After finding an apartment and signing a lease, you can now register yourself at your apartment’s address with the townhall office (Oficina de Ayuntamiento). This is a requirement* for applying for a residency card, so make sure to get this taken care of immediately after getting an apartment.
*Sometimes your Empadronamiento is not requested when applying for a TIE. In my experience it was requested about 50% of the time. Regardless, it can be useful for many other bureaucratic steps in Spain.
Getting empadronado is a straightforward process. First, request an appointment at the townhall website. Second, make sure you have your ID, application form, and proof of residence. When you turn in your documents at the townhall office, they will either stamp a copy of your application form or provide you with a separate paper including your application details. These are both considered a Volante de Empadronamiento. For the TIE appointment, the Volante should be sufficient. In about a month, you can apply for the more official Certificado de Empadronamiento if you so need. Again, this can be done at the townhall office.
How to Empadronarse
Getting an Appointment
There is no website for all of Spain to schedule an appointment. You need to find the townhall website to request an appointment online for your region.
Fear not, it is very simple. Just google “Cita Previa (My Region) Padrón“. The first result in my experience has always been the correct website. Here are some examples below:
Find your townhall’s cita previa website, click the link, and search for “Solicitud de cita previa”, “Trámite”, or “Altas, bajas y cambio de domicilio en Padrón”. Each region has a slightly different website and process, but your goal will be to make an appointment at an Oficina de Ayuntamiento for Padrón – Altas, bajas y cambio de domicilio.
Once you request an appointment, they will ask for your personal information. Afterwards, you can request an appointment time, date, and location. It is always preferable to choose an Oficina de Ayuntamiento close to you, but if there are no appointments available, you can choose any office within your region. Once you complete all of these steps, you will be sent an appointment confirmation via email.
For your appointment, you need to bring the original and copy of your ID (passport + copy of the data page), the application form, and proof of residence (rental contract or a utility bill in your name).
Additionally, they may request proof of rental payments, a utility bill at the apartment’s address under the name of your landlord or yourself, and/or a copy of your landlord’s ID. Each region, office, and bureaucrat may ask for different things. Officially, you only need to provide your ID, application form, and proof of residence.
ID: Passport + copy of the data page.
Application Form: each region has their own application form. This can usually be found at the Cita Previa website.
If you are having trouble finding it, you can also google “Hoja Padronal – (region)“.
The application forms in general are very similar. They ask for your apartment’s address, your personal information, and a signature. I will give an example with the form from Sevilla.
To fill out the address section, copy the address written down in your rental contract. You do not have fill out all of the boxes to complete the address section. Many individual boxes may be irrelevant for you. My current apartment has blocks, floors, and alphabetically labelled doors, so I would only include bloque, piso, and puerta information along with the street name, street #, and ZIP code.
Interestingly, the application form usually asks for your level of studies. At the bottom of the page, they offer a key with codes for different levels of education. Enter the corresponding code into the “Nivel de estudios” box above.
Finally, it usually asks for your reason for the change in address – change in residency, change in home, birth, or omission.
Make sure to read the entirety of the instructions found at the bottom of the page. Follow the instructions carefully to complete the application form, and sign it after printing out the form. Bring an extra copy.
Proof of Residence: Rental contract, utility bill in your name, or other.
Ideal situation: you have your name on the official rental contract and it has been dutifully signed by the landlord and yourself.
Bring your rental contract and a copy.
Another good situation: you don’t have an official rental contract with your name on it, but you are paying for the utilities, and they are under your name.
Print out the paid utility bill showing your name and the corresponding address of your apartment. Make sure to bring an extra copy.
Not a great situation: the rental contract and/or utility bills are under the name of a roommate.
Bring the rental contract and/or utility bills along with a letter from your roommate stating that you are living at the stated address. Alongside the letter, bring a scanned copy of their ID (or better yet, ask them to come to the padrón appointment with their ID). Make sure to bring extra copies.
“Yo, Full name, con DNI ____________ certifico que…”
Receiving Your Volante
Head to your appointment at the scheduled time. There is usually a kiosk where you can enter you passport number to receive a waiting ticket with a number. Wait for your turn, and approach the counter when your number is called. Turn in all of your documents and request an alta de padrón.
After processing your documents, you will be given the Volante de Empadronamiento mentioned before. It will either be a stamped application form or a separate sheet printed out with your empadronamiento information. This should be sufficient for your Toma de Huellas appointment when applying for a TIE.
Certificado de Empadronamiento
About a month following your appointment, you will be able to request a Certificado de Empadronamiento at any Oficina de Ayuntamiento in the region. Make sure to bring your ID with you alongside your appointment. No extra application forms are needed because you should be already registered with the townhall. Regardless, it’s a good idea to bring your volante de empadronamiento as well.
For certain bureaucratic processes in Spain, the Certificado de Empadronamiento must not be more than three months old to be considered valid proof of address. It is a very simple process to request a current dated Certificado de Empadronamiento from the Oficina de Ayuntamiento, and it can be done whenever you might need it.
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