Empadronamiento in Spain: Registering in Your Community
Posted by Dreamer
Information about local registration in Spain (empadronamiento) and getting yourself registered with your city (empadronado). Discussion of the benefits of empadronamiento to you and the city in which you live in Spain, essential empadronamiento vocabulary, how and where to get empadronado, required documents, renewal, and moving.
- What is the empadronamiento?
- What benefits do YOU receive from getting empadronado?
- What benefits does the CITY receive when you’re empadronado?
- Essential Spanish vocabulary: Navigating through all the padrón-type words
- How and where to get empadronado
- Required documents for getting empadronado
- Renewal, moving, and other concerns
What is empadronamiento?
Empadronamiento refers to the process of registering with your community’s padrón (city roll), also called the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. The municipal padrón is the official record of all the people who live in a particular community and is the official way to verify or accredit your stay in Spain. By law, everyone who resides in Spain should be registered in the community where they live.
In practice, city registration is your key to becoming a member of your Spanish community and you can apply as an individual or as a family. Whether you are here in Spain legally or not, you should register with your local padrón, as it provides innumerable benefits if you intend to live in Spain for any extended period of time.
What benefits do YOU receive from getting empadronado?
First, registration means that you’re an official resident of your community. Consider this your first step to integration into Spanish life. Second, the empadronamiento is the way that your stay or residence in Spain is verified or accredited – a necessity for a variety of administrative procedures.
For example, you will generally need to prove your city registration to do the following things in your Spanish community:
- Enroll your children in local schools.
- Get married.
- Apply for a local health card (carnét para la asistencia sanitaria).
- Apply for certain visas.
- Apply for residency by way of a general amnesty or arraigo.
What benefits does the CITY receive when you’re empadronado?
Based on the number of inhabitants, a city or town receives money from the government to provide services to those who live within its jurisdiction, which means that if you’re registered or empadronado, then the city receives money to provide services on your behalf. It’s therefore in the city’s best interest (and yours too, for optimum service levels) to have an accurate count of who is really living in the community and using (or potentially using) the public services in question.
Essential Spanish vocabulary: Navigating through all the padrón-type words
(el) padrón/Padrón Municipal de Habitantes=The official municipal record of how many people live in a particular area.
(el) empadronamiento=Registration with your municipality/community.
(el) volante de empadronamiento=A temporary or informal certificate of your registration as a member of the community. For most of your local needs, this should be sufficient.
(el) certificado de empadronamiento=The official certificate of your registration as a member of the community. You may need it for certain legal procedures with national or foreign bodies.
(la) hoja de empadronamiento=The application form you’ll need to register with your community.
empadronado (for men)/empadronada (for women) (it’s used as an adjective)=Registered with your community.
estar empadronado (for men)/estar empadronada (for women)=To be registered with your community.
(el) ayuntamiento=City or town hall.
(la) junta/Junta Municipal de Distrito=A city’s neighborhood administrative office. For example, Madrid has 21 neighborhood administrative offices, which among other duties, process empadronamiento applications from neighborhood residents.
How and where to get empadronado in Spain
Registering with your city is a question of filling out a form and gathering together the required documents. Considering the amount of bureaucracy required for other official procedures, empadronamiento is pretty painless.
Once I had the form filled out and the documents in hand, it took me only a half hour to: 1) wait in line at my local junta in Madrid, 2) have the application processed, and 3) receive confirmation.