Now I have my NIE Number should I sign the padron at the Townhall?

Once you have your NIE Number one thing you may want to do is sign the townhall register Known as the El Padron

The Padron has advantages and disadvantages to signing. If you plan to apply for residency in Spain its certainly something you may consider doing. But below we give an example of why you might not wish to sign the Padron.

PADRÓN FACTS. A recent case, published on facebook groups and in The Local, prompted me to write this article and share an article from CAB Spain with you, where it is clearly stated that non-residents SHOULD NOT be on the padrón of a town, no matter how actively they are ‘recruited’ to do so by their Town Halls, with the promise of IBI discounts for example. If only to avoid being considered a resident for fiscal purposes, which was the case for this gentleman. Quote from The Local below.

“A British doctor who has a second home here but does not live here permanently registered on the padrón at the time of buying his property together with his wife, who does live here and has her residencia. 

He caught the ferry over and drove here at the end of January in his UK-plated car that is registered in his name. 

They decided to take a day trip to Gibraltar and, upon leaving, were pulled over by the Spanish authorities, who, after checking his passport, came back to him three hours later and said the car was going to be impounded at La Línea because he is on the padrón. 

He argued that he is not a resident and showed his outbound and return ferry tickets as proof of his time to be spent in Spain which is well within his permitted 90 days.

Regardless, the car was impounded and he was told to return the next day, Friday, at 2pm to retrieve the vehicle. 

Seeing as the only reason given to him was because he was on the padrón, the next morning he went to his local council and de-registered from the padrón.

He was worried that he might also be stopped on the 100-km drive back after collecting his vehicle.

After a stressful three-hour journey by public transport, the next day he checked in at 2pm hoping to collect his car but no, they said they hadn’t time to deal with him and for him to return on Monday. 

On Monday he repeated the journey only to be told that they hadn’t had time to process the fine of which, until then, he knew nothing. 

The fine was for €2,000 plus the cost of daily storage at the pound because, according to them, by being on the padrón he was considered a resident and therefore not able to own a non-Spanish plated vehicle.”

In short, a nightmare that can be avoided. Only register on the padrón if you are a habitual resident of your town or intend to become one and are in the process of obtaining residency (for EU passport holders when they go to register as resident and for nonEU passport holders when they have arrived in Spain on their visa and are applying for their TIE resident card).

From the latest Instruction for Town Halls re managing the padrón:

1. The Municipal Register is the administrative register where the residents of a municipality are recorded. Your data constitute proof of residence in the municipality and habitual residence therein. The certifications that are issued from said data will have the nature of a public and reliable document for all administrative purposes.

2. Any person who lives in Spain is obliged to register in the Register of the municipality in which they habitually reside. Those who live in several municipalities, or in several addresses within the same municipality, must register only in the one they live in for the longest time per year.

Please note that UK Nationals, as third-country Nationals, are obliged to renew their padrón registration every 2 years while they are temporary residents (the first five years). TownHalls can notify citizens of the upcoming renewal, but that’s not obligatory by law. You can renew electronically, but when in doubt, they can ask for additional documentation to accredit you indeed still live in the town. 

When you fail to comply, removal from the padrón will be automatic, no prior notice will be given.

Third country nationals are no longer required to renew their padrón when they have obtained permanent residency status (larga duración) (renewed TIE for one that accredits that status). 

EU passport holders (and their nonEU family members) NEVER have to renew their padrón periodically.

HOWEVER, the townhalls can contact individuals to confirm they are still habitual residents in the town in the following circumstances:

1. EU passport holders if more than 2 years have passed since their registration on the padrón and they do not appear on the Foreigners Register held by the National Police. Or if more than 5 have passed since they obtained their green EU residency ‘certificate’ from the National Police (any updates re changed address etc. re-set the clock, they count from the date of issue of the certificate).

2. Third country nationals after more than 5 years on the padrón whose residency authorisation has expired.

The Town Halls receive monthly reports from the National Statistics Institute about this.

You can be asked to confirm your continued status as habitual resident in the town by electronic means, through the townhall’s electronic website, or they can send round the local police or a public servant. You CANNOT be asked to present yourself at Town Hall in person as this would mean a discriminatory treatment compared to Spanish Nationals.

The padrón instructions for Town Halls.

Internal links

How to get a NIE Number in Benidorm

How to get a NIE Number in Sevillia

How to get a NIE Number in Madrid

How to get a NIE Number in Alicante

How to exchange your green residency card to a TIE card

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