Your interactive family guide to Spain as recommended by local mums | Last updated 7 months ago

Moving to Spain

Certificado de Empadronamiento

The Empadronamiento is similar to an electoral roll or census record. When you "empadronarse", you are placed as a resident of a town on the list of local inhabitants.

Here we have information on the Empadronamiento, how to register, the documentation required, as well as information on renewal and what to do if you move.

  • How to empadronarse

    Why do you need a Certificado de Empadronamiento?
    There is a lack of consistency across Spain as to the use of the Certificado de Empadronamiento.It may be used for example, to vote, to get married, to appy for an NIE number, to apply for Residency, to get your child into the local school, to apply for a health card or to buy and sell a car.

    Registering at the local town hall
    You normally have to apply in person at the town hall although some places now offer online applications.
    You need to collect the relevant form from the Ayuntamiento and complete it.
    Bring the completed form along with original ID such as a passport and a photocopy. If you are applying for all the family, you will need to bring relevant documents for each person.
    You will also need proof of residence such as a rental contract or utility bill.

    If for any reason they cannot issue a certificate on the same day, you will receive a temporary one (Volante), which proves you are registered. However, it is not obligatory to have a certificate, but it’s necessary for some processes, such as getting a health card. The certificate is valid for three months. EU citizens only need to re-register if they move home; residents from outside the EU need to renew their empadronamiento every two years, if they don’t have a permanent residence permit. Depending on your nationality, when you register you will also have the chance to sign a census form, giving you the right to vote in local council and European elections. If you wish, a gestor can help you with the empadronamiento for a fee of around €50.

    In most cases, the Certificado de Empadronamiento needs to have been issued within the previous 3 months to be considered a valid proof of address (and is generally only required for national or foreign bureaucracy). A current dated Certificado de Empadronamiento can be requested from the Ayuntamiento at any time it might be needed (for example to buy a car or apply for the NIE).

    Change of situation
    If you get married, divorced, have a baby or move, you need to let the Town (Padron Municipal) know.
    If you move to a new area you will need to go through the whole process again, and if you move away from Spain altogether you also need to let the Town Hall know