How to Sign on El Padron in Spain

how to sign on el padron

This is a rather boring blog post but it’s one that has been highly requested. I had to reach out to Alex to ask about the process as he’s the one who actually did it.

Alex actually signed us both on to The Padrón one day whilst I was at work. That should give you an insight into that it’s fairly straight forward to do. It also shows that you’re able to do it for other people who reside with you, as long as you have their documents and permission!

El Empadronamiento or The Padron is a register of the municipal, similar to that of the electoral roll. By registering on to the Padron this places you on the list of residents and therefore increases the permanent population in the area, giving the community a bigger grant to spend on improvements and maintenance in the city.

The Padron has two purposes:

  • To place you on the census
  • To ensure you are enrolled for local, regional, national or European elections

Please note: The Padron does not grant you residency. 

Why Should I Register?

The El Padron receives more money for funding for your municipality. The more people signed on, the bigger grant the town hall receives. This provides funding for the police, health care, pharmacies, tobacconists, schools, cleaning, maintenance and more. Basically, if you want your city to be maintained and improved, you need to register. Signing on the El Padron provides you with a certificate, that verifies your presence in Spain. If you intend to spend more than six months a year in Spain, you need to register.

Will I Need El Padron?

There is no consistency across Spain for the necessity of El Padron. Each municipility will have its own rules regarding El Padron. Any of the following may need a Certificate of Empadronamiento:

  • Buy or sell a car
  • Register a child in school
  • Apply for the NIE (Numero de Identification de Extranjeros)
  • Apply for residency (Residencia)
  • Get married
  • Vote
  • Apply for a health insurance card

How To Register

In most municipalities, registration to the Empadronamiento must be made in person at the town hall. However, some municipalities are now allowing the registration to be completed online.

At the reception desk of the Town Hall, ask them to direct you to the office for the Padron.

These are the documents you will need to register:

  • A completed application form (collected at the office)
  • ID such as a passport, and a photocopy; if registering as a family, ID is needed for each individual
  • Proof of address, such as a utility bill, rental contract agreement or property deed

The Padron is issued the same day and is free to do. You are able to apply for it for other people who are living with you, as long as you have their ID with you. It is a case of passing over the forms to the Padron office and they do all the hard work. They will then print your paperwork and stamp or sign it. It’s a really easy process to do as long as you have the correct paperwork with you.

You cannot apply for Padron if your rental contract is out of date.

Common Misconceptions of the Padron

  • The Padron does not have to be renewed every so often, although claimed by many websites, it only needs to be renewed when the Town Hall notifies you to do so.
  • It is not a form of ID and therefore does not need to be carried around
  • It is not a Spanish residency
  • It is not a required document to be kept in your vehicle

Births, deaths and change of address

All changes in circumstances must be reported to the Padron, this includes births, deaths and changes of address. This includes moving house in the same community by notifying the town hall. If you are moving to a different community, you will need to notify the previous town hall and restart the application in the new community. If you are leaving Spain, you will need to notify the town hall so that the Padron can be updated accordingly.

Hasta luego,

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Hola! I'm Lauren ("Loh - run") — A twenty-something, engaged, English girl living on the Costa Blanca, obsessed with travel, love and elephants.

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