A Padron – 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 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.
In order to register to vote in local or European elections, you must first be registered on the padrón. 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.
What is more, there are times that it is fiscally advantageous to have been able to prove that you are on the padrón and thus a Spanish Resident, for example when something happens to you and your probate is being done. It is only for Residents and we recommend that you register yourself. In fact the British Consulate is urging all British Residents to make sure they have done so prior to Brexit.
Lastly, we had to mention that padróns are also a type of pepper from the North of Spain, small and usually green and a couple of inches long!