Resident travel discount needs Empadronamiento para viajar

Above is an image of the national Government’s factsheet on the requirement for a 6-month Certificado de Empadronamiento para Viajar. Please click HERE for the full size.

Update 29 January: The Government has now confirmed that it will maintain the 50% discount for residents who live outside of the mainland, namely in the Canaries, Balearics, and Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. Minister Ana Pastor will meet with airline representatives to study tariffs and attempt to improve efficiency, but the full discount will continue.

Update 9 January 2013: As I posted on 9 August, there were eleven Ayuntamientos offering this service: Arona, Guía de Isora, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla de Abona, Güímar, Vilaflor, La Guancha, Santa Úrsula, Santa Cruz, La Laguna, and El Sauzal. Guía de Isora has now joined the list of Ayuntamientos facilitating this document online.

Update 9 October:  The Ministerio de Fomento is likely to put a limit on the cost of a ticket eligible for the 50% discount. Secretaria general de Transporte, Carmen Libero, said that the average price should be what the discount is based on, rather than high-end peak-time ticket prices. She stressed that given the current economic situation, it was unreasonable to expect the government to subsidise 50% of tickets of up to around €550-600 when the average price was between €70 and €120. It is unclear at present whether only average price tickets will be discounted, or whether the “average price discount” is what will be applied to all tickets regardless of purchase price.

Update 6 October: The automatic confirmation of residency system (SARA) that Binter has been piloting is now ready for use by all other airlines, says the Ministerio de Fomento. It is expected that all airlines will be using it by the end of the year.

Update 4 October: In what is being called a pioneering pilot project (I don’t know whether the pun is intended or not!), passengers travelling between the Canary islands with BinterCanarias will not need to prove their residency by means of a Certificado de Empadronamiento para viajar if they book online. Residents will be able to accredit their resident status at the point of ticket purchase and will not be required to go to their local Ayuntamiento. The new measure applies from today, and is called SARA (Sistema Acreditación Residencia Automático): BinterCanarias has developed it in conjunction with the Ministerio de Fomento.

SARA works by facilitating a telematic check with the Ministerio de Fomento’s database when travellers buy tickets online through This check will validate whether or not the passenger is resident in the Canaries, and if it is confirmed, then the discount will be applied automatically, and no further action will need to be taken by the traveller to prove where they live.

Update 1 October: There have been many rumours recently, after certain comments from the national Government, that the resident discount for travel from the Canaries was in jeopardy, but the minister for Industria, Energía y Turismo, José Manuel Soria, himelf a Canarian, has now guaranteed the 50% discount for residents of the Canaries, Balearics, and the two Spanish settlements in north Africa, Ceuta and Melilla. Sr Soria said that the discount for travel to the mainland had never been in question.

As far as the newly required travel certificate is concerned, however, the whole of September was a period of grace, with the cost of the ticket being refunded for anyone who had booked without the “Certificado de viajes”, but now that the “period of adaptation” is over, any traveller turning up without one will either be refused permission to board, or will be required to buy a new, undiscounted, ticket, with the original ticket being cancelled. Travellers are reminded that these certificates are available from their local Ayuntamientos, and are valid for six months. The previous “requirement” for one certificate per ticket, or for certificates to bear travel dates, is evidently either no part of the requirement, or any such requirement has been removed. All that’s needed is a Empadronamiento para Viajar valid for six months, and this can be used for any journeys in that period without them needing to be specified at any point.

Update 9 August: There are now eleven Ayuntamientos who have put in place the facility to obtain a Certificado de Empadronamiento para viajar online, and for free. The measures have been set up in readiness for the requirement to produce the certificate from 1 September to benefit for the 50% resident discount for travel within Spain. The eleven Ayuntamientos are: Arona, Guía de Isora, San Miguel de Abona, Granadilla de Abona, Güímar, Vilaflor, La Guancha, Santa Úrsula, Santa Cruz, La Laguna, and El Sauzal.

HERE is the information direct from the Ministerio de Fomento on the new requirement from 1 September of a Certificado de Empadronamiento for resident discount.

Update 11 July: There is some further clarity on the requirement for a Certificado de Empadronamiento to obtain a resident discount on travel within Spain. It is now clear that the certificate must be specifically for travel and show the dates on which the journey is to take place, and therefore on which the discount is to be granted. It will be valid for six months and will be able to be used for multiple journeys; as such, although it will need to be shown when travelling, it will not be necessary to hand it over.

Normal ID will be required in addition to the Certificado de Empadronamiento “para viajar”: this means, for foreign residents, passport and Certificado de Registro. The requirement will apply to any journey made after 1 September, even if tickets were bought beforehand. Anyone who has trouble getting this document from their local Ayuntamiento should refer to “Anexo I del Real Decreto 1316/2001”, the legislation which defines the model for the issuing of the certificates – and if meeting a blank, it’s worth bearing in mind that the certificate is popularly known as “Certificado de viajes”

Update 12 June: The requirement for a Certificado de Empadronamiento to obtain a resident discount for travel within Spain has been postponed until September. The measure was due to come into force on 1 July, but some outlets were already requiring the certificate before applying the discount. That will no doubt continue to be the case even though the introduction of the measure has been delayed.

Update 20 April: I’ve been unable to reply to one enquirer (email reply failed for some reason) who asked what the certificate needed is. As said, it is the Certificado de Empadronamiento, available from a local Ayuntamiento. They are issued, in the first place, when one registers “on the padron” – i.e. registers with the Ayuntamiento as living at a given address. They are valid for only a few months, so in the case of the enquirer who travels frequently, will need to be renewed as needed.

Update 17 April: Transport minister Carmen Librero says that the requirement for residence to be accredited by a Certificado de Empadronamiento for travel discount applies from now. The Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea is already co-ordinating this, she said.

Update 4 April: Although up to now residents have just had to produce a Certificado de Registro to demonstrate their residence in the Canaries (as well as photographic ID such as a passport or a Spanish driving licence) in order to get a resident travel discount, Madrid is reintroducing the requirement for a Certificado de Empadronamiento. The requirement applies to both flights and ferry transport, the ministra de Fomento, Ana Pastor, has announced.

Update 30 March 10pm: However they’re going to finance this, the ministro de Industria, Comercio y Turismo, the Canarian José Manuel Soría, has just confirmed this evening that it will not affect resident discount, and that Canarian residents will retain their 50% reduction in air tickets. That means, of course, cuts elsewhere ….

Original post 30 March:  The Spanish budget was presented in Parliament today, and one of the most important issues for the Canaries was the announcement that the transport subsidy for residents in the Canaries (and the Balearics) has been reduced by 65 million Euros. The level of interest in the measure is indicated by the fact that this has become a global “trending topic” on Twitter – number 4 in the top ten items being discussed worldwide. It’s number one in Spain itself this afternoon. What this means in specific terms for “resident discounts” on travel to and from the Canaries is yet to be clarified.


  1. Hi Janet
    I have read with interest the latest developments regarding the reintroduction of the necessity to obtain a ‘certificado de empadronamiento’ in order to qualify for the residents travel discount. At the moment the only information available is what you are publishing via your website and the local news on CoastFm, so I suspect my question does not yet have a definitive answer?
    Is it correct that residents who want to take advantage of the discount scheme will need to apply for a new ‘certificado de empadronamiento’ for every trip they make as the news bulletin suggests?
    Originally the certificates had duration of validity but according to the news reports they will only be valid for specific journeys?

    I hope you can clarify my queries?

    Kind regards

    Dennis Markham

  2. Author

    There has been nothing about that in the official reports I’ve seen, so as far as I’m aware no-one will need an empadronamiento per trip, but they will only be able to use it during the period for which it is valid.

  3. Thanks for your reply which actually makes sense with how the empadronamiento previously worked. Maybe it’s the CoastFM news bulletins that are misleading as they state that residents will need a certificate “for each and every trip”.

  4. This has featured a lot on TV Canarias this week if you want further info? Obviously don’t know if they will continue to follow the story next week. Guessing not.

  5. Its great that you can apply on line, but only with a digital ID card – which European foreigners don’t have or a digital certificate which has to be installed on your computer – so don’t leave things till the last minute expecting to get the document online if you haven’t already obtained and installed your digital ID certificate.

  6. Back in July 25th this year I booked a return trip to Tenerife after travelling out to the mainland on 29th March 2012. The day of return was 6th October and needless to say the required documents for residential discount were not sufficient as they were in March. Unknown to me the Documentacion for Viaje was required.Inturn I had to pay the difference amounting to 132 euros for our voyage.
    Since our arrival I have been to the Puerto De La Cruz ayuntamiento via their Consumo Officina first for guidance and eventually two letters have been sent to try and obtain a refund due to the lack of notification and responsability of Naveria Armas. My replies have been only to tell me about the law that came into effect on 1st September last. Fine I understand but what still remains obsqure is the lack of their (Naveria Armas) responsability in the lack of notifying passengers being out of the country regarding the extra documentation required for any discount. Each letter has had the information put to them, however their only reply has been regading when the new law became valid.
    Surely back in July an email to each client would have prevented all of this occuring not just for me but any other passenger. In my case the extra document would have easily been obtained before our journey in October.
    One final letter is in the pieline with all of this mentioned again but I feel all at a loss. David

  7. Author

    Hi David, I’m afraid this is standard behaviour here. The default approach is that it is our responsibility to find out what we are responsible for, and this applies across the board, from this sort of thing to taxes to traffic requirements. Even adverts for events are sent out, often, the day after in the form of a press release … usually saying how nice it would be if more turned out next year …

    This mentality is one of the basic reasons why I set up this site, of course, to try to inform people.

  8. Hi Janet
    I have read your comments with interest.
    With regard to travel discount can you tell me how to go about renewing the relevant documents on line. I come under San Miguel de Abona.
    Many thanks

  9. Author

    I think you can only do that if you have a digital certificate, which has to be applied for … as far as I’m aware from the very town hall at which you’d need to apply for the Empadronamiento para viajar … !

  10. Does each person traveling need a seperate permit our do the permit holders family qualify for reduced travel if the permit holder purchases the tickets ie Husband, Wife and 1 child?

  11. Author

    As far as I know, every traveller must be on the padron to be entitled to the resident discount.

  12. Can i apply for my discount on line

  13. Author

    Your discount is given by the carrier, whoever you’re travelling with. It’s allocated automatically when you book as a resident provided that your details check out with the ayuntamiento.

  14. All my family members are on the pardon and we have certificate ,,para viajar” issued in nov 2014. Do I need to renew the certificate again as it is valid only 6 months and we will fly in August? I saw information that airlines will check residency electronically, but I tried to book Ryanair and got the message that residency could not be verified and I should present residency certificate document prior boarding.

  15. Author

    Unfortunately Ryanair seem to be a law unto themselves and although they are required by Spanish law to check the ayuntamiento’s records through the automated SARA system, they are still demanding physical paper. Yes, I’m afraid you’ll need a new certificado de empadronamiento para viajar.

  16. We can print any of our documents off any time we need one, this is with Granadilla de Abona, no cost and easy. All you need is to have a Digital Certificate. I would have thought this option was available in most areas.

  17. Author

    Yes it is. Anyone can arrange a digital certificate.

  18. Hello, thanks so much for your extremely helpful website! I am a UK citizen with a green Certificado de Registro to live here in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. My husband has an Australian passport and his N.I.E card for Las Palmas. I am trying to figure out what I need for the Binter Canaries discount for flights between GC and La Palma. The SARA system failed to identify us as residents when I booked and it has alerted me to bring the proper paperwork. I have successfully downloaded a Certificado de Viaje (Bonificacion Viajes) from the Ayuntamiento website for my husband using his N.I.E card number, but unable to do so with my green Certificado de Registro. I am wondering how I go about getting my Certificade de Viaje and if I need to do anything else for my husband to be eligible for the discount through my UK passport ie. Padron etc etc. Many thanks in advance for your help.

  19. Author

    The fact that you couldn’t get a Viaje yourself despite getting one for your husband suggests that your details are incorrect, or somehow different, in the ayuntamiento’s records, which is presumably why the SARA system couldn’t identify you. All you can do is check physically with the ayuntamiento. The four components required for the resident discount have to match – Registro, Empadronamiento entry (or certificado para viajar), passport or ID card, and tickets.

  20. You were correct Janet, they had registered my passport number instead of my NIE and had my DOB/nationality wrong on the padron register. I am hoping all will be sorted in a few days. Many thanks again – your page is very helpful!

  21. I am in Andratx. Do I apply to my local Ayuntamiento for a form for the travel discount? You mention ‘digital certificate’…..have you got a website address for this? I believe I have all the necessary documents but just need to complete one of those six month forms.

  22. Author

    You apply to your ayuntamiento to register on the padron, and the discount is then applied automatically when you book your tickets. For a digital certificate, requested your code HERE first, then go to your town hall. There, you will be entered in the computer with your code, and an email will be sent to you with a link to finalise the process. That requires you to download the digital cert which sits on your computer and acts automatically.

  23. Re/certificado-de-empadronamiento-para-viajar
    Hi Janet, I’m a little confused about the above. We have last week become residents and have our green cards. I’ve booked a trip on the car ferry to mainland Spain in July, clicking for the residents discount. But it did say, for the discount, we had to have been resident for 6 months. We have been registered at the town hall for over two years. What will we need to take as proof? Will they check on the system that we qualify? Or will we have to pay the difference when we check in? Than you so much for any advice you can give.

  24. Author

    Well there is nothing in the legislation that I’m aware of that requires a six-month residency period before a discount can be applied for, so presumably this is an issue imposed by the ferry company. What you need as proof, as clearly explained above, is passport, Certificado de Registro (which you are calling “green card”) from the police and a Certificado de Empadronamiento “para viajar” from the council. Yes they will check, of course … again, as explained above, they will check on the SARA system or require a viaje certificate! And if you apply as a resident and you don’t check out, you will almost certainly have to rebook fully, not just “pay the difference”.

    (For what it’s worth, your registration with the police is what defines you as “resident” in Spain, at least legally so. Your registration on a council padrón actually proves nothing of itself, however long you’ve been registered.)

  25. The SARA system is inconsistent. Last year my wife was recognised by it, this year neither of us was recognised by it. If you are over 65 a Certificado de Empadronamiento is free otherwise it’s 6 euros, probably more than the difference in fares. Get one for each of you for peace of mind.

  26. In reply to Stewart – if you are having trouble with the SARA system it may be because you are not using ALL your forenames (assuming you have more than one) when booking .
    The system matches EXACTLY to the registered information so needs ALL the names that appear on the Residencia. So ‘Fred Bloggs’ is not enough if ‘Fred John Bloggs’ is your full name.

  27. Thanks Simon but I have done that with no success.

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