What is Empadronamiento and How to Get it

Ashkan Ahmadi

What is Empadronamiento and How to get a Padron

Registration with the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes is obligatory for anyone planning to reside in Spain for more than six months per year.  It is basically just an official register of where you live. To be registered is to be empadronado and when you have registered yourself, you will be given a padrón or a certificado de empadronamiento. Registering yourself is completely free and you do not need to pay to do it.

In this blog, we are going to learn more about why and how to register yourself.

Why register yourself?

  • It’s a proof of having a valid address and not living off-the-radar or in the street.
  • It helps the government keep track of demographic changes and to decide how to allocate resources across regions, municipalities and communities.
  • You need to prove that you are not a tourist or a temporary resident if you need to open a bank account, or do anything legal.

Register yourself if you are going to …

On average, your padrón needs to be less than 3 months old but usually most places don’t check the date. They just need the paper.

You don’t need to register yourself if

  • you are a tourist just visiting Spain
  • you are an exchange student staying in Spain for less than six months
  • you don’t need to open a bank account or do any other administrative task

Required documents

  • A valid passport and/or NIE
  • A house contract valid for more than 6 months with your name and NIE/passport number mentioned in it and signed by the landlord and you
  • Any other documents that may be necessary in your case

Where to register yourself

There are many offices called Oficina Atenció Ciutadana (OAC). These are the ones in Barcelona:

  • Ciutat Vella (Carrer Ramelleres, 17 – 08001 Barcelona)
  • Eixample (Carrer Aragó 328 – 08009 Barcelona)
  • Gràcia (Pl Vila de Gràcia 2 – 08012 Barcelona)
  • Horta-Guinardó (Carrer Lepant 387 – 08025 Barcelona)
  • La Marina (Passeig Zona Franca 185-219 – 08038 Barcelona)
  • Les Corts (Plaça Comas 18 – 08028 Barcelona)
  • Nou Barris (Plaça Major Nou Barris 1 – 08042 Barcelona)
  • Sant Andreu (Carrer Segre 24-32 – 08030 Barcelona)
  • Sant Martí (Pl Valentí Almirall 1 – 08018 Barcelona)
  • Sant Miquel (Pl. Sant Miquel 3 – 08002 Barcelona)
  • Sants – Montjuïc (Carrer Creu Coberta 104 – 08014 Barcelona)
  • Sarrià – Sant Gervasi (Carrer Anglí 31 – 08017 Barcelona)
  • Zona Nord (C Costabona 3-5 – 08033 Barcelona)

It doesn’t really matter which office you go to but the one we recommend is the Sant Miquel one Pl. Sant Miquel 3 – 08002 Barcelona

How to get your padrón

Before 2019, you could show up to any OAC office, line up, wait your turn and then present your documents and have your paperwork done in 10 to 15 minutes. Starting from 2019, you can’t just show up without an appointment. Luckily, making an appointment for the empadronamiento is fairly simple and fast (compared to making a NIE appointment, for example). Follow these steps to make an appointment:

  1. Go to the official website where you have to make the appointment (the website is available in Spanish and Catalan only, English translation available below).
  2. Under Solicitud de una cita, click on Continuar.
  3. Now you should see the form that you have to fill out with your information. If you understand Spanish, fill out the form and skip to step 4. If you don’t understand Spanish, here are the fields you will have to fill out:
    1. Nombre: first name
    2. 1r appellido: Last name
    3. 2o appellido: Second last name (optional)
    4. Tipo: Type of document (NIE or passport)
    5. Número: NIE or passport number
    6. Fecha de nacimiento: date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
    7. Correo electrónico: email address (the confirmation will be sent to this email and you will need the confirmation number when you go to your appointment)
    8. Teléfono Móvil: mobile number
    9. Under Selección temática, Tema, pick OAC: ATENCION PRESENCIAL EN LA OFICINA
    10. Under Subtema, pick PADRÓN GESTIONES
    11. Fecha cita: date of appointment. Pick the current date or the next day’s date.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Now you are given a list of available dates at different offices. Pick the one closest to your home and click Continue.
  6. Now you can pick the time. We recommend picking the earliest one (anything between 9:00 and 10:00). Click Continue.
  7. The next page will briefly show a summary of your information. Make sure everything is correct. Then, click Enviar. Now you should have received a confirmation email with a code. We recommend printing this page and taking it to the appointment with you.
  8. Go to the office you picked a few minutes before your appointment time. There will be a machine at or near the door where you can enter your appointment number and you will be given a desk number. If you don’t know what to do, ask the receptionist for assistance. If you show up more than 15 minutes late,  the machine won’t accept your appointment and you will have to line up and talk to the receptionist.
  9. When your number is called, go to the desk and present your passport and/or NIE along with your house contract. The clerk may take a few minutes to read the contract to make sure it’s valid and proper. When everything is good, you will be given your padrón on a greenish-grey paper which would look like this:
An example of a padrón

You can ask the clerk at the desk to give you 2 or 3 copies of it but you can photocopy it yourself as well. 

Congratulations! You are now an official resident of your city. You will need to submit a copy of your padrón when required.

Let us know in the comment section below about your experience with getting your padrón.

Also, check out our related blogs:

Photo credits: Image by aymane jdidi from Pixabay

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 443

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Are you a student?

Download the Studentfy mobile app to get access to our student discounts, trips, events and services like health insurance and legal assistance.

27 Responses

    1. Hi Mohamed. It works in Spain, no matter the city. However, some cities might be a bit more strict or lenient than the others. Thanks

  1. You mention you need a valid passport and/or NIE. Does it mean you can get this padron with just an EU passport but without a NIE?

  2. Hi,

    I will be in Spain as a Language Assistant. I will be staying with a friend but the contract is under her name. How can I go about this? Does she need to writer a letter with her info and my info stating I will stay with her during the duration of my contract?

    1. Hi Jessica. Yes that is correct. You need a text that says her information and your information stating how long you will be staying there. Taking the original house contract with you is recommended as well just in case. Thanks

  3. Hi, I’m living with my boyfriend and the rental contract is under his name. Would it work to have him sign a document confirming that I live with him and show that to the clerk together with a copy of his rental contract/passport/NIE?

    1. Hi. That should be ok but that document needs to have all his information also mentioning for how long you would live there, and then signed by both of you. If that’s not enough, the clerk will let you know but usually there are no issues. Thanks

  4. Hi,

    I just did my empadronamiento, and the guy at the end said me i need to renew it in 3 months. I’m French, so EU citizen, so i don’t understand why. I have read it’s valid longer when you are EU citizen.
    Can you explain me?

    1. Hi Mathieu. That is correct. The paper is technically valid only for 3 months but many places accept it even if it’s more than 3 months old. Unless they specifically require one that’s new, you will be fine. Thanks

  5. If I am living with 2 other people who also need an empadronamiento, can we all go to the same appointment, with our 1 rental contract and 3 passports, or will we need 3 appointments? Also, could 1 of us just go with all the passports?

    1. Hi Nora. Yes, you can make 1 appointment and all go together. It might be best to go with the other 2 people as well instead of just taking their passports because they might ask for them. It’s actually easier for them to register the 3 of you together with one appointment than making three separate appointments. Thanks

  6. Hello. I had this document for the last 10 years and somehow it got cancelled. How can get it back but from the date I originally had. I am aware I can renew but perhaps has more meaning as it is 10 years plus.

    1. Hi Gaulbert. Every 2 years, the empadronamiento expires. It could be possible that it expires after 10 years as well (but we haven’t received a confirmation yet). It shouldn’t take long to renew it. If you are still a resident here, it should be very easy to redo it again. Make an appointment online and show up and they will take care of it. If there are any conditions, please inform us and we will add it to our guide so that the others know about it as well. Thank you

    1. Hi Sam. We have heard both versions that some places are ok and some are not. We recommend going there to ask at the front desk. Thanks

  7. I rented an apartment without a lease but need this document. What can I do now? The person I’m renting from says she doesn’t do contracts and just rents to people. Can I find a template online and we both just sign it?

    1. Hi Claire. We cannot tell if the person you are renting from would be ok with that. Double check because it needs to be a proper contract, not a half-a-page template downloaded from the internet. Thank you

  8. If I don’t have a formal housing contract, but I am staying at some friend’s house, can I go with my Friend? or I really need to get the housing contract?

    1. Hi Lina. We have heard cases where going with a friend worked and also didn’t work. You can go to the City Hall and ask just to be sure. If your friend comes with you, that would increase your chance of being able to get the padrón without the need of getting a contract.

  9. Hi, to get an empadron in Barcelona does the housing contract have to be of more than 6 months? Or is a little less fine?

    1. Hi Vigo.
      As far as we know, having a contract for less than 6 months is fine. It shouldn’t be an issue but we always recommend double checking with the ayuntamiento just to be sure as they often change their policies from time to time and there might be different requirements for different nationalities.
      Thank you

    1. Hi Veronica. We just checked the form again. The maximum number of digits you can enter is 10. Just enter the first 10 digits of your phone number. We don’t think it would cause any issues. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Studentfy is the largest student association in Barcelona. We offer the best deals, products and services to the international student community in Barcelona.

Studentfy mobile app