Ayuntamiento Gata

Why it’s important for expats to get on the Padron


The following details from Euro Weekly News 6 December 2017:

The Padron is the town hall’s list of everyone who lives in the vicinity. It is the local authorities way of keeping track of how many people live in the area without delving into their financial affairs. Everyone who lives in Spain is legally required to get themselves on this list, yet there are many expatriates who have yet to do so, or are not aware this is something they need to do.

What are the benefits? There are many benefits of ‘Empadronarse – the act of registering yourself on the “Padron – which could make a significant difference to your time in Spain.

As the residence certificate (“Certificado de Empadronamiento) is your official proof of address, you will need it if you want to register for healthcare, enroll your children in Spanish schools or get Spanish number plates for your car. You can only have access to certain benefits and social care services provided by the town hall if you are registered on this list. It also helps to improve local services, such as health centres, fire department and schools, if you register as the Spanish government allocates money to different towns depending on how many people are on the “Padron.”

It is also required if you want to take part in local or European elections as this is how the census office gets their information to put together the electoral register.

What do you need to register? To get on the Padron list, you just have to take the following documents to your local town hall:

  • Your passport and a photocopy.
  • NIE certificate or residency card issued by the National Police Foreign Office.
  • Proof of ownership of property (either your deeds or a rates receipt in your name and a photocopy).
  • If you are renting a property, bring the rental contract in Spanish and a photocopy,
  • If you don’t own a property and are not renting, you need to bring the owner of the dwelling in order for them to sign the registration form to authorise you to register at the property.

All family members over the age of 18 must sign the registration form in person. For children, the birth certificates and passport have to be presented, but the form can be signed by parents.

The procedure takes approximately 10 minutes, and then you will be issued with a certificate of registration with your name, NIE number and address on it. The information you provide when you register is kept confidential and is protected by data protection laws.
You will need to renew the certificate again every two years if you registered with a passport or NIE number or five years if you registered with your residence card.
If you are asked to provide the certificate under any circumstances, the date of issue should not be older than three months. If this is the case, you can ask the town hall to print you a new one. If you leave Spain, you must inform the town hall before you go so you will be taken off the “Padron.