When you move to a new area in Spain you must register on the Padrón at the town hall as soon as possible. This is similar to the electoral role, but is used much more in Spain than in the UK.
Essentially, the ‘Padrón’ is an official certificate that validates where you live. It is needed for many procedures in areas such as healthcare, voting, and in the census and provides the government with information about how many people are living in a particular area, which then helps them improve their services. Registration for the Padrón takes place at the town hall (el ayuntamiento). You don’t usually need an appointment, although be prepared to wait if there is a queue. All your family should be registered if they are resident in Spain, this includes children under 18. You will usually need the following documents and will be asked to complete a registration form:
Once you are registered on the Padrón you will be able to:
The Padrón is sometimes mistaken for the following: – An immigration document (you can use your Spanish residency, NIE, or Spanish Visa for this). – A personal ID (you can use your Passport or driving licence for this instead).
The card acts as a complementary document in conjunction with your Pensioner’s card, Health card, Spanish driving licence, Residency, and School grants/registrations. The card may also be requested by particular organisations as proof of residence. If you are unsure about what is and isn’t accepted, it is recommended to ask them beforehand to clarify.
Registering gives you access to the following: Spanish residency – it is essential to register on the Padrón to become a Spanish resident. Better public services – Registering gives the government a more accurate representation of how many people are living in a particular area, which means they will allow more funding for public services. Remember, they will base their estimate on the number of people registered, so if you choose not to register, there will be fewer services available. Health care – Registering can allow you full access to Spanish health care, which will be explained in more detail below.
All you need to do is go to your nearest town hall and request one. As all town halls are independent, there are no standard rules for documents you may need to obtain it, so it is best to go and ask them to clarify.
Certain organisations, such as the Social Services, the medical centre, and Trafico, may ask for an up-to-date padrón issued within the last three months, but in general the rules are determined by your local town hall. If you are required to renew it, you just need to return to the town hall to reprint it.