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


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

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

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