The Definitive Guide on the Padron

What is a Padron

Would you like to know everything about the well-known “padron” certificate in Spain? If yes, this is your article, the ultimate guide :-)

Before we start:

If you are a non-EU citizen married to an EU citizen then click on Spanish residency for non-EU citizens

If you’re from a non-EU country and would like to live in Spain for more than 90 days, then click on non-lucrative visa Spain as you should start with a visa.

Spanish citizenship… it’s time to become a citizen of Spain :-)

Let’s get to it :-)


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Note: Article updated on 02 September 2022

What is a Padron?

It is an official certificate required for a lot of Spanish procedures.

According to the Spanish National Statistics Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadísitca – INE):

A “Padrón” is an administrative registration where residents of the municipality are included. This data provides proof of residence in the municipality and the habitual residence therein.

Another important detail about the “Padrón” stated by the INE is that:

Everyone living in Spain must be registered in the local “Padrón” of the current place of residence. If you live in several locations you must only register in the place where you live the most.

A Padron is a way to keep track of how many people are living in a certain area, in my own words; having more functions and benefits as I’m going detail next.

Spanish National Institute of Statistics

(Spanish National Statistics Institute – Official Website in English)


What is a Padron for?

The two main purposes of the padron, in my opinion, are:

1. Census, which determines the total amount of people living there, and helps provide the correct services needed in that area. Just a simple case study. You live in an area where there’s a total of 100,000 people. However, only 75,000 thousand are registered on the Padron. How many people do the national government think are living actually there? Yes, 75,000 people. Therefore, the national government will only give funding for that amount of people, which translates into less services (hospital, doctors, local offices, police, etc).

2. Vote, the local office to exercise your right to vote – Spanish people living in Spain must be registered on the padron to vote at a certain office during the election. For instance, when I created Torrevieja Translation, I was living in Torrevieja City. Every time they ran elections, either local, national or European, I received a letter advising where I needed to go in order to vote. This is because I was registered on the Torrevieja padron.

According to the British Government official website “you can vote in local and European elections as long as you are registered on the Spanish padron”.

I assume that on this basis it must be similar for the remaining EU member states.


Benefits on being on the Padron

The main ones I see are:

More and better public services I explained this in last section: the less people registered the less public services.

• EU Spanish residency – you can’t become a resident without being on the Padron.

Healthcare in Spain – you can’t get a fully covered Spanish health without a Spanish residency, in case you are a pensioner (I will cover everything dealing with health cards on the article scheduled on Sunday 02/11/2014).

Padron benefit

(A very important benefit, isn’t it?)


How can I use the Padron?

A Padron is a complementary document that is used alongside other requirements, like obtaining your:

EU Spanish residency

• Non-EU Spanish residency

Pensioner’s card

Health card

Spanish driving licence

• School grants and registrations

… and many others.

A padron may be required from certain organisations requesting proof of residence, depending on the situation.

For instance, it could be used to proof your address when you give power or attorney in Spain to someone.

Or to resident tax or non-resident tax.

Some places simply accept a utility bill as proof of residency. And by “residency” I don’t mean “Spanish residency”. I’m talking about “local residency”: the house, flat, attached property, villa or bungalow where you physically live.

Don’t take for granted that they will accept your utility bills: ask them first. Requirements can differ very much from one town to another, even within the same organisation or department.

Don’t take as gospel what the friend of your friend said: ask first. It’s my experienced recommendation.

Padron questionnaire

(You may receive census questionnaires in Spain once in a while)



The “padron” is not valid:

As a personal ID (that’s your passport, Spanish residency with photo, or even driving licence, which can be used as ID in numerous situations)

As an immigration document (they are NIE number, Spanish residency, Spanish Visas).

As part of your car’s log book (I have seen this once in person. The padron has nothing to do with the vehicle documentation).

As I mentioned previous paragraphs, a padrón is just a document to legally prove where you live.


How to get on the padron

Simply go to the town hall of the area where you live and ask them. That’s all.

There aren’t any “national requirements” to obtain a padron.

I have read several “reputed” websites that state you should bring this or that. It does not work that way in Spain.

Believe me. I’m Spanish and I’ve been dealing with the local and national administration since 2010.

Town halls are independent entities, and each one has its own rules.

In Spain local regulations can change completely from one town to another just a few miles away.

Totally guaranteed.

You will definitely need your original passport and at least one photocopy. Then, you might need to show them the real link to that property: rental contract, title deeds, etc. Some town halls require you to be resident, others don’t.

In short, go in person and ask them. It is my best advice. Even if a friend of yours who registered on the padron a few months ago could be wrong now, as requirements can change overnight.

padron registration

(You might have to queue to get your Padron depending on the town hall)


Do I need to renew my padron?

This basically depends on the town hall. Ask them at the time you get registered.

In the area where I live, because it’s a place with a big concentration of expats, they send letters every now and then to go to the town hall and confirm that you still live here.

Otherwise, they may have many people (thousands) on the padron that in reality are not living here anymore.

However, for numerous official procedures, like to get your EU Spanish residency or change the driving licence into Spanish, amongst many other, it is required that you padron is not older than 3 months.

I’ve seen some exceptions where they have accepted old padrons, but I would not try it. If you need to apply for an official document, go to the padron office and request an updated copy.



Yours Free

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Coverage areas

Alicante Province

Costa Blanca: These are my usual in-person coverage areas in Costa Blanca Spain,  Altea,  Calpe, Orihuela Costa,  BenissaGuadalest,  GuardamarJaveaMorairaAlicante, La Marina, DeniaVillajoyosa, Pilar de la Horadada, Benidorm, El Campello, Santa Pola, and, of course, Torrevieja; as well as other towns near Alicante.

Inland Alicante province: OrihuelaElche, Pinoso, Almoradi, Alcoy, Orba, Rojales, Biar, Crevillente, Los Montesinos, San Miguel de Salinas, Benijofar, Algorfa.

Murcia Province

Costa Cálida: including Costa Calida SpainSan Pedro del PinatarLos Alcazares, Santiago de la  Rivera, Mar Menor , San JavierMazarronAguilas.

Cities and towns in Murcia province: 

CartagenaYecla, Sucina, Totana, Alhama, Molina de Segura, Fortuna, Murcia city.

Other areas in Spain

I have collaborators almost everywhere all over Spain, so no worries, I can assist you anywhere you are in Spain, in cities such as: Zaragoza, Vitoria, Bilbao, Albacete, Almería, Logroño, Avila, Badajoz, Caceres, Majorca, Zamora, Barcelona, Burgos, Oviedo, Cadiz, Santander, Castellon, Pontevedra, Ciudad Real, Cordoba, Cuenca, Gerona, Granada, Guadalajara, San Sebastian, Huelva, Huesca, Jaen, Navarra, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gijon, Leon, Lleida, Lugo, Madrid, Malaga, Orense, Palencia, Salamanca, Segovia, Sevilla, Soria, Tarragona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Teruel, Toledo, Valencia, Valladolid.


  1. shah says

    Hello ,,,i am a non eu resident,,,can you advice me what is the procedure to get spainish residence through employment contract procedure in spain specifically place like valencia,,what are the requirement in detail please

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Shah,

      I’m really sorry, but I don’t know the requirements in Valencia. I would go in person to your corresponding “oficina de extranjería” and would find out there.

      I hope this helps.

  2. Tony says

    Hi David, I own a house in Spain and am here most of the time, this week I went to the town hall to renew my padron and the lady there said if I live here I must become a resident. I told her I am not here permanently and she said in that case I am not entitled to be on the padron. Is this the case? Obviously I need a padron to get my temporary sip card. She said I will be taken off the padron in the next 2 months.
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Tony,

      It’s usually that way. If you don’t become resident after three months, they could remove you from the padron. And many town halls will not print out new padron certificates after the three-month window.

      Best wishes

  3. Christine says

    Hi David

    Great articles, and well written. Regarding the Padron, I have heard that should only get one if Spain is your main home because there are tax implications. I.e., you have to file tax returns in Spain. Can you shed light on this ‘rumour’ please.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for the feedback :-)

      Well, I’m not a tax expert at all, but I think the tax status changes with you become a resident, not just by the fact of getting on the padron. I might be wrong, so it’d be a good idea to double check with a legal adviser.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Abbey Babs says

    Hi Tony,

    I am non-eu living in spain with padron de ayuntamiento. I have been here for 10 months and still counting.

    My question is can i enroll in a university for Masters Degree with “Padron de Ayuntamiento” even if I have been given the admission at the University or do I need a study permit?

    Do you any web link that can clearly state the do’s and dont’s of non-eu on “Padron de Ayuntamiento” ?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you and kind regards


    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there,

      I’m sorry but I can’t answer that question. It looks that’s something the university should clarify.

      Sorry I can’t help.

  5. Alan Marlow says

    Hello there I’ve read recently in the local papers that we need to renew our pardon for the purpose of our health care here in torreviejia, I have been to the town hall last in February 2016 and got a new one to get my sip card. Do I now need to get another one ? Or will this cover me for five years ??
    Regards Alan

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there,

      I have not heard of any five-year window, nor that people must renew their padron. To be 100% sure, I would ask at the padron office.

      I hope this helps.

  6. kay baker says

    My friend and her husband live in Mojacar , Andalusia. If she does not renew her Padron would she risk being taken off medical care. Both she and her husband have resedincia and are currently registered at the local medical centre.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there Kay,

      The Padrón does not have to be renewed every so often. Instead, we do it when the town hall sends us a letter (they do it for census purposes generally).

      However, you can always go to the Padrón office and ask them how you could confirm you’re still living there, to get peace of mind.

      I hope this helps :-)

  7. R. D. says

    Hi David,

    Been in the same rural house for many years but I’m now told by Crevillente town hall that they will not put us on the Parton because our house is ‘irregular’; I guess that’s a more polite word for illegal. According to the town hall It can be regularised by using an Architect, Solicitor and paying 4 years backdated Suma,(the latter I suspect is really what it’s all about). I’m probably going to end up going down that road but my big worry is my family’s health care. I pay my Autonomo every month (self-employed), so we are entitled to use the Spanish health system but legally can’t use it because I’m not on the local Parton. Can’t be right can it?
    What do you think, David?

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there,

      This sounds like a unique case I’ve never had before. In the past, I’ve heard about stopping the health services for not being on the padron, but never on a person who’s autónomo.

      My recommendation is that you try to fix the house part as soon as possible, and not to worry about the health assistance much at the moment, as you’re paying your autónomo fees every month. If they stop the assistance at the health centre, go to the social security office to get the official certificate, and take it to the town hall to ask for any documents for the health centre while everything gets sorted.

      I hope this helps.

  8. Pedro en Espana says

    Hello David, I have read your posts of which are very educative, I thank you for the time spent in doing your posts on your website.

    My question to you relates to a position of which I unfortunately find myself, here in Gran Canaria. I have been here for 7 weeks now and need to see a Doctor regarding what seems an ongoing medical problem. I have visited the local public medical centre ( centros de salud) and have been advised by a Doctor ( whom was solely seeing patients on an Emergency basis) that due to my problem, I would need to visit a “permenant Doctor” AT the SAME Clinic ( Centros de salud) But to be able to do this I would need to get a padron from the local town hall (Ayuntamento) of which I can do, as I have a NIE, passport , and rental contract in my possession. BUT I am solely staying here in Gran Canaria until April 2018, then I return to Peninsula Spain, where at present I do NOT have a padron at all. As I have been using European Medical Card. And have never been asked for such when visiting a “centros de Salud” Doctor., previously.
    So what I ask is if I get this padron here in Gran canaria would it be easy to change the address once I return to Costa Blanca in April or am I better ( if easier) to wait to my return to Costa Blanca in April, as I really can do without too much bureaucracy as I am getting too old for such.
    If you could advise at all, what would be the easiest and less paperwork / expense incurred option?
    Please bare in mind I still need medical treatment SOON for this ailment.

    Thank you in advance for your advise.

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there Pedro,

      Sorry to hear you’re struggling with the medical card. Here is my answers to your questions:

      – Yes, you can get on the padron when you’re in the Costa Blanca, so if that’s what they requiere in Gran Canaria, I would definitely do it there.

      – The requirements will depend on the town hall you get registered at. I would ask at the relevant town hall once you’re in the peninsula.

      I hope this helps!

  9. Greg says

    Hello David ………..You state that you can not get Residence without being on the pardon ..’. Spanish residency – you can’t become a resident without being on the Padron.’
    We got residence Visas , then converted to the card , without even living in the country ! As Canadians , this all had to be done before we moved to Spain. We plan on living for short terms in all different areas of Spain when we sell our property and travel most of the year. Surely the Spanish Government can’t limit your movement around the country , so in our case being on the Padron , if only in a town for a month or two , makes no sense .

    • David Ruiz says

      Hi there Greg,

      Good catch, I should have specified “EU Spanish residency”. I’ll fix this right now, thanks :-)

      The padron certificate is for census purposes mainly , as it’s required to apply for many official things, but it’s not something you have to be doing at towns where you’re going to be living for a little while… although it could be the case.