Moving to Spain: Getting your Empadronamiento

A solicitud de empadronamiento is the procedure for registering yourself as living in a Spanish municipality and constitutes legal proof of where and how long you have lived at a certain address. The process is free and can be made by those residing in Spain regardless of legal status – and, ojo: being registered is a requirement for obtaining a TIE in many comunidades.

Typically, your city or town will have at least one office where inscription in the registry, known officially as the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes, can be done. In larger cities, there will be a main office along with satellite offices, often called distritos, for registration. In smaller towns and villages, empadronamiento can be completed at the local ayuntamiento or town hall.

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What you’ll need

  • passport and photocopy – or a valid NIE and photocopy if you already have one
  • *rental contract and photocopy
  • application form (available at the registry office where petition is made)

…Yup, that’s it. Easier to do than to pronounce!

I don’t have a rental contract!
If you’re renting a room in a shared flat or living with a host family, you likely won’t have a rental contract as proof of residence. At some municipal offices, showing a utility bill with your name and address on it will suffice. A second option is to ask that a person who is already registered as living at your address add you to the house padrón. To do so, that person can accompany you to your appointment and sign off, but inviting them to a beer after should settle the score.

How long will it take?
Keep in mind that applying for your padrón at a satellite office could result in longer processing times, while applications made at primary offices, sedes or ayuntamientos, are same-day service. Also, it’s not always necessary to make an appointment to register for your padrón, however in larger cities appointments can be made online to reduce wait times. For quick reference, here’s a list of the appointment websites some of Spain’s biggest cities.



Madrid cita previa
Barcelona cita previa
Valencia cita previa
Sevilla cita previa
Bilbao cita previa
Zaragoza cita previa
Málaga info
Murcia cita previa
Palma info
Oviedo info

What’s next?
Once you have registered you can ask for two different documents as proof of residence in Spain. A volante de empadronamiento is the more informal of the two and is generally used for simple administrative purposes. The more official certificado de empadronamiento is required for judicial procedures and is requested by Spanish authorities for changes in residency status.

And that’s it!
Registration is relatively painless compared to other bureaucratic procedures in Spain and helps the Spanish government keep a running tab on census data to allow for allocation of funds to local schools, health centers and police stations.

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Want to know more about living in Spain? Buy our eBook!

Your first few weeks in Spain are frightening and sometimes frustrating but all-together exhilarating. We had our fair share of tear-your-hair-out moments and are still here, nine years later! That’s why we started COMO Consulting – to help you move to Spain successfully – and wrote our eBook last summer as a tell-all guide to the Hows, Wheres and What The Hells, when you land in Iberia.

So far the response has been overwhelming: our clients have even called it their safety blanket!

We’ve beefed up the contents and added a few extras so that you can make your move to Spain as smooth as possible. You can purchase Moving to Spain  for 10€. Sign up for email updates and look out for special promotions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Author: Como Consulting Spain

Cat and Hayley are relocation specialists who can help you move to, live in and work in Spain. We'd love to hear from you!

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  1. Hi there!
    I have just been to the Valencia town hall and they are now asking for one receipt of rental payment as well as a rental contract. My landlady is willing to draw me up a contract but wants me to pay in cash, do you think a written receipt from her will suffice?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Mandy,
      Hard to say, that’s really up to the funcionario in charge. It shouldn’t be an issue as long as the receipt is issued on an official form (you can buy a little book of receipts at a local shops or kiosk) and includes details such as your landlord’s DNI/CIF. Good luck!

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  2. Is there anything we need to know regarding empadronamiento and ***moving***? For example, do we need to save the empadronamiento certificate every time we move and go change it with them? Do we need to keep copies of all our old leases or something? Do you always have to go in person if you’re just updating the address to the new place you moved to? Is this already discussed on another blog post or in your e-book? Thanks so much, and awesome blog!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Kate, Great questiosn! We always advise people to save EVERYTHING for five years, though you should have a padrón histórico on file with every place you’ve ever been empadronada. You must always go in person when you’re updating your residence, as this cuts down on fraud. Thankfully, it’s free and easy! Also note that you may be called in every other year to renew your empadronamiento unless you’ve got a tarjeta comunitaria.

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  3. My husband and I will be living in Spain for one year. We will live in different cities throughout the year, moving every 1-2 months. We have our NIE and are planning to apply for our TIE. Do we need an volate de empradronamiento to apply for our TIE?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sue,
      If you are an EU citizen it is not necessary to provide a certificate of empadronamiento, if you are non-EU it is necessary.

      Post a Reply

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