How to get your certificado de empadronamiento in Madrid

Read this article to learn what the Padrón is and how to get your certificado de empadronamiento in Madrid.

What is a certificado de empadronamiento?

A certificado de empadronamiento is a piece of paper that says you have registered with the Spanish census, called the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. This certificate is often called the Padrón, for short. The thing that many expats find confusing, aside from its name, is that it is conducted on an ongoing basis instead of every ten years, like the censuses in the UK and the US.

Similar to the censuses in the US and the UK, the information is used to track demographic data and help the government allocate public resources across different cities and regions in Spain.

Who needs a Padrón?

Anyone that has Spanish residency must register with the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. Residents may register individually or as a family. To be registered is to be “empadronado.

NOTE: Different municipalities in Spain have different rules about when a Padrón is needed and the documents you need to bring. This article details how to get a certificado de empadronamiento in Madrid. If you live in another city, we recommend you go to your local town hall and ask what they require.

Why do you need a certificado de empadronamiento?

The certificado de empadronamiento means that you are registered with the Madrid Town Hall. It is required to:

  • Renew your residency permit
  • Apply for a public health insurance card
  • Buy or sell a car
  • Register a child in school
  • Vote
  • Get married

How to get your certificado de empadronamiento in Madrid

In Madrid, registration for the Padrón must be made in person at your neighbourhood administrative office. If you do not know where that is, not to worry. You have to first book an appointment to get your initial Padrón. When you make the appointment, the website will tell you the the address.

1- Make an appointment

This where to make the appointment: Ayuntamiento de Madrid website

Choose the following from the dropdown menus:

  • Atencíon a la ciudadanía
  • Padron
  • Choose your neighborhood
  • Pick your preferred appointment time
  • Fill out your details
  • Click “crear cita”
  • Print out our confirmation and bring it with you to your appointment

It is typically quite easy to get an appointment- you can often get one the same day. As you can see, when you select your neighborhood from the dropdown menu, they tell you the address of your neighbourhood administrative office:

certificado de empadronamiento in Madrid, Padrón

2- Bring the following documents and go to your appointment

  • Application form. They are available at your local administrative office, or you can print up this one in advance: Application for Certificado de Empadronamiento in Madrid
  • Identification (Passport or Tarjeta de Identificación). If you are registering as a family, ID is needed for each family member. Make sure to bring a photocopy of each. Most administrative offices will make one for you, but better to bring copies just in case.
  • Proof of address. If you own your property, bring your escritura. Renters can bring a copy of their lease. You can also bring a recent utility bill.

If you are renting a room in an apartment but your name is not on the lease, you also have to bring the following:

  • A completed Autorización de Empadronamiento (available from the town hall) which requires that your landlord also be registered on the Padrón Municipal.
  • A photocopy of your landlord’s ID.

They will give you a temporary Padrón immediately, which is good for most transactions. This is called a Volante de Empadronamiento. You will receive the official certificate in the mail a couple weeks later.

How to renew your Padrón

Non-EU citizens who do not have permanent residency must renew their registration on the Empadronamiento every two years. However, you need to include a Volante in your renewal dossier, so the system automatically keeps you up to date.

EU citizens living as permanent residents of Spain need to renew it every five years.

Immigration and the Padrón

There is a great deal of misinformation on the internet about the Padrón. The truth is, you do not even need to be a legal resident of Spain to get a certificado de empadronamiento.

If for some reason you would find yourself in an illegal situation in Spain, you can apply for residency through something called an Arraigo Social. This demonstrates that you have roots in Spain. One of the main requirements is that you have lived in the country for over three years. The way this is established is through the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. Thus, it is a good insurance policy to apply for your Padrón as soon as you receive your escritura or signed lease, because you never know what life may throw at you!

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Posted on 29 July, 2019 by Pierre-Alban Waters in Living in Madrid, New? Start Here


2 responses to “How to get your certificado de empadronamiento in Madrid”

  1. […] recent utility bill. You will also need to fill out an application and bring your passport or TIE. CLICK HERE to learn how to get your certificado de […]

  2. […] To obtain a padrón, follow my step by step guide. […]

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