Update 28 October: As I posted in January, travel firms had until November to be fully integrated into the automated SARA system for resident discounts. Throughout this year, technically, travellers no longer had to provide travel empadronamientos (Certificado de Empadronamiento para Viajar) but were advised to get one in case their travel agent or carrier was not yet part of SARA. Well, November it nearly is, and from this Saturday, travellers will find the process completed automatically and will no longer be asked for the travel empadronamiento – indeed, they cannot be asked for it.
As I said below, to be clear, this just means that travellers don’t have to produce a certificate any more. They still have to be “on the padron” so that the automatic system will be able to confirm they are registered with their council. The expected confirmation that all travel agents, shipping companies, airlines, etc., must use the SARA system from Saturday was given today by the Ministerio de Fomento. The government said that travel empadronamientos will still have to be produced for children under 14 and for anyone who has only very recently registered with their council.
Original post 24 January: The government has modified the requirements for resident discounts so as to avoid “unnecessary procedures”. The measure is included in a law approved today by the cabinet. Government minister Ana Pastor said that from now travel agents and airlines will use the same telematic system (Sistema telemático de Acreditación de Residencia – SARA), and will be required to do so. As a result, the public will find the process completed automatically and the Certificado de Empadronamiento para Viajar will therefore no longer be necessary.
Just to be clear: anyone getting a discount must not only have a Certificado de Registro but must also have registered with the council and be “on the padron”. It is just the requirement to get a travel certificate that is being waived. The travel agencies or airlines or ferries will be able to confirm the registration with local councils automatically. Until November, however, travellers are advised to carry a physical certificate while the automated system is set up. Please be aware that you have to renew your registration on the padron periodically: check with your local town hall how often this needs to be done.