The empadronamiento is the town hall’s census record of all the residents in their area. This is important information for the ayuntamiento (town hall) as it facilitates them in gaining the correct funding from the national government for providing the necessary services. The more people that are registered, the more funding they will receive.
Being registered on the Padrón also allows you to vote in the local elections, although we are not allowed to vote in the general elections. With the UK leaving the EU, it was first understood that we would lose all our voting rights, and British Nationals would not be allowed to stand for local council. However, an agreement was made and our rights to vote and stand were retained.
Another advantage of registering is to be able to obtain an Empadronamiento para viajar, usually just called a viajar. This is a certificate that allows legal residents a large discount, subsidised by the Government, when travelling between the Canary islands and mainland Spain. For this it is usually necessary to also show your residencia when travelling.
It is also now a requirement that you are registered on the Padrón prior to applying for residencia, and you may also require it in order to. However, you should ensure that your certificate is no older than 3 months.
In order to apply to register, make an appointment with your ayuntamiento, and take the following documents:
- Passport, original and a copy
- NIE (if applicable)
- Proof of address. This can be a rental agreement (in Spanish) or escritura if you own your own property.
Once registered, should your address change you should make an appointment with the ayuntamiento to update it. If you are moving municipality you must de-register with your current one and re-register with your new ayuntamiento.