Padrón is an abbreviation of empadrónamiento. It is a list held by individual municipalities of every resident in the municipality. The numbers on the padrón determine how much financial support the municipality receives from the central government for services such as health services, street lighting, policing and so on.
Officially all residents in Spain should be on the padrón so if you live in Spain permanently or for over 180 days in the year, you should be registered on the empadrónamiento.
The main benefits of being on the empadrónamiento are:
- Access to public services and discounts
- Access to income-related benefits, health care and social care
- Right to vote in local elections
There are many occasions when you will be asked for a copy of your padrón certificate, these are some of the more common ones:
- when applying for a TIE card
- when registering at a health centre
- when enrolling in Spanish schools and colleges
- when registering a vehicle with Spanish number plates
- when exchange your driving licence for a Spanish licence
The registration lasts for between 2 and 5 years depending on your residency status. In theory the town hall should contact you periodically in order to confirm that you still live in the municipality.
The padrón certificate is only valid for up to 3 months so, if you are for example, applying for your TIE card, you must have a padrón certificate less than 3 months old.
You must go to the town hall in the municipality of your primary residence (if you have more than one residence in Spain).
You can visit your local town hall to receive a new certificate every time you need one. Some municipalities are now implementing an on line system that allows people with a digital certificate to download and print off a certificate.
You will need:
- Proof or your address, nota simple or title deeds (if you are the owner), or rental agreement.
- Your NIE certificate
- Your passport
- Some municipalities also require a utility bill
Each municipality is autonomous so can decide to charge you for the padrón certificate. Some municipalities do not charge at all, some charge 1 Euro, some charge 3 Euros.