Photo: British Consulate.
In a super initiative by the British Consulate, an information workshop was held yesterday in Los Cristianos Cultural Centre for southern councils to explain and discuss their policies and procedures about the padrón system and how it operates municipality to municipality. Representatives from Adeje, Arona, Guía de Isora and San Miguel Ayuntamientos attended the event, and I was invited myself, and it was interesting and enlightening to hear not just the basic information but also how the Ayuntamientos each differ slightly in their procedures.
It was also fascinating to get an insight into how municipalities deal with their different concerns which arise from the different practicalities they face, for example squatting in Arona or consumer complaints about electronic shops in the tourist areas of Adeje, and how these concerns are incorporated into a general policy concerning visitors, and temporary and permanent residents.
I get many questions about the padrón system, and the certificate de empadronamiento issued by councils to those on their registers, and I deal with the basic information HERE. What concerns us all most, however, is that Spanish law requires residents to register at the Ayuntamiento in the municipality in which they spend most time each calendar year. This means that anyone who lives here for more than six months a year is legally obliged to register on their council’s padrón. This registration must also be renewed – there are different periods in the different municipalities for EU and non-EU residents so it is important to check locally which will be applicable in any given case. Just to be clear, although some councils charge a small amount for the actual certificate, registration on the padrón is free in every case.
Those who do not live here for more than six months of the year are not so obligated, but most councils will inscribe them on the padrón upon request. This benefits the councils themselves, of course, because their funding is directly related to the number of residents registered in their areas, but also benefits temporary residents who might need social services assistance, or to get a child into a local school, or even just to buy a car because an empadronamiento is required by Tráfico to register the vehicle. And of course they also benefit from the increased services provided by the increased funding that their registration provides.