CASE STUDY – What is a “Padron” in Spain?


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I have heard people say “What is this Padron, and do I need one?”


What is A Padron?


Well, Padron is short for empadronamiento, and it is a certificate given to justify that you live in Spain on a more or less permanent basis. This allows the local government to calculate how many people are living in an area and helps them to petition for grants to improve local facilities.

The Padron is essential for many daily aspects of life in Spain and can be obtained from the local Town Hall. Each office asks for different paperwork in relation to this and it can sometimes be a frustrating task. We can verify the paperwork required and provide a translator to accompany you to the Town Hall to obtain this certificate.

It is obligatory for anyone staying in Spain for more than six months to obtain  a Residencia and a Padron. The Padron enables the town hall to do a head count on the number of permanent dwellers in the area and therefore petition for grants to maintain and improve the infrastructure.

The Padron Certificate is needed to register at a health center and also for a variety of other institutions including getting children into school and a car registered. The Padron has a validity between 30 – 90 days, however only needs to be updated when you actually need to show it to the authorities.


When do you need a padron in Spain?


The ‘Padron’ is a register kept by the Town Hall of all those persons resident in the town/area

Everyone who lives in Spain (more than six months a year ) is obliged to register on the ‘Padron’.

The Padron is used by the government and local authorities to keep a ‘head count’ on how many people live in the area.

You also need to keep on this register if you wish to use, amongst others, the local school facilities, medical facilities and many times, if you wish to apply for facilities offered via Social Security.

Residents who can demonstrate the requisite time on the Padron, can also receive benefits or a cash grant when getting married to another resident or may qualify for financial assistance for any children they have had here in Spain.

Trafico, the traffic department of Spain, also demand that to import a car here from another country or to qualify for a Spanish Driver’s Licence*, and many times to register a car in your own name, you must also be registered on the Padron in the town hall, proving your address.

By registering on the ‘Padron’, you will also help the Municipality to receive more financial assistance in the form of subsidies and grants from provincial, regional and government authorities for the provision of services. Those who register for the same, have the right to vote in local elections if registered on the ‘Padron’.

As stated, anyone who lives for more than six months in Spain is required to register on the Padron. However, the certificate itself only lasts for a limited period of time. This means that you must update the certificate in the event that you are asked to produce it for something specific. Essentially, whoever asks you for the original Padron, will need one with a relatively recent date on this (within the last 90 days of issue).

You do NOT need to update your certificate simply if the date has run out, only when you actually need to prove that you are registered.


How do I get a Padron in Alicante?


You need to apply at your local town hall in person. Each town hall asks for different papers and should be verified prior to standing in the queues to apply – it is very frustrating to finally arrive at the head of the queue and be turned away due to not having enough copies etc.

Please contact us for any assistance.


  • Cynthia Barajas

    If I am an international student, and I still can not find a place where I am going to stay permanently during my resident in Spain (Madrid) and I need to get my empadronamiento and I staying an a AirBNB, what do I do?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Cynthia,

      It would be best to contact the Padrón office and explain your situation, they may have something in place for students. Some students will stay in student accomodation and they will also need the padrón.

      Kind regards

  • Martin Roper

    My partner and I are pensioners. We wish to spend eight months of the year living with a friend in Spain and four months at our home in the UK. We understand that we need residency in Spain but do not have a rental agreement. We are also told that if we register a S1 form in Spain we lose NHS cover
    Can you advise on both issues
    Thank you
    Martin Roper

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Martin,

      Thank you for your enquiry, can we ask where in Spain you stay please.

      When you apply for the padrón, you do not need to have a rental contract. The friend you are staying with can visit the padrón office with you and sign a documents to say that you stay with them.

      We have spoken to the HMRC previously regarding the S1 and whether the insured would be covered in the UK and we were told if they were pensioners, yes. It may be best to doublé check this with the Overseas Health Team at the HMRC to be sure incase anything has changed.

      Please note the residencia process may change after Brexit.

      Kind regards

  • Hina

    I am doing PhD from Spain. I am a international student. I want to need some financial support how can I apply ?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Evening Hina,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      We are more than certain the University where you study will be able to give you information on how to obtain financial support and also help with filling out the paperwork required. We hope this helps and we wish you all the best with your studies.

      Kind regards

  • marie green

    hi i have a padrón but have misplaced the form How do i get a copy of it . i have a holiday home in gran alacant santa pola

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Marie,

      To get another Padrón you have to go to the Padrón Office at the town hall with your Passport, deeds or rental contract and NIEs, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Shanawaz

    hi I’m shanawaz,
    I visit Spain very Often and stay here for months as I’ve been working for a Spanish company in India, I stay in la farola apartment manresa , can u guide me how to get padron. ?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Shanawaz,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Most town halls will only allow you to register on the Padron, if you are resident in Spain. It would be best to check with your local padron office. We hope this helps

      Kind regards / Saludos cordiales

      Nicola Ryan

  • Paul

    I’m from the UK and have been been living in Spain for almost seven year. I have the original NIE that I received seven years ago but failed to apply for a permanent NIE. Can you tell me what the requirements are for me to obtain this, and also to obtain permanent residency?
    Many thanks

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Paul,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      When you applied for your NIE, was it a temporary NIE (only valid for 3 months), the reason I ask is a normal NIE is permanent. If you did apply for a temporary NIE, this will no longer be valid and you would have to apply for a NIE again via the Foreign Office in Spain.

      In regard to your residencia, please see a link below detailing the documents required, please note the NIE and residencia can be applied for at the same time.

      If you are a British passport holder, we would recommend applying for your residencia prior to Brexit as no one knows what changes Brexit will bring. There is talk of a grace period for people already living in Spain, to obtain their residencia but again this has not been confirmed by the Foreign Office in Spain.

      Should you need any assistance with the NIE or residencia, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be happy to help.

      Kind regards

  • Brad

    Although I’ve lived in Spain for 6 1/2 years, I’m still confused with what I have and what I should have in terms of documentation! I recently got my permanent residencia, does that mean I have a Padron? Or is it separate?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Brad,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      Your Padron is when you register as staying in a specific area. The Padron can be used as proof of address if needed. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Karen Humphrey

    How do I get someone’s Padrón off my house? They no longer live in the house but tax office and social security think they do. This worries me as they are getting parking fines etc coming to my house. I do not know where they are living now.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Karen,

      We understand your concern. It would be best to speak to the padron office in regards to this and explain the situation, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Yvonne darby

    My husband and I need to go on the patron. We stay at my daughter and son in flaws house while we are in Spain. The problem is we do not have a utility bill in our name. Can you help

    • Ian C.

      Hello Yvonne,
      You should be fine unless you get a real stickler in the town hall.
      With a letter of authorisation from your daughter and son in law plus proof that they are in fact related to you, you should be able to get your Padron sorted out.
      Please let me know if you have any difficulty,

  • Ali

    I have Padron of Caspe Zaragoza and have been living there nearly two years, i have recently married to British citizen and she is on the same Padron for the same amount of time, now i have marriage certificate and family book, we both want to apply for residence card so i am curious that if i move to Tarragona and get Padron will it be new Padron or i can show the previous Padron as a record of stay in Spain as well, Many thanks.

    • Jane

      Hi Ali

      Your padron will require to be within last 3 months when applying for residencia so you will need to do a new one.

      Kind Regards


  • Adam

    Hi, does the rents contract need to be of certain length to apply for Residencia? Also we are renting an apartment however we pay the utility bills in with the rent, so won’t have a utility bill to show with our name at that address

    • Jane

      Hi Adam

      You need to show 3 months of activity on your Bank account in Spain this could be your rent, your shopping etc not necessarily utility bills. If You need help on your application please contact us.

      Hope this helps.


  • Anthony Dunn

    Hi,we plan on moving over in 2to3 yrs not pensionable age but have a sizeable amount of cash,is it advisable getting anything moving this side of brexit than leaving it to chance ,post ,really confused ,we have our own property in murcia ,paid for ,thank you

    • Jane

      Hi Anthony

      At the present time we know the guidelines to obtain residency but cannot confirm for the next few years. Please keep an eye on our website for updates. If you already spend a large amount of time here you may be able to apply for residency please give us a call and talk us through in more detail.

      Kind Regards


  • Sophie hares

    Hi, do you know if town halls will accept Airbnb stays or short term contracts of say two -three months for padron applications? We’re moving to Castellon but don’t want to lock ourselves into a long-term contract immediately. Thanks!

    • Jane

      Hi Sophie

      Each Town Hall differs so best to check with your local one but I do not think a 2-3 months will be accepted.

      Kind Regards


  • Tina Rees

    Hi we have a holiday home in Spain (fuente Alamo, Murcia) which we visit for holidays, do we need to do anything? as we are not looking to live there for some years yet, (we pay all taxes and non residents tax), will owning a property be affected by brexit? TIA

    • Amanda Thomas

      Good morning Tina, I cannot think of anything you need to do (just maybe do what you are doing and stay informed about changes to laws etc.) Brexit:- still not completely clear but I can advise a couple of things. 1) Non Resident Brits will pay 24% non resident tax rather than 19% unless a special deal is made (but that wont make a huge difference to that cost), 2) Capital Gains Tax remains the same at 24% for non residents (this goes on residence not nationality) 3) At the moment, the situation after Brexit, for donations and inheritances our lawyer feels is not clear, it seems that UK Citizens will have the same tax benefits as EU citizens but the agreements between the two countries are not resolved yet, so we will see. And I am sure you have read in various places about the time limitations on visiting of 90 days in 180 days maximum. There is a lot on the Citizens Advice Bureau Spain on this subject. But basically not really too much, you will be able to enjoy the property for your holidays as always, Kind regards Amanda

  • Kevin Carter

    I have been here since July 7th..and currently going through the process of obtaining TIE.. As I will have been here 90 days come October 3rd..
    My question is.. Will I become a tax resident after 183 days if that date falls on January 3rd led to believe you become a tax resident if you have been here for 183 days in a clandar year eg Jan to Dec..
    Many thanks

    • Jane

      Hi Kevin

      You are correct you become fiscal resident after 183 days in calendar year Jan to Dec. If you had not been in Spain prior to July then on these dates you are within the 183 days.

      Kind Regards


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