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