One of the first things you need to do after moving to Spain is to register yourself to the census or ’empadronarse’. This is basically a way for Spain to keep track of all people living in the country on an ongoing basis. Unlike the UK which has a census check every 10 years, Spain keeps track on a regular basis. If you are planning to stay in Spain for at least 6 months, you should empadronar yourself too!
After registering in Madrid and later in Palma then going back a second time to change my address, I think I’ve finally learned the process of empadronamiento.
I know it can be daunting after moving to a new country/city to get on top of the bureaucracy – whether you do or don’t speak Spanish. So to help, here’s a step-by-step guide to registering yourself to the census in Palma de Mallorca.
Why do you need empadronamiento?
You need to register in Spain in order to do following (note this may vary by region or municipality, I’m basing this on where I live in Palma, Mallorca.
- To get a local bus pass
- To get any benefits such resident discounts on flights
- To be able to get a medical card and visit the public doctor
- To vote
1. Getting an appointment for empadronamiento
First of all you need to register to get an appointment for the empadronamiento. Choose your nearest or most convenient office and the best time for you. Depending the time of year there may be a long wait to get your appointment so make sure you book as soon as possible.
2. Fill in the inscription form
You can download the inscription form here and fill it out on your computer. Then print it off and take it with you to your appointment.
3. What you need to take to the appointment
Remember to take the following documents to your empadronamiento appointment:
- Inscription form above, filled in and signed
- Passport and photocopy of passport
- Rental contract (if you rent). Or if you own a property, the escrituras of that property. – Bring both originals and photocopies
- NIE (if you have one)
Read more about what you need to take to your appointment on the official government website (in ES).
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