Everything you need to know about registering at the town hall

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Learn the details of one of the most important administrative procedures in Spain: register at the town hall.

What is registering?

Registration is registered in the Municipal Registry, that is, in the administrative register where the residents of a municipality are registered. Your data constitutes proof of residence in the municipality and of the habitual residence in it. The certifications issued from said data will be considered as a public and reliable document for all administrative purposes.

Why is it important to register when I arrive in Spain?

Any person living in Spain is obliged to register in the Municipal Register in which he habitually resides.

But in addition to being an obligation, in the long run it represents an advantage and a requirement for many procedures.

Therefore, registration will be necessary for Spaniards returning to Spain or who, having been born outside, come to live here. They will have to present the registration to obtain their DNI (national identity document), for example, to request access to medical care or to apply for subsidies for returned migrants.

In the case of a foreigner who has more than 3 months and has a residence permit, the registration allows him to prove his residence time, for future renewals or even to apply for Spanish nationality if he meets the other requirements. In addition, of course, to enroll in social security.

Should foreigners register in an irregular situation?

Foreigners in an irregular situation, that is, without a residence permit, can also and must register. In accordance with Spanish legislation, the City Council has no control over the legality or illegality of the residence in Spanish territory of any of its neighbors.

In this case, not only the registration is a requirement to access certain health services, but also to demonstrate that they have lived in Spain, if, for example, after a certain time they wish to process a residence permit due to exceptional circumstances, in concrete, by social or labor roots.

In the case of children of school age, registration is even more important, regardless of whether they are Spanish or foreigners (with residence permit or not), since it will determine the school where they should study.

Where to register

In the Town Hall that corresponds to the municipality where the house in which it resides is permanently located. Depending on the town hall, sometimes it is immediate, in others you have to make an appointment (in some they give it even several weeks later). In these latter cases, there are some that offer the possibility of requesting it online, through its website.

Documents required to register

1- Identification

-If it is Spanish, the DNI is normal. If you are Spanish and have just arrived and have not processed it, you can register with your Spanish passport.
-In the case of a foreigner of the community (citizen of a member country of the European Union), you can do it with your registration as a citizen of the Union (in which the NIE number is indicated), plus any identification document of your country of origin (the equivalent of the DNI) or passport.
-If you are not a foreigner of the EU with a residence permit or a prolonged stay, you must present your Foreigner Identification Card or your Community Family Card, as the case may be, in which the NIE is included (read our article? What is the NIE and what is it for?
-In the case of a foreigner in an irregular situation, you must present your valid passport.
– (There are other special cases, in the case of foreigners who for exceptional reasons do not have a passport).

2- Data of the house

-Document of property of the house in the name of one of the members of the family, or lease, for example.
-If these are in the name of another person that appears registered in that address, you need an express authorization of the latter indicating that the census applicant will also live there.
-If you are going to live in a student residence, for example, or in a convent (religious case), the authorization must be granted by the director of the same.
-There are other special cases that you can see in the following link.

Renewal of foreigners registration

Foreigners, both in an irregular situation and those who have a residence permit but who do not yet have a long-term residence, must renew the registration in the town hall registry every two years. Otherwise, the municipality will cancel them.

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4 comments on “Everything you need to know about registering at the town hall
  1. Virginia says:

    Hola Rómulo!! Primero que todo, muy buenos y claros tus artículos, muchas gracias!! 🙂 Y segundo, una consulta: Tengo pasaporte italiano y me voy a vivir a Barcelona en dos meses. Tenía entendido que lo primero que tenía que hacer es empadronarme y después hacer el registro de ciudadano de la unión pero en este artículo dice que es al revés. Podrías por favor aclararme eso? Muchas gracias!!

  2. Juan Carlos says:

    Hola Rómulo, en relación a (Datos de la vivienda) mi caso es… voy a vivir en un apartamento que mi padre nos hereda tanto a mi madre, hermanos y a mi… aun el documento de propiedad esta a nombre de mi padre (fallecido).

    Puedo realizar el empadronamiento así como esta el documento de propiedad o debo tener el documento actualizado ya a nombre de los herederos?

    nota… no dejo herencia escrita

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