Certificado de Empadronamiento

lucia lagunas reyes - Our Certificado de Empadronamiento lawyer expert

Whether you are an expat from the United States or any other nation, chances are you are familiar with the term “empadronarse”. However, not too many know what it actually means. In order to have a complete understanding of the term and the process involved with obtaining one once you are in Spain.

What i the Empadronamiento (Census)?

Being a part of the census in Spain is a requirement if you are planning to live there for a significant amount of time. In fact, it is required by law.

The good thing though is that the process itself is pretty straightforward.

Officially, empadronarse refers to the act of self-registering with the city that you are living in as a resident.

Clearly said, an empadronamiento certificate is the official registry in Spain that specifies your place of residence. It requires you to take certain steps shortly after your arrival in Spain.

In case you are asking yourself, why? The reason is due to many ensuing legalities which will need you to present a certificate of registry or ¨padron¨. An example of this is the fact that when you go through the immigration process, this certificate will need to be accompanied with all of the immigration paperwork, and any other applications you might want such as a work permit.

Having this padron certificate will be your evidence showing that your application was done the right way with immigration. It also needs to be in the same area as you as opposed to a completely different location.

Spanish Basics to Be Aware Of

Sometimes, you may find the entire procedure hard to understand. This is why you need to understand some fundamentals first.

As far as “padrón” is concerned, it is concerning the fact of a census that every spanish town or city hall maintains concerning the residents. The registry for the municipality is known as the “empadronarse”.

When is a Certificado de Empadronamiento Necessary?

Like we mentioned earlier, having a Certificado de Empadronamiento is required in order to take care of legalities. A few instances include the following:

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  • Receiving your driver´s license
  • Purchasing a vehicle
  • Part of the residency application
  • Acquiring healthcare
  • Enrolling children into schools
  • Obtaining government assistance
  • Being able to marry

Having an empadronamiento while in Spain is also the best tool to use if you are currently living illegally.

If you did not know, Spanish residency is possible if an individual has been in the country illegally for a specific length of time. If this is the case for you, then we will gladly help you make the legal transition with a program known as the arraigo.

However, with an immigrant status as being illegal, you need to be able to prove the amount of time you have been living in Spain.

So how can this be done? Well, by having the empadronamiento, you would be able to prove it quite easily as it will be your registered address for the entire length of time.

Distinction between the Certificate de Empadronamiento and Volante Padronal

It is important that you know what the distinction is between the two.

With the certificado de empadronamiento, its purpose is to show that you have an address registered in a town or city within Spain. With this certificate, it is considered to be a legal declaration due to the signature it contains. If you plan to conduct government business, then this certificate will be required. You can expect a cost of around €3.25, which may fluctuate depending on the region in which you live. While it is possible to obtain it the same day, you should be aware that a wait may occur. Essentially, having a volante padronal is considered the temporary empadronamiento.

With the volante padronal, it is the initial certificate that is issued and only provides your address without needing any other identifying information. The volante padronal is not a certified declaration because of it lacking signatures to officiate it. When renewing any documents in Spain, your certificate needs to be presented for verification.

As you head down to the city officials, they will present you with either one after your address is verified.

Is A Residency Needed For You To Become Registered

Registering is not defined by a residency status or any type of situation and you are permitted to obtain a certificado de empadronamiento. As long as you have the necessary papers, the city officials will be committed to record you in the address registry regardless of your immigration status. Not only that, but a numero de identitad de extranjero is not needed for registration and only a passport is needed.

The Empadronarse Process to Register Your Spain Address

Being able to register is an easy process from start to finish and will not need a lot of time and effort.

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If you decide to register a Barcelona address, then you can do it online. The same goes with living in Madrid. Once you have filled out your application an appointment or cita previa empadronamiento will be needed at the city hall where you will submit your application.

Essential Registration Documents Needed to Register. In order for you to get the process started for the certificate, you will need to produce the below documents:

  • Registration form completely filled out
  • Registrants’ passport along with a copy
  • Original and copy of a housing lease agreement
  • Having the registration form filled out completely is necessary as it contains your Spanish address along with all others who reside at the same address.
  • Registering is needed for the following reasons:
  • Obtaining a Spanish bank account
  • If you are making Spain your permanent home
  • Need an NIE
  • Purchasing an automobile
  • Any and all tasks of an administrative nature

Normally, the padron conducted must be under 90 days. However, many times the date will go unchecked and having the paper is all that is required.

Registering is not necessary if you are only:

  • A tourist that only plans to stay for a short time period
  • An exchange student and not in country for more than 6 months
  • You don´t plan to have any bank account opened or conduct any other financial business

Necessary papers

  • Apartment/home lease contract that is for a minimum of 6 months having both your NIE and name within it, which both you and the property owner have signed.
  • NIE or valid passport
  • Any and all administrative documents which may be required

Offices Where Registering for the Empadronamiento Takes Place

Spain has many offices available that are located throughout many towns and major cities. These offices are referred to as Oficina Atencio Ciutadana. The offices and address for the empadronamiento Barcelona are listed as follows.

  • Sant Andreu, located at Carre Segre 24-32 – 08030
  • Eixample, located at Carre Arago 328 – 08009
  • Nou Barris, located at Placa Major Nou Barris 1 – 08042
  • La Marina, located at Passeig Zona Franca 185-219 – 08038
  • Gracia, located at Pl Vila de Gracia 2 – 08012
  • Sant Marti, located at Pl Valenti Almiral 1 – 08018
  • Ciutat Vella, located at Carrer Ramelleres, 17 – 08001
  • Sants – Montjuic, located at Carrer Creu Coberta 104 – 08014
  • Les Corts, located at Placa Comas 18 – 08028
  • Zona Nord, located at C Costabona 3-5 – 08033
  • Horta-Guinardo, located at Carrer Lepant 387 –08027
  • Sarria – Sant Gervasi, located at Carrer Angli 31 – 08017
  • Sant Miquel, located at Pl. Sant Miquel 3 – 08002

There is no difference in the office that you visit. However, your experience may differ from one office to another.

  • The Empadronamiento Barcelona

Regardless of where you live in Spain, a padron certificate will be required.

This means if you decide to live in Madrid, then an empadronamiento in Madrid will be needed. For Valencia, you will need an empadronamiento in Valencia. Other examples include:

  • Empadronamiento Malaga
  • Empadronamiento Almeria
  • Empadronamiento Murcia
  • Empadronamiento Alicante

Other reasons to be registered with the padron include having the ability to use services through the library and obtain reduced prices for events. The overall procedure takes no time at all and does not cost a thing.

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The processing of the registration is to be completed before the initial 90-day stay has lapsed regardless of which town or city you register for. You will then need to have it renewed when you hit 5 years.

Who Profits from an empadronamiento

There are two main entities who profit from the certificate, the first is the municipal and the second is you.

As a Municipal

Even though registering is not an obligatory undertaking, the advantages the municipal receives is great. These are due to the influx of funding that the municipal obtains based on the number of individuals living and registered on the municipal´s padron. Because of this, registering is crucial so that the municipal is able to obtain the correct funding so that everything will run smoothly and town services can be provided.

As far as services are provided, the funding helps pay for the upkeep and cleanliness of the cities, healthcare services, and law enforcement. When registering is not completed, the systems and services could become overwhelmed due to a limited amount of supply to meet the increased demand. Unregistered individuals could also have an effect on the number of staff that work for specific services.

Registering On an Individual Basis

Starting a life and family in Spain is made easier and you are able to have your children attend school. This is especially good because enrollment preference is given to those who have been registered. You are also able to take part in many activities and venues for a lot less than a nonregistered individual. You will also need to be registered if you plan to work within the municipal.

Is Residency Interconnected

A Spain residency has nothing to do with an empadronamiento and you do not need residency first. You also will not be paying any more or less when it comes to taxes. Keep in mind that the taxes will be paid regardless just by owning your home.

How does the process work if you only rent or live with others?

For these circumstances, the contract holder will need to provide permission so you can show this to the municipal, along with a copy of their ID.

If a person does not register you as they rent to you, then you have a couple of options available because of this happening a lot.

Your first option is to have a neighbor vouch for you as living there. They will need to sign a statement explaining that you do in fact live with others.

The second option is to provide different types of evidence to the padron that can also show your living situation. Such examples include receipts for rent payment or package invoices that you have received while living there. By having as much evidence as you can will be good and will allow you to be registered a lot faster.

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What do you need to do if a change of address occurs?

For this instance, an entire new register application will be needed in the new municipality for which you reside in. Although the municipality documents will be new, the application documents needed will be the same.

When you move to another town or city, the registration should take place at the padron who governs the municipal. This way they have your new address. Citizens of the European Union must conduct a 5-year renewal and 2 years for residents who are non-European Union citizens. By having more funding, the law enforcement and healthcare system can provide the proper number of services. With that, the officials may force registration on you.

When you obtain your certificate from the padrón municipal, you will experience a simple process that is quick to complete. You can get it accomplished throughout the week.

Having help is not always an easy undertaking, but when you see yourself as needing help with obtaining your certificado, then do not hesitate to give us a call! We can walk you through the process and their sede electrónica.

12 thoughts on “Certificado de Empadronamiento

  1. Damien |

    I want to obtain the certificate de empadronamiento in Valencia, can you help me?

    1. My Spain Visa |

      One of our lawyers will help you to obtain the certificado de emprandonamiento

  2. Juliet Hiznay |

    He comprado una vivienda en Granada pero sin poder aprovechar de la visa dorada. Tengo que verificar la mejor manera de obtener la residencia espanola.

    1. My Spain Visa |

      Uno de nuestros abogados se pondrá en contacto con usted para ayudarle en el proceso.

  3. Simon Brown |

    Padrons are supposed to be max. 90 days old.
    What if the ayuntamiento are taking more than 90 days to process emapadronamientos?
    My ayuntamiento in Telde can’t even give me an appointment within 90 days of moving here, much less process it in that time.
    Is this one of those laws where certain things are “supposed” to happen but they don’t and there’s no accountability?

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about Certificado de Empadronamiento.


  4. Opoku seth |

    Pls am a tourism who wish to start a life in spain can i register for empadronamiento before me visa expires

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about empadronamiento.


  5. Elsie |

    My partner and i will be moving to spain with a non lucrative visa. We were planning on inspecting rental properties while we are over there and staying in an air bnb while we find the right place. Is there any way we can get our empadroniamento before we rent, by providing details of the air bnb perhaps?



    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about the certificado de empadronamiento.


      1. Billie |

        Please contact me for my questions

      2. Anna |


        One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about certificado de empadronamiento.


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