The Padrón is the register kept by each Town Hall in Spain, of the people who live in the town- either as property owners or tenants.

The closest UK equivalent is the electoral roll.

It is compulsory for residents of more than 6 months in an area to ‘empadronarse’- to be registered on the Padrón (as a separate administrative process from residency applications) but many fail to do so.

Advantages of ’empadronamiento’
(being registered on the Padrón), include:

1. It can provide taxation advantages (eg. Spanish Succession Tax).

2. It enables children to be enrolled for local education.

3. In the case of limited school places, it is used as one of the criteria for awarding places (determining catchment area).

4. It is required in order to be registered for local healthcare services.

5. It can provide an entitlement to vote in local and European elections.

6. In some areas, it is required to be able to use municipal facilities at discounted rates.

7. Town Hall funding is affected by the number of people on the Padrón. So, registering helps boost your local Town Hall’s resources for local services and facilities.

8. It is necessary in order to purchase and register a car in Spain.

9. It is necessary in order to marry within the local municipality.

10. It is necessary for benefits/ social services access; and to use the local employment agency (Job Centre equivalent) facilities.


Registration on the Padrón is a relatively simple exercise- and is either free or just a nominal charge is made, depending on the area. Specific requirements in terms of documentation vary from town to town.

So, before applying, it’s always best to make a preliminary visit to the Town Hall, to get a full up to date list of requirements.

This general commentary is not intended to be exhaustive; and case-specific legal advice should always be sought.

The Legal 4 Spain team provides a full Wills, Estate Planning, Inheritance and property transaction legal service; covering properties and other assets anywhere in Spain.