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What is the “padrón” and what is it for?

The municipal census is the compulsory administrative register for all people living or residing in a municipality in Spain. This register certifies residence in that municipality for any legal or administrative procedures.

In addition, the “padrón” certifies the time spent on Spanish territory, regardless of nationality or legal status. That is to say, whether or not you have a residence or the same in process. Registering on the padrón accredits you as a resident of the municipality.

Since 1996, everyone who lives in Spain, whether they are a national or a foreigner, has been obliged to register in the municipality where they live.

In order to do this, you need to establish a domicile, without being required to own it, it can be rented or the house of a family member assigned to your residence. In these cases, a document signed by the owner must be shown, accrediting this situation.

Benefits of registration

This document is necessary and allows and guarantees the right to vote or access to social benefits from which you can benefit.

The same applies to applications for school places, health care cards or the regulation of residence and/or work permits in the case of foreigners resident in Spain.

Requirements for registration

In order to obtain the census, the following documentation must be presented in person to the local town halls:

  • Photocopy and original of your DNI/NIE
  • Photocopy and original of your passport or residency card/document
  • Photocopy and original of the rental contract or the authorization signed by the owner of the house where you are staying. Another person residing in the home, even if they are not the owner, can authorize you as long as they are also registered.
  • You will have to fill in a registration form in the municipal census. You may be asked for the details of the person who authorises you
  • If you have children and also want to register them you will need a photocopy of their identity documents, birth certificates or the family book.

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