Understanding the validity of a Padron Certificate in Spain

Understanding the validity of a Padron Certificate in Spain

If you’re coming to live in Spain, the Padron Certificate is probably one of the most important documents you’ll need, as it’s official proof of address in Spain. There are many common misconceptions surrounding the validity of this essential piece of paper, and we’ll try to clear up any confusion in this article.

The importance of registering at the local Town Hall
As soon as you arrive to live in Spain, registering on the Padron at your local Town Hall should be right at the top of your to-do list. As well as making sure you have a crucial document, it also helps the town, because the more registered residents a town has, the more funding they get from central government for local infrastructure and investment. Check out this article for more information.

Who should (and shouldn’t) register on the Padron?
The registration process is only for residents so if you aren’t planning on becoming legally resident in Spain, you should avoid signing on the Padron. Once you are on the Padron, you can vote in some elections, enjoy local activities at discounted rates, and, in some towns, even receive a reduction in your council tax (IBI in Spanish). For anyone registering their TIE cards or an S1 for healthcare, a Padron certificate is absolutely essential.

Clarifying the validity of the Padron Certificate
One widespread misconception is that the Padron registration itself needs to be renewed every 90 days. This isn’t the case. It’s the Certificate that has a 90 day validity, not the actual  padron registration.
The 90-day rule applies only to the Certificate’s use as proof of address, not the registration itself.

Renewal and address confirmation
Depending on your passport, there are different renewal timelines. Non-EU passport holders have to renew their registration every two years, while EU country passport holders should renew every five years. If you need to provide a Padron certificate as proof of address, you can either go to the Town Hall in person to ask for a new Certificate or in some areas use a Digital Certificate to download a copy yourself. Remember that the Padron Certificate, when used as proof of address, is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. 

The Padron Certificate serves a multitude of purposes. Whether you’re making a big-ticket purchase, registering for healthcare, or taking part in local community events, the Padron will often be your primary document. Make sure you’re correctly registered, and remember to get an updated copy if you need to prove your address.

The information in this article was current on date of publication.
Article last reviewed/updated 22.04.2024

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