The Padrón is the town hall register of inhabitants, a register that is used by the National Institute of Statistics, the INE,(Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España) to complete the national census every year. The word ’empadronamiento’ actually means census.
The Origin of the Padron
The origins of the Padrón have been traced back by historians to a census conducted in Spain called the `Secretaría de la Balanza´ who put forward the national control of the population – the `Padrón de Calle-Hita. Todays modern Padrón clearly stipulates that everybody who resides in Spain must be registered on it, and any false information or non-registration could lead to a sanction or fine.
When you register you are given a certificate, (certificado de empadronamiento), which is often required by the authorities as proof of where you live, when you use or apply for public services. The registry entry should therefore also record all the names of all people living at the address, including children, so that they appear on the certificate, as well.
Some examples of things that a Padrón certificate is required for are-
- registering a child in a local school
- registering with the local doctor (medico) or health centre, (centro de salud)
- changing ownership or registering a car
- setting up a contract with a utility company.
- It may also give you access to reduce local tax rates, or cut price entrance for local municipal services and facilities, e.g. transport, sports centres, and so on.
Where do I get a Padrón certificate?
The Padron certificate is issued at the local Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). To register you need
- your passport
- your NIE numbe,
- a Utility bill
- copy of your Escritura (house deeds) or Rental contract.
Most Town Halls now charge a small fee for processing your Padrón. It will not matter if your NIE number shows a different address, however your Escritura or rental agreement need to show the correct address. The process is usually fairly quick and you will normally be given your certificate straight away.
Do I need to renew my Padrón?
Once issued, the Padrón certificate is valid for 3 months, so you have to go and obtain a new one everytime you do something which requires proof of address. Your registration on the Padrón however, only needs to be updated if you change address.
If you do need a new Padrón certificate, then it is simply a case of going to back to your Town Hall and asking them to print another one for you. Tedious and over bureaucratic we know.
Some Town Halls are currently checking the accuracy of their Padrón registers, so you may be sent a letter asking you to renew your Padrón. Others are campaigning to get foreigners to register. This is because local government budgets are based on the amount of people living in the area. Growth in the number of residents, helps them petition for grants and an increase in funds from central government to provide and improve local services and facilities.
If you are unsure about whether you should be on the Padrón, our article ‘Foreigners and Expats and the Padron’ explains more including possible tax implications.