What is the Padron?

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Please visit your Town Hall

The Padron, empadronamiento, empadronarse. We are very sure you have heard these words since you have arrived in Costa Blanca. But you know what they mean to you as a resident? Either in English or in your own language?

If you don’t know about these words, we are here to inform you about the numerous reasons why registering on the padrón may just be worth your time. The Padron is, if we explain it as simple as we can, the municipal register. The list of all the people who live in a municipality. Empadronarse is the act of registering yourself on that list in that city town hall.


All inhabitants in Spain are required by law to register on the Padron. Yet many people still have not done so. Maybe it sounds like the Spanish big brother wants to have an eye on you, but it’s just a way for the town hall to know how many people live in their area.

The information provided is confidential and protected by data-protection laws. You don’t even have to own your house to register. As long as you have an address where you usually live, whether you are the owner, you rent or live with family or friends. Simply go to the Padron office in your town hall and fill in the form they provide.


Take along identification, such as a passport, and also your NIE or residence certificate/card, a recent utility bill in your name, and the deeds to your house or a copy of your rental contract. Although you may have to return to collect your certificate, the actual registration is completed all on the same day. And once you’ve completed this simple process, you can begin to enjoy all the advantages being on the padrón offers.


To highlight a few, we’ve listed the top five benefits of registering in the Padrón:

For better public services. The central government allocates money to municipalities according to how many people are on the Padron. Therefore, if you are not registered, your town hall is losing money for the provision of health centers, police officers, firefighters, and schools.

To access benefits and social care. You must be on the Padron for a certain period of time to take advantage of some income-related benefits and other aspects of social care available through social services at your town hall.

For a reduction in taxes. Being on the Padron could mean a reduction of up to 15 percent in property taxes and reductions in community charges and inheritance tax. We advise you to ask your gestor for more specific information. Furthermore, those on the padrón often enjoy discounted courses, leisure and cultural activities run by the town hall.

To have your say. You must register in the Padron before you can vote in any local or European elections.

To make life easier. You’ll find you need your Padron certificate to carry out various administrative tasks. Such as register for healthcare, register your car with Spanish number plates, or enroll your children in school.

And, remember, it is compulsory, under Spanish law, for all habitats in Spain including Spanish nationals to register on the padrón. For more information, you can check our Padron page or contact your local town hall.

How to get in touch with your town hall

Simply do as in this example. Google for example Ayuntamiento Alicante and you find the address and number if you want to call upfront for an appointment. Change “Alicante” with the name on wherever you live, and the official site on your town hall should come up.


For more help about Padron and how to get it, maybe one of these can help you.


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