Certificado de Empadronamiento para Viajar no longer needed to obtain resident discount

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.



  1. some people are saying they have been refused viajes because there residencia doesnt say permanent.is this right?

    1. Author

      A council has no right to refuse Registros unless they have permanente on them, and I have not come across complaints about it, nor experienced it personally. A registro is a certificate issued by the immigration authorities through the Policía Nacional and is a document legal in Spain and the entire EU frim the moment of issue, never mind five years later, which is the earliest the word permanente can apply! If this has happened, or if it happens to anyone, they should refuse to accept the answer and ask to speak to the head of the patrón office, or whichever official is in charge of issuing viajes if different.

  2. Hi Janet
    We rent in La Caleta every winter for 6 months. My husband and I both have NIE certificates. We often go to La Gomera on the Fred Olsen ferry and have been told that if we get a certificado de viaje we will egt a discount. Please can you advise the best way for us to obtain these certificates.

    1. Author

      You cannot. They are a resident discount and so a NIE is not sufficient, I’m afraid. To get one requires registration with the Immigration Authorities as a permanent resident (via the National Police) and to be in possession of a Certificado de Registro (green card). In addition to the Registro, residents need passport plus Empadronamiento. Visitors are not entitled.

  3. Can you please tell me how to get the certificate de Viaje? We have our green Spanish residences card, certificado de empadronamienot and direction general de la policia. We booked flights and shown these docs last time to get the discount but today they have rejected these forms and said we also need the certificado de viaje. I have been on Arona website where it looks like you get get the form on line but is it necessary?

    1. Author

      It is necessary, and it comes from the council. If you have a digital certificate you can get it online otherwise you’ll need to go to the cultural centre in Los Cristianos.

  4. SARA works sometimes but not every time. Last year my wife and I flew to Bilbao with VUELING. SARA said my wife was OK but I had to get an Empadronamiento de Viaje. This year we flew to La Palma from Tenerife and neither of us were recognised by SARA. Given the uncertainties we now make sure we have an up to date Empadronamiento de Viaje. It only costs 3 euros or is free for over 65’s. Don’t you have a passport you can use for photo ID?

  5. I book my flights and ferry journeys on-line. It appears that the SARA system only works with the NIE. I have the green residencia paper and the padron, but the only photo Id that I have with an NIE is my Spanish driving licence which I think is unacceptable to airlines. Consequently I have to show a Certificado de Viaje every time I travel. What do I do when this expires, other than renew the padron?

  6. Can we check if we are on the pardon electronically, which we are, because after seeing some of the posts above some people seem unable to verify that they are registered.

    1. Author

      You can if you have a digital certificate. To obtain one you will need to be on the padron and visit the ayuntamiento in the first place. Please see the quetion in the first section HERE.

  7. I booked my flights from Tenerife to Madrid using Iberia. When I put my name and Guia de Isora in the appropriate places, a message appeared stating that no further documentation is required to prove island residency so it appears that Iberia at least are checking entitlement electronically. Result, hopefully!

  8. Hi Janet, thank you for your reply to my query last night. Today I went to the desk at the airport and was told that I needed to bring my passport,green card, boarding card,certificado de viaje and the empadronamiento certificate. I then called at Adeje Ayutamiento and got Updated new certificates for myself and husband (ours had runout.. they are only issued for 3 months) Although I was told by the Clerk that there was no need to produce it as the certificate de viaje proved that we were registered otherwise it would not have been issued. It remains to be seen if we have to show all the paperwork but at least I have peace of mind. Many thanks for your help and hopefully my information will help someone else.

  9. Can I just clarify something please, Janet? Do I need an Empadronamiento certificate or a travel certificate or both? Thanks

    1. Author

      The travel certificate is a form of empadronamiento … it’s called a Certificado de Empadronamiento para Viajar (i.e. for “travel”). You only need the one, because you could only get the Viaje if you were on the padrón.

  10. Author

    I dread saying this in case it turns out not to be the case, but you should only need your passport, Registro (green card which shows you’re a legal resident in Tenerife), and Viaje from the Ayuntamiento (which shows you’re on the padron and living here).

  11. Hello Janet, I have a query… My husband and I are to travel with Ryanair to Seville shortly, we have claimed the travel discount and also have the certificado de viaje. The “check in” on line procedure wouldn’t accept our Nie numbers and after several attempts it allowed me to print off the boarding cards but with the message that I had to report to the Ryanair desk with the certificado to have my boarding card stamped. Do I need to produce any other paperwork other than my passport, boarding card and certificado de viaje at this desk? Many thanks foryour help. The certificado was issued by Adeje Ayutamiento.

  12. We don’t pay for empadron or tarjeta de viaje. If you pay I believe you are being shafted!!!

    1. Author

      It’s not a case of “being shafted”, it’s a case of the certificates being municipal documents, and different municipalities having different policies Some charge, some don’t.

  13. With a digital certificate you can renew it any time you need to for free, from the comfort of your own home.

  14. Thanks, Janet. I will get a new Empadronamiento certificate in due course.

  15. Author

    To get the resident discount, people need to show that they are resident in the Canaries … and so the empadronamiento is a fundamental requirement. For foreigners, who are required to be registered with the police, the green Certificado de Registro is also needed. Really, the carrier has no legal right to demand the empadronamiento certificate because they are required to use the SARA system, and that system should pick up that you’re on the padron … but too often I hear that there is a detail wrong and the system doesn’t recognize the traveller’s details, and so I always recommend people carry a paper empadronamiento certificate as well. Empadronamiento certificates are really cheap: I think Guía charges €3 or so.

  16. Hello Janet

    I am planning to fly to Madrid from Tenerife in May 2017. I have a green resident ‘card’ dated January 2016. I am registered with Guia de Isora Empadronamiento but the certificate ( and travel certificate) were valid only until May 2016.

    I have read your post but am confused why Iberia Express request the Empadronamiento certificate number? I have one, but it expired in May 2016.

    Do you know, please, if I will need to pay for new Empadronamiento certificates and travel certificates before I travel?


  17. Hi Janet, can I get residential discount on flights if I have NIE, not certificado de residencia? Thanks

    1. Author

      no … beause without a “residencia” you’re not a resident …

  18. Yes I will do, strangely enough it was the other way round when we went on the Fred Olsen 2 months ago, mine was fine and hubby had to show his.

  19. I booked 2 flights to Seville and Ryanair verified our residency, my husbands was fine but for some reason they have requested I take proof to the airport when I fly. We renewed our empadronamientos at the same time so no idea why mine should have a query? I finally thought we were getting rid of one piece of paperwork…..wishful thinking!

    1. Author

      There’s probably some error or discrepancy with yours. When you have time, it will be worth checking your registration on the padron to make sure it’s correct.

  20. I have renewed my empadronamiento this morning and been told that it has to be renewed in three months` time.

    Can I use this document for a reduction in a hotel? Or do I need a
    special one for hotel bookings in Spain? There used to be a 30%
    reduction on production of empadronamiento.

    I would appreciate a reply.

    1. Author

      Your empadronamiento doesn’t have to be renewed in three months … it is valid only for three months, which is a different thing. Empadronamientos are always of limited validity because they confirm a person lives at a particular address and people move, so councils limit themselves to what they consider a sensible period of confirmation. Since the certificado de empadronamiento is not a compulsory document, it does not “have” to be renewed until it is needed again, and the replacement acquired will itself be valid only for a few months.
      As to resident discount, this will depend on the establishment: some places will accept it, others will require more formal proof that the holder is resident in Spain, and for foreigners, the normal proof requested is the Certificado de Registro, which is given when foreigners living in Spain register as residents with the police as they’re required to do after three months here. For discounts on travel, passport, empadronamiento and Registro are required; for other places, e.g. Loro Parque as far as I’m aware, the Registro is required; yet others accept an empadronamiento. Hotels are private businesses and each could have a different policy. You will need to ask them direct.

  21. Hi Janet
    After seeing your article above I have looked in to the Red SARA system, the information they came back with seems to me (might be bad translation) that only government or universities can integrate this system to their websites? I’m working on a website/APP for transport, mostly ferries in Ibiza and would of like to add this service to the site. Do you have any further information on this service?

    Best regards


    1. Author

      No, the whole idea is that travel agents and carriers are integrated, as a legal requirement from 1 November. Government has to be integrated too because the system allows the travel industry to check with any town hall that a traveller is registered on its padron. ministerio de fomento, which is in charge of the system. The system comes under the control of the national government’s ministerio de fomento, and as the department’s website says HERE, “compañías aéreas y marítimas y de los sistemas de reserva ya lo tienen a su disposición y están haciendo los cambios necesarios en sus sistemas para que pueda ser utilizado de forma generalizada.” That is really quite clear, and it is categorically correct that the system applies to the whole industry, indeed that is its point. I would advise that you get further information direct from the ministerio de fomento direct.

  22. Hmmmmmm. Call me cynical…. I am travelling to Barcelona on new years day. I have recently got my travel certificate from the sac office “just in case”. I would be willing to bet that there will be a problem at check in. When i put the info into the booking… Their system told me that they were unable to verify my details (resident on my local padron for 12 years). So lets see what happens…..

  23. Thank you for the comments Janet.
    Went to the town Hall this morning and got the viaje documents no problem. They say they will stop issuing them in November.
    Went down to Los Cristianos to Fred Olsen office, they printed out our boarding cards, again no problem. However, they insist they will STILL need the viaje after November as there are 2 conflicting new laws!!!!
    I think the moral of the story is book well in advance if you want the discount!!!

  24. Author

    No, not every six months, but you will need to renew your registration periodically. It’s every few years – check your individual town hall for their specific period. You will be able to get an empadronamiento (for travel or any other means) however often you want one provided your registration hasn’t lapsed.

    As you say, the system is operational, but travel agents and businesses like ferry companies have a few months (until November, it seems) to get onto it. Binter is already up and runing with it, but clearly Fred Olsen isn’t yet. Until they are, these companies must continue to demand the certificado de empadronamiento.

  25. Author

    I have booked ferry tickets online with Fred Olsen today. The system is operational to check the council records to see if we are registered.
    We are registered, but the system says it could not verify our details.
    As extranjeros, will be still need to renew our registration on the padron every 6 months in order to be able to get travel discounts?

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