What is the padrón?
* Padrón – a list of all the people who live in a certain town
* Empadronarse – the act of registering yourself on this list with your local town hall.
Who should register?
Officially all residents in Spain are required by law to Register on the Padrón, yet many British ex-pats still have not done so. Perhaps some view the padrón as a means of vigilance by the state, in ‘big-brother’ fashion. However, in reality, it is simply a way for the town hall to know how many people live in their area, without entering into investigations as to a person’s official residence status or financial affairs. In addition, the information provided at registration is confidential and protected by data protection laws.
How do I register?
You don’t have to own your house to register, just have an address where you habitually live, no matter whether you are the owner, you rent, or live with family or friends. Nor is registration a long drawn out registration process. Simply go to the padrón office of your town hall and fill in the form they provide. Take along official identification, such as a passport, and also your NIE or residence certificate/card, a recent utility bill in your name, and the deeds to your house or a copy of your rental contract. Although you may have to return to collect your certificate, the actual registration is completed all on the same day.
What are the benefits?
Once you’ve completed the simple process, you can begin to enjoy all the advantages being on the padrón offers, such as:
Better public services.
Central Government allocates money to the different municipalities according to how many people are on the padrón. Therefore, if you are not registered, your town hall is losing money for the provision of health centres, police officers, fire fighters and schools.
Access to benefits and social care.
You must be on the padrón for a certain period of time to take advantage of some income-related benefits and other aspects of social care available through social services at your town hall.
A reduction in taxes
Depending on the town hall, registration on the padrón could mean up to 50% off Property Tax, as well as reductions in certain community charges and inheritance tax. Furthermore, those on the padrón can also often enjoy discounted courses, leisure and cultural activities run by the town hall.
In order to register to vote in local or European elections, you must first be registered on the padrón.
An easier life
You’ll find you need your padrón certificate to carry out various administrative tasks, such as register for healthcare, register your car with Spanish number plates or enrol your children in school.
There are many websites offering information on Registering on the Padron and also details about wills etc.
To ensure that all information is up to date I have included links to the official web-sites responsible for updating this information.