Why and How to Register with your Local Council in Barcelona
The process of Empadronament basically involves getting your name on your local Padró Municipal d'Habitants, which is the register of residents in a town or municipal administrative area.
By law, all residents of a municipality have to register with the Padró in the municipality where they live habitually whatever their nationality, and if you have a number of different residences you should register in the place you spend most time.
So quite simply, the main reason why you should do the empadronament is because it's a legal obligation.
However, it confers a number of rights, such as :-
- You can vote in municipal elections and if you are a European citizen, in elections to the EU Parliament but not in Spanish General Elections or Catalan Autonomic Elections.
- You can register with your local doctor or medical centre and get access to free medical treatment through ICS - Institut Català de la Salut.
- If you want to enroll your children at a local state school, you will have to be empadronat or registered.
- It is also very useful to have an Empadronament Document, which effectively is proof of residence, when you have to initiate or renew other bureaucratic processes, such NIE, a wedding or driving licence etc.
So What Do I Have To Do?
In my experience, all that is required is proof of identity such as a passport and a document that proves where you live, such as a rental or purchase contract.
You should take the full documentation to your local Council or Ajuntament.
If you live in Barcelona, you need to the OAC - Oficina d'Atenció al Ciutadà - of the District where you live.
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