Deciding to move to Spain, or even relocating within Spain itself can be an incredibly exciting time. Unfortunately, it can also be confusing, expensive, and involve a whole host of time-consuming paperwork. One of the first thing you should do when you move to a new Spanish property is ensure you are registered with the Empadronamiento. This is a registration process (similar to adding your name to the electoral role in the UK) that adds you to the census for the area in which you now live.
Once you are registered with the Empadronamiento, you will be issued with a certificate that provides official proof of your address. This certificate is known as el padron. Here’s everything you need to know about the el padron certificate, including the question that every new resident in Spain asks: Can you apply for your padron certificate online?
What Are the Benefits of El Padron?
The El Padron system benefits both the local town hall and the residents who are registered on it. From the perspective of the local authorities, El Padron is beneficial because it lets them know exactly how many people are living in the area. This information is important because it ensures they are allocated the right level of funding for public services from the central government. But the padron certificate is beneficial from an individual perspective too. Many official processes in Spain, from registering your driving license to opening a bank account, will require you to have the proof of address that is provided by el Padron. You should apply for your padron within three months of moving to Spain. You should also reapply every time you move to a new area. You may also need to reply for el padron if your application is more than three months old and you need the certificate for another official process (if you leave your employment and decide to register as self-employed, for example).
How Do You Get Your Padron Document?
If you’ve already lived in Spain for a while then you’ll no that any bureaucratic process in the country can be incredibly time consuming. This same rule of thumb applies to securing your padron, which can take a while, particularly if you don’t already have a prior appointment (cita previa) from your town hall, as these can be in high demand. The good news is that, in some areas of Spain at least, you can save yourself this painful and lengthy process by simply applying for the padron online. Here’s everything you need to know:
Can you apply for the padrón online in Spain?
The digitalisation of the padron system is happening faster in some areas than it is in others. So whether you can apply for the padron online will depend on whether this has been rolled out in your area yet. Residents of Barcelona and Madrid can be apply for their first padron certificate and process any renewals online.
- If you’re in Barcelona you can visit the Ajuntament website here where you can fill out and submit the online form.
- If you’re in Madrid you can fill out and apply for the form here.
- If you’re in in Valencia, apply for your padron certificate using the link here.
Just like completing the form in an offline context, you will need to follow all the steps and complete every box to ensure that your form is completed correctly. You will also need to have the same paperwork to hand, but you will need digital versions of these rather than hard copies. That means that you will need to have access to a digital version of your passport, residency card, the deeds to any property you own, or if you are renting then a copy of your rental contract.
In some regions you may need a digital certificate or Cl@ve log in to be able to officially identify yourself during the online application process. Therefore if you don’t have access to one of these online tools you cannot use the online system. This is true in Granada, when you can only complete your application online if you have a digital certificate. Other town halls will not use Cl@ve or a digital certificate at all. In Madrid, for example, you can apply for your padron certificate without digital certification via email.
The best way to work out whether an online application will be a viable option for your specific town hall is to google the term ‘apply for a padron online’ “solicitar padrón a través de internet” followed by the name of your town, and see what comes up!
There are 8,131 town halls in Spain, and it sometimes feels like the process of applying for your padron certification is different in each of these town halls. For that reason, it is difficult to give a definitive answer as to when and where you can apply for your padron online.
Are you thinking of taking the plunge and moving to Spain? Don’t let the paperwork put you off: there’s plenty of wonderful reasons to make this beautiful country your home! Why not let our local property experts help you with your property search: get in touch today. We’re perfectly placed to help you turn your dreams of Spanish homeownership into a reality.