Get on the Municipal Register (Padrón) and Save Money

Having your name on the Municipal Register (padrón municipal) is useful in many ways. But did you know there are lots of ways it can help you save money?

All towns and villages in Spain receive funding based on the number of people registered. When less people register there’s less funding and fewer public amenities.

To get on your local padrón you’ll need to provide:

  • Photo ID
  • Documentation proving you own your home or have a rental contract
  • Some Ayuntamientos may ask for further documents such as bills in your name
  • Don’t forget to register everyone who lives in your home, including children

In some towns there may be a small charge for registration and for each certificate requested. Registry certificates are valid for three months, ask for one shortly before you need it.


Some water companies in Spain offer a discount on your bill if the water consumption is reasonable based on the number of people in the home.

Water consumption is split in stages from I to IV, which are progressively more expensive. Larger families often pay a large part of their bills at the higher priced stages. However the water company doesn’t know the reason for the higher consumption, for example, your home could have a swimming pool.

If your water company offers a discount, send copies of the padrón certificates for all household members.

You’ll also need to be on the padrón if you want to apply for the “bono social” for electricity. This is a special low tariff for some pensioners and other vulnerable groups such as the unemployed.

Social Security health card

Spain’s healthcare is ranked amongst the best in Europe. If you’re elegible to receive assistance at public clinics and hospitals in Spain, you’ll need to be on the padrón to get your Health Card.

By doing this you can save on private medical insurance and prescription costs.

Avoid invalidating insurance

If you have an insurance policy that covers accidents to and from your home to your place of work, it will only be valid if you’re on the municipal register.

Avoid fines

You can be fined for not informing the Traffic Directorate (DGT) or the Tax Office about a change of address. Although you won’t necessarily need to present a certificate from the padrón, make sure you register.

Fines are 80€ from the DGT and 100€ from the Tax Office.

Municipal gyms, sports clubs and courses

Why pay for a private gym if your town has decent municipal installations? For a fraction of the cost many towns offer a wide variety of sporting activities.

The same goes for free or cheap courses and classes for children and adults.

Places can be allocated either on a first come, first served system or points.

Home improvements

The Housing Plan 2018-2021 offers grants for home improvements, full details in our post here. To be eligible you have to have been on the padrón for over a year before requesting the grant.

More grants

Grants for new cars, energy efficient home appliances, air con units, new windows, boilers and more are available from time to time in different regions or at national level.

These grants are usually not means-tested but they’re only available for people who are on the municipal register.


If you have assets in Spain and are planning to leave some or all of your inheritance to national residents, check the local tax implications. Inheritance tax rates are fixed regionally and the differences can be substantial. If this could affect you, make sure you get expert advice.


Watch out if you’re thinking of getting on the padrón at an address where you don’t actually live, for example at a relative’s. Some people do this in order to have access to better hospitals or to pay less municipal tax on their car.

Towns are cracking down on fraudulent registration. Penalties for public document fraud, including the padrón, come with a possible jail sentence of 6 months to 3 years.