Empadronarse: Registering as a Resident in Madrid

How To Empadronarse in Madrid

First and foremost, what does Empadronado mean? To break it down, becoming Empadronado means that you are registering yourself as a resident in your city (in this case, Madrid) by giving your name and address to the census. 
Why do you need to become Empadronado? This is an important process because it is necessary for certain transactions in Madrid, such as applying for your Foreign Identity Card (TIE), joining the public healthcare system, getting married, and more. It is important to become Empadronado if you will be staying in Spain for more than 180 days (6 months).
Smart Insiders is here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to register for your Empadronamiento in Madrid. If you’re living in a city other than Madrid, ask your local town hall (Ayuntamiento) about the process.

How do I start the process?

 In order to become Empadronado, you’re going to need an apartment and a lease signed by you and your landlord. When you are looking at apartments, ask the landlord if they will be able to give you a housing contract (contrato de arrendamiento). If the answer is no, we strongly advise looking elsewhere because a housing contract is necessary to become Empadronado (and also because leases protect your rights as a tenant!) Keep in mind that the housing contracts should last at least 6 months; if they are shorter, you risk being rejected at your appointment.
Once you’ve moved into your apartment, you can schedule your padrón appointment online at the office that is most convenient for you. Next, you will need to gather all the appropriate documents. At your appointment, you will receive the volante (the document proving your status as Empadronado). Keep reading for more details about these steps!

* If you’re having trouble finding housing or are unsure where to start, check out the services available on our website!

Step 1: Make your Padrón appointment online.

 The first step is to make an appointment hereYou will then have to fill out the form fields with the information below.
  • Categoría: Padrón y censo
  • Trámite o servicio: Altas, bajas y cambio de domicilio en Padrón *
  • Oficina:  Select the office that is most convenient for you, or select “consultar la oficina con cita más temprana” to find the next available appointment. 
The webpage will then redirect you to a calendar, where you can select the day and time that works best for your schedule. Once you’ve selected your appointment, fill out your personal information on the next page.
  • Personal Information:
    • Nombre: Name
    • Primer Apellido: Surname
    • Segundo Apellido: Second Surname (if applicable)
    • Tipo de Document: Passport or NIE
    • Número de Document: Passport Number or NIE
    • Teléfono: Telephone Number
    • Dirección de Correo Electrónico: Email Address
  • Next, you need to verify all the information is correct. 
  • Click “Crear Cita”
  • You will then be given confirmation of your appointment. You will receive this information in an email as well.
* Make sure to select “Altas, bajas y cambio de domicilio en Padrón”, NOT “certificado de empadronamiento”. This certificate is only used for administrative procedures. Instead, you are trying to register in the system (“Altas”).
** If there are no appointments available, try again the next morning and new appointments likely will have been made available.

Step 2: Complete the Padrón Application

Next, you’re going to need to fill out the application form here. You can either print and fill out the form by hand or type in the interactive PDF. Whether typing or writing by hand, use all UPPERCASE letters for readability. If writing by hand, use a blue or black pen.

How to fill out the Hoja Padronal

First, write your address starting with the type of street (Calle, plaza, avda., etc.), then the street name (Nombre de la vía), the building number (Número), the floor (Planta) and number (Puerta) of your apartment. Check your housing contract to write the address correctly. It is optional to write your phone number (Tel. fijo). 

Below, fill out your personal information with your first name (Nombre), last name (1er Apellido), Male (Hombre) or Female (Mujer), date of birth (Fecha de nacimiento, written day-month-year), country of birth (País de nacimiento), municipality, state, or province of birth (Municipio y Provincia de nacimiento), and nationality (País de nacionalidad). If you and your flatmates are applying together, you can fill out their personal information below yours (max. 3 people).

Write the number of people who are applying on this document (Nº de personas inscritas en esta hoja). 

Below, select your identity document (DNIPassportNIE, or Residence Card). If you are using a DNI, NIE or Residence Card, write the number (), and if you are using your passport, write the number below (Pas/Doc). EU residents and people from Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland should write both their NIE and their passport/ID number.

For the education level (Nivel de estudios termindados), use the following chart: 

If you are a foreigner registering in Madrid for the first time, select Traslado residencia. Then, write your country of origin (Municipio/País de procedencia) and the Spanish consulate of your region if applicable (Provincia/Consulado de procedencia). If you moved and are re-registering at a different address in Madrid, select Cambio domicilio.

It is optional but recommended to put your cell phone number (Tel. móvil) and email (e-mail). Then sign where it says Firma

If you have a housing contract, you will write Contrato de Arrendamiento as the Documento acreditativo. You will also select Documento identidad. This indicates that you are submitting your housing contract and identity document in your application.

Step 3: Bring the necessary documents to your Padrón appointment.

 Finally, it’s time for your appointment! Remember to bring these important documents:
  • Padrón Application (Hoja Padronal)
  • Identity Documents and Photocopies (Passport, National ID (if EU citizen) or NIE/TIE).
  • Lease / housing contract (signed by you and your landlord).

Once they check and approve your documents at your appointment, you will receive your Volante (the paper stating you are Empadronado) immediately.

Missing school or work?

Remember, if you are missing school or work for this appointment, you should request a justificante to justify your absence.


We hope this helped! If you have any more questions about becoming Empadronado or getting settled in Madrid, feel free to reach out to the Smart Insiders team here

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