A guide to the ‘padrón’ for foreigners.
WHAT IS ‘’THE PADRÓN’’?
‘’The Padrón’’ is a list of everyone who lives in a town, or spends the majority of the year there. Your details are proof of residence in the town. By law everyone living in Spain is obliged to register in the municipality where they reside, or spend the majority of the year.
I’M NOT A LEGAL RESIDENT – CAN I REGISTER ON THE PADRÓN?
Even if you are in an ‘irregular’ situation you shouldn’t be afraid to register. The Town Council has no control over the legality or illegality of the people residing here. It is just a list of who is living in the town.
I OWN A PROPERTY IN SPAIN BUT I DON’T LIVE HERE ALL YEAR – DO I NEED TO REGISTER?
If you spend more than half the year in your holiday home – so 183 or more days/six months a year – then yes, you need to register on the padrón.
I LIVE IN SPAIN BUT I RENT MY HOME – DO I NEED TO REGISTER?
Yes. It doesn’t matter if you rent your home. If you live here, you need to register on the padrón.
DO MY CHILDREN NEED TO REGISTER?
Yes, everyone living at the property needs to register.
WHAT IS ‘’THE PADRÓN’’ FOR?
It is a document which confirms how long you have spent in Spain, regardless of your nationality or legal status, i.e. regardless of whether you are legally registered as resident, or whether you are waiting to be registered. Registration on the ‘padrón’ confirms you as a resident of the town.
You will need to be registered for: Applying for a health card; Exchanging your driving license; Access to social services support; Registering your children in school; Accessing certain discounts for pensioners.
Also, the town receives funds from central government for every person living there & registered on the padrón. It is estimated that in Jávea, if everyone who should be registered on the padrón, was, the town would receive an extra 2 million euros a year. These funds are used for various town services such as the local police, fire fighters, correos, and healthcare.
WHERE DO I REGISTER?
You register at the offices of the Town Hall/Ayuntamiento. In Jávea the ‘padrón’ office is at the ‘Portal del Clot’ Avda. Amanacer, 2.
DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT
You don’t usually need an appointment.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Registering on the padrón is free in most offices. There is usually a small charge for a copy of the certificate.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Take your passport or your national ID card & your escritura (property ownership papers) or an IBI or utility bill if you own the property; or rental contract (in Spanish) if you are a tenant. EU citizens also need to take their green ‘resident certificate’ Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión, which you will get from the extranjería at the National Police in Dénia.(not all areas yet insist on this, but it has been the rule since 2015) . It’s always a good idea to take photocopies too. If you have an informal agreement for your address, for instance if you are staying with family or friends & don’t have a rental contract, the person you are staying with can sign a form to say that you are living at that address.
Although paperwork requirements for registering are supposed to be the same nationally, it does seem to vary from town to town – so check at your local office as to exactly what they require.
DO I HAVE TO RENEW THE PADRÓN?
If you need a copy of the certificate then it must be less than 3 months old. You only need to have a current certificate if you need to show it for something official – you don’t have to go to ‘renew’ it unless your details change, if you are an EU citizen. Non-EU citizens have to renew every 2 years.
However, the Town Hall may periodically contact individuals to ask them to confirm that the details held are correct. Many Town Halls, especially those with a high percentage of foreign residents, will do this as a matter of course & on a regular basis. This is simply because foreign residents are often unaware of the requirements to ‘de-register’ when they leave or to keep their information up to date.
It is your responsibility to inform the Town Hall of any changes so that records can be kept up to date. Therefore, if you have a baby, marry, divorce, move house, someone dies, or if you leave the country, or any other obvious change occurs, you must inform the Town Hall. If you are moving within Spain, when you register on the padrón in the new municipality, that office will inform the previous one & you will be automatically removed from the padrón at your previous address.