generally speaking, you will also need to provide the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • Your NIE or residence certificate/card
  • The deeds to your house or a copy of your rental contract
  • A recent utility bill in your name

However, as Spain’s regions are autonomous there’s no set criteria as such for registering on the Padrón, so it’s best to check with your local town hall or relevant office to find out what documentation is required and what the process is for registering on the Padrón.

The process usually takes no more than a few minutes and your town hall will issue you a certificado de empadronamiento (padrón certificate), which you may have collect a few days later. Your registration is complete on the same day though.

Some town halls may charge a small fee. For example, in Palma de Mallorca there is a €1.20 fee to register.

Do you have to renew your Padrón status?

As the Padrón needs to be kept up to date, you must confirm your status every two years to every five years, depending on your residency status. If you have a certificate of residence, your local town hall will contact you every five years to confirm that you still live in the town and wish to remain on the Padrón. If you don’t have a certificate of residence your town hall will contact you every two years and if they are unable to confirm you still live in the town will remove you from the Padrón register.

If you need to make any changes or want to check any details, you can do so with your local town hall at any time.

Your padrón certificate is valid for 30-90 days depending on the municipality that it’s issued by. So, if you need to show your certificate to register at a school or accessing public service, for instance, you will need to get a new copy of your certificate, which can be obtained from your local town hall.

If you have any questions about buying property in Spain or need any assistance finding reputable property professionals, such as English-speaking Spanish lawyerscurrency specialistsestate agents in Spain, call our team today on 01244 478911 or email us on info@totalbuyingabroad.com.

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How to become a resident in Spain after Brexit


Article published: September 10, 2018