12 March 2018

Padrón: exactly how to get it

When moving to a new country, dealing with new bureaucracies can be confusing and overwhelming. In a country like Spain, some steps can be entirely different depending on which office you go to. We break down the steps you’ll need to take to get your Spanish padrón.

Padrón: exactly how to get it

What is el padrón?

The padrón is a document you receive when you register your Spanish address at the nearest town hall; it is called the certificado de empadronamiento. It is the proof of your address in Spain.

Why do you need a padrón?

A padrón can come in handy for:

  • Spanish health card (the padrón will be used as proof of address in this case)
  • Spanish driver’s licence
  • Spanish residency
  • Applying for your NIE

You are required by law to register yourself on the Padron Municipal de Habitantes if you aim to live in Spain for more than 180 days of any year. The padrón is used in Spain for election as well as census purposes. The more people who are registered in a certain area, the more public services said area will receive.

How do I register for el padrón?

The best thing to do is to call or go to your local town hall or relevant office to ask exactly which documents you will need. As each town hall is an autonomous entity and rules can change at any time, the requirements will vary.

Generally, documents you will need to bring are:

  • passport and a photocopy
  • property rental contract
  • electricity or water bill

To sum up, it usually helps to speak with your landlord or the people you share a flat with. If they are new (or fairly new) to the city, they will have had experience in registering themselves onto the padrón. It will help even more if someone accompanies you to the town hall to offer assistance with your Spanish (if you are not yet fluent or confident).

Remember that if you have signed up for Speakeasy’s Long-Term or University Prep Course, someone from our staff will accompany you to these meetings.