Meeting with southern councils about the padrón system

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.




  1. OK, thanks Janet

  2. Hi Janet
    It is nearly 5 years since I last renewed on the Padron so I’m due to do it again. Is it possible to do it online now – I have a ‘digital signature’ and online access to my ayuntamiento, but I can’t see an obvious option to do it?
    Thanks in hope, I’m trying to avoid as many face to face encounters as possible.

    1. Author

      I don’t know, Tamara, it will depend on what your particular council’s system will permit. If you can’t see an obvious option then it will probably be a case of making a cita previa online for a presencial appointment.

  3. SAC office beside local police station opposite Worton

  4. Hi Janet
    A question on the Padrone. I live in Golf del Sur, can I get my Padrone at Las Chafiras or do I need to go to San Miguel? Also do I have to go again if I move but still remain in Golf del Sur.

    1. Author

      Yes, you have to advise of a change of address. Is there a SAC at Las Chafiras now? If so (I thought I heard there was) then yes, otherwise it’ll be the town hall in San Miguel. BUT at the moment they’re all closed to the public.

  5. Hi my daughter own a apartment she resident for 2 months of the year and we are resident in it for 5 month of the year she pays non resident tax each year
    What benefits and disadvantage would there be to register at the town hall ?

    1. Author

      There aren’t “benefits and disadvantages”, it depends on what the council will do. As explaind above, in her situation of non-tax resident and not “living here”, she doesn’t have to register with the police, but some town halls will register her and others not.

  6. I went to Adeje Ayuntamiento today to ask about getting on the padron. They told me that being on the padron in Adeje means that Adeje is my MAIN residence in the WORLD. If I go on the padron, does this mean that I will have also to switch my tax domicile from UK to Spain?

    1. Author

      No it doesn’t, it just means that Adeje is where you claim to spend most of your time, and registration with a local council has, and cannot have, any tax implications. Your tax resident status, however, will be affected if you do actually spend more than six months of the year in Spain … please see the first question in the RESIDENTS & NON-RESIDENTS section of THIS page.

  7. I have just purchased a brand new car from a main dealer and I am not a resident. I ‘only’ needed to provide my NIE, Escritura, copy of last years IBI payment, copy of my passport and a recent utility bill, nothing relating to the padron.

    It took a couple of months for the car to arrive following placing the order.

    I received the completed green registration document a week after picking up the car.

    1. Author

      Thank you sniff, that’s really useful! Snowy too mentioned a new car … I wonder if it might be an issue with second-hand cars because there’s a “change of address” involved. That would explain Motorworld’s statement that one is needed, as well as being on Tráfico’s website as a requirement for change of domicilio. Perhaps it’s just where cars have already been registered once with Tráfico at one address …

  8. Its not really a Trafico requirement, its because you pay the equivalent of Road Tax to the Ayto. They may know nothing about you, espicially if you are renting accommodation and dont pay bills yourself. Getting you on the Padron means they kill two birds with one stone.

  9. Hello Janet
    Is it a recent requirement to produce an empadronamiento when purchasing /registering a car? I bought a new vehicle from a main dealer 3 years ago and they only asked to see my NIE. They registered the car for me in Adeje. Maybe I was just lucky to escape the bureaucracy!

    1. Author

      maybe so … all the advice I’m getting is that one’s required, and we’ve had one required ourselves. Those who deal with Tráfico, like Motorworld, have the information that it’s required too. It would be good to get a definitive statement from Tráfico, I have to say!

  10. Hi Janet we have registered on the pardon in los Cristianos for the last 10years, however we went to renew our registration in December and were told that we could no longer register as we are not fiscal resident, the ayuntamiento had changed the rules!
    I questioned why we could not register as property owners but was cleared told we could not register. We have always registered to benefit the ayuntamiento and to be able to vote in local elections.

    1. Author

      Yesterday the head of the Padrón, who was at the meeting, confirmed that Arona will register “residents” even if not here for most of the year (i.e. fiscal residents). You were very clearly misinformed. It was explicitly stated that Arona does not mind how long you are in the municipality for, you just need to turn up with passport, NIE or Registro, plus proof of where you live. If you go back and again hit a blank wall, ask for the supervisor.

  11. Janet, we have lived here for 17 years, but not sure that we
    have updated anything. Could you tell me how to do this
    and where we should go. We live in Amarilla Golf and
    wonder whether e can go to the office in Las Chafiras
    Could you also tell me what we need to take with us
    and also how often we should renew.
    Many thanks for your help

    1. Author

      yes, you’re in Amarilla Golf and so your local SAC is in Las Chafiras. That is where you need to go … just go and say you want to update your registration on the padrón. They will confirm how often you have to renew, it should be every two or so years. Just take passport and NIE, and rental contract or escritura of ownership.

  12. I’m a long term owner but not resident. We are intending to buy a car this year. I have an NIE and my escutura but do I still need an empadroniemento to buy a car and how do I get one of these please? TIA

    1. Author

      As I say above, Tráfico requires an empadronamiento to register the vehicle, and most dealers will require one as part of the purchase procedure. You get one by going to your ayuntamiento with your passport, NIE and some proof of where you live (ideally your escritura) and registering on the padrón. THIS page might also help.

  13. A question on renewal of patron registration, if you go to the local sac office and request an updated copy ie where you need to have a certificate with a date within the last 3 months does this count as a renewal

    1. Author

      If your registration has lapsed then yes it would because they would only issue it if you re-registered. If your registration is valid, however, my own policy would be to check at the desk when your registration expires, and renew there and then if close to that date.

      Effectively, to answer your question as I understand it, simply going and asking for an uptodate empadronamiento does not of itself represent “reregistering”.

Comments are closed.