What is the Padrón

The Padrón is short for Empadronamiento and is the certificate you apply for as proof of your existence in a municipality here in Spain.

It more or less equates to the electoral register in the UK and is just a census; it does not imply that you will be taxed as a result of registering or that Big Brother is watching you! It is merely a record of each individual who is living within each area.

Its accuracy is questionable though because it is up to the individual to de-register so there are some still on it who do not reside in that area any more and Town Halls will ask for updates every couple of years. The paper itself is valid for 3 months so if asked to present it for say, registering your car, you will need a valid one but just ask your Town Hall for an updated copy otherwise it is valid for life because each individual is responsible for informing the local Town Hall of any changes to their personal circumstances. Most Town Halls do not charge for it though some might charge a nominal fee.

The local councils receive funding from central government for every individual who is registered on the Padrón so it is understandably important to them.

What is this funding for?

The funds are used to improve our general surroundings, to fund our emergency services, our policing, our health centres and hospitals, our schools, our parks and gardens, our roads and all the other services that a local council provides. Obviously if your area is well provided for and maintained your property value will increase so it’s a win-win situation!

So, what benefits do you get by registering?

Firstly, there are many services you can only apply for once you have your Padrón – registering with a doctor, registering your child in school, registering a car in your name, getting married, applying for your residencia etc but also certain income-related benefits as well – disability passes, benefits, classes and excursions offered by your Town Hall as well as reduced annual IBI and basura charges in many areas.

Who should register on the Padron?

If you spend more than 6 months (183 days) of any one year in Spain you are obliged by law to register on the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. This is not a continuous 183 days; they can be split over a couple of months in the winter and the rest in summer.

How do you register on the Padrón?

It is a very simple process. Pop along to your local Town Hall (Foreigners Department if there is one) with a completed application form, your NIE or passport plus photocopy and either your escritura (property deeds) and receipt for IBI or rental contract. If you rent you will need a copy of the rental contract and some Town Talls also ask for authorisation from your landlord but others will suffice with the fact that the owner is already on the Padrón. Some Town Halls will ask for a bill for electricity or water etc in your name to that address as proof of you living there. Each Town Hall has different requirements so it is best to ask in advance but I have tried to give a general overview of what the Padrón is, who should register and what the benefits are to us all.

I hope this helps.

Anne Hernández

25 / 09 / 2017