El Padrón – The Municipal Register

It’s somewhat worrying that we expats will come over to Spain to live but not comply with something that is so relatively simple to do but has so many benefits.

Have you ever wondered who pays for the maintenance of roads and paths, parks and gardens, schools, beaches, medical services, police & other emergency services etc?  The local borough councils do.  Quite a big bill you must admit but did you also know that for every registered resident, they get funding from central government?

How do they qualify for that funding?  By the number of residents registered on the Padrón.  What is the Padrón?  The Padrón is the municipal list of local residents.  Despite our resistance to register did you know that registration is obligatory for anybody residing for more than 183 days in any year?

No matter what our political leaning, for us to continue living in wonderful surroundings and without the paths and roads falling into disrepair, or shortage of medical services, – something that the UK is certainly going through at the moment with the problems of the NHS – we need to help our councils by registering.  residents on the local municipal register (the padrón).

I think we Brits have an inbuilt suspicion of councils because so many of us think it is a case of ‘Big Brother’ is watching us and that couldn’t be further from the truth.  It has no hidden catches to it; to the contrary we will all reap the benefits and we get the opportunity to participate in the local and European elections. And very importantly, most councils will offer those on the Padrón discounts on their annual rates and rubbish charges (IBI and Basura).  Apart from that, to enrol our children in State schools, buy or sell a car, register with a doctor etc it is impossible without being on the Padrón.  Some banks are now asking for it if you want to open a bank account as well.  Most councils also offer excursions, events and classes to their registered residents so it really is a win-win situation!

The paper itself is only valid for 3 months so if you are asked to present it you may need to get an updated copy at the town hall but renewal of the actual Padrón is every 5 years for EU citizens who live as permanent residents.  If non EU citizens who do have a permanent residence visa then renewal is every 2 years.

How do you register?  Just take your passport, NIE, property deeds (Escritura)/ rental contract in Spanish (the property owner must first be registered) or proof of address on a utility bill to the local Council offices and they will do it in a few minutes.  It’s that easy.  So, fellow expats, let’s be seen to support this country that we have chosen to make home and do our best to encourage our friends here to comply.

Download Useful Guide Here

Anne Hernández

If you have any questions or queries related to the above, do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our experts filling in the enquiry form below