Moving to Spain: Getting Empadronado

Paperwork is so fun, right? It’s such a blast to check and re-check checklists and arrange a folder full of backup photocopies. Oh wait…maybe not so much. The next step after finding an apartment in Spain is getting empadronado. Your empadronamiento (the noun form of empadronado) is the act of registering with the local town hall in your province. Some smaller cities may just have one office, but Madrid is quite large and thus has quite a few different offices. There isn’t quite a consensus on whether or not this is actually required for the TIE appointment process (we’ll get to that later) but I’m always of the opinion that you’re better off safe than sorry!

Here is a rundown of the process for Madrid. Don’t worry! It’s really quite easy.

  1. The first thing to do is to make sure you get your address!
  2. Try to figure out which district you’re in. This website  breaks it down quite well, though to be safe you should ask your landlord or roommates.
  3. Next, find the city hall office (ayuntamiento) of your district. The province of Madrid lists the location of each of them here.
  4. Make an appointment online for your city hall. Go to this website and click “pedir cita.” Next, for Tipo De Servicio, select “atención al ciudadano” and  for Gestión, select “padrón.” Select your office (that you figured out in Step 3!) and pick a date and time that work for you.
  5. Print out the appointment reservation slip.
  6. Print out the empadronamiento form. Here is an unofficial version of the form in English to help you in case you don’t understand what a box is asking for. Only fill out the following sections:
    • No. de personas inscritas en esta hoja (write 1 )
    • Calle/plaza/etc. (Write the beginning of your street)
    • Nombre de la via (Write the rest of your street name)
    • Número (Write your apartment’s street number)
    • Portal/Escalera/Piso/Puerta (Fill in your address’ corresponding numbers. If you don’t have a portal/escalera number, LEAVE IT BLANK. Don’t just invent stuff.)
    • Teléfono
    • Nombre (first name)
    • 1a Apellido (last name)
    • 2a Apellido (Unless you have a second last name, LEAVE THIS BLANK. Don’t write your middle name in the other Apellido box or here. Don’t add a name you’ve always wanted instead. Don’t write your mother’s maiden name, your dog’s name, or “Esq.” If you had a second last name, you’d know it)
    • Hombre/Mujer (Check one)
    • Fecha de nacimiento
    • Provincia de nacimiento
    • Municipio de nacimiento
    • País de nacionalidad
    • Tipo de documento de identidad (Check “pasaporte” if this is your first time)
    • No (Write your passport number)
    • Nivel de estudios terminados (Check the English translations and fill in the code for your corresponding education level)
    • Causa de Alta (I left this blank as I had never been empadronada before, and thus wasn’t changing my status. The lady at my appointment checked one of the boxes and wrote ‘Estados Unidos’ under it, so if you’re unsure, leave it blank and see what they do at the appointment)
    • Firma de los mayores de edad inscritos en esta hoja (Sign your name)
    • Madrid, a (Write the day, month and year)
  7. Find your rental contract for your apartment. If you don’t have one, don’t worry! You can have someone who is already empadronado at your apartment fill in the bottom section of the page (Don/Doña……) with their information. If this is the case, you will also need
    • a copy of their DNI card
    • a bill in their name to your address
  8. On the day of your appointment, take with you:
    • the application form
    • your passport
    • your contract/roommates DNI+bill
    • the printout of your appointment time
  9. Go to your appointment! Once you’re seen, you should be out of there in five minutes! Congrats on your status as empadronado!


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