Comprehensive Guide to Spanish Census Registration Process

Table of Contents


What is it?

Census Registration, or ’empadronamiento’, is a process that signifies your residence in a particular municipality in Spain. These records are used by the government for administrative purposes and also to establish your right to utilize certain local services.

Who needs it?

Anyone who plans to stay in Spain for more than six months needs to complete the Census Registration. This applies to both Spanish citizens and foreigners.


  1. Locate and go to your local Town Hall (‘Ayuntamiento’) or ‘oficina de padrón’.
  2. Request for the ‘alta en el padrón municipal’ form and fill it out. This is the application form for Census Registration.
  3. You will need to provide certain documents along with the application form.
  4. Once you submit the form and the required documents, a certificate of registration will be issued to you. This certificate, known as the ‘volante de empadronamiento’ or ‘certificado de empadronamiento’, will be required for several administrative processes.
  5. Keep in mind that you may need to renew this certificate periodically or when requested by various administrations.

Required Documents

Some of the documents required for Census Registration are often:

  • Passport or National Identity Card
  • Documents proving your residence in the town, like a rental contract or property deed
  • In case of a shared apartment, a signed authorization from the owner or main tenant may be needed
  • Other documents like NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) are often required for non-Spanish residents

Providers that can do it for you

(We are currently curating the best providers. If you are or know a provider, please contact us or edit the page directly)


Additional details

You can do the Census Registration on your own, but some people find it helpful to take a Spanish speaker along if they do not speak the language. Some towns may accept the documents and issue the certificate on the same day, while others may take a few days. It’s always a good idea to check the specific requirements and process with your local town hall.


Improve this article by using the contact form or editing it through our open-source GitHub repository: tramitit/guides