I live in Madrid, why do I have to prove it? and how?

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Yes, I live in Madrid. Yes, I work in Madrid. Now, I just have to prove it to the Ayuntamiento with some simple paperwork. If I am able to prove that I live here, I will get a certificate of empadronamiento! But wait, what is the Ayuntamiento anyways and why do they want me to have a certificate of empadronamiento? Why would I tell them that I live in Madrid if I don’t? this paperwork is seeming a little unnecessary. Well, the ayuntamiento is a part of the Spanish government of course, and I have read that it can be translated as town hall. The certificate of empadronamiento states that you are living here in Madrid, simply put, they are counting us. They don’t care if you are legal or not, they just want to know if you are living here.

Then you ask yourself, “wait, am I even empadronada (or whatever the equivalent would be) with my town hall in the states?”

The answer,”no idea, but, wait?! I have to go to a Spanish town hall? Where people want me to fill out paperwork in Spanish? and then later use this paperwork for something really important (my TIE) that I also don’t fully understand?” This is crazy! So, how do I prove to them that I really am living in my piso in Madrid? Well, you can prove it with qualifying paperwork! Perfect! You will get the Padrón Municipal (Alta por cambio de residencia desde otro municipal)Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 2.17.09 PM

Wait, I don’t have any of the qualifying paperwork.

In my particular situation I don’t have a rental contract, I don’t have fixed bills in my name, none of my roommates are empadronado in Madrid (they are from other parts of spain). Please note how this says “today persona que viva en España está obliged…”…I am not 100% fluent in Spanish but I am pretty sure that means that everyone is obligated to do this.  However, my Spanish roommates have not done this, and that’s a whole different issue. Anyways, you get the idea. I basically looked at all of the documentation that qualified and said, well, I guess that is the end to my time abroad, should just start packing now. I legitimately don’t have any of this qualifying paperwork.

Well, well, “qualifying” paperwork here in Spain is arbitrary my friend.

So you are telling me that this paperwork may or may not be necessary depending on the specific ayuntamiento I go to or the government worker that I talk to? Yes, yes I am. So, go through the list of documentación and check out what you need. You may or may not have it. Even if you don’t have all or any of the paperwork, make yourself an appointment.

Making an appointment

Make your appointment at any ayuntamiento online, here.
The ayuntamiento that you have the appointment at DOES NOT have to be in the same barrio that you will be empadronado in!
For example: I went to the ayuntamiento in Chamberí for the appointment but I am actually empadronada in Ciudad Lineal. Really, wherever you can find an open appointment is great. So, choose a location that has an available appointment on the day you want to go.

Here is a list of the documentation that you need to bring to your appointment:

English version from the AngloINFO Madrid page:

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Spanish from the Spanish governments website:
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I believe the most important part is the “documento que acredite el uso de la vivienda”…that is the “proof of address”, the rental contract, fixed bill, deed, copy of leaseholders DNI, etc. This is where my stress kicked in. Woahhhh, I don’t have any of those documents. When I went to the appointment, I didn’t actually bring in a “document” that would have been the “proof of address”, I didn’t have one. I just brought a friend. If you don’t have proof of address, you can just bring in whoever you live with or whoever you want. I think as long as the address on their DNI matches the address that you put on your solicitud de empadronamiento, it will be fine.

Here is a list of ALL the paperwork that I brought in to my appointment:

1. Tramite – Solicitud de Empadronamiento (the form!)
2. Passport + 1 copy
3. A Spanish boy who signed my solicitud de empadronamiento.

Wait, seriously? Yes.

How did that qualify you? No idea.

Either way, I am now empadronada in Madrid, and I will use this piece of paper for my NIE appointment! The address that I am empadronada at will be the same address that I use for my NIE paperwork, Also, if they ask you if you want two copies of your empadronamiento, say yes! Because you will give one of the copies up at your NIE appointment! It doesn’t hurt to have two originals!

Was it this easy for you to get your empadronamiento? Tell me about your experience!



5 thoughts on “Em pa dro na mi en to. Do re mi fa so la ti do, so do?

  1. I have a contract, so it was really easy for me – I didn’t even have to bring the form with me! I don’t know if the woman I talked with was just feeling especially kind or what, but I gave her my passport and my contract and she did the rest. It took less than 5 minutes, and they even saw me half an hour before my appointment was scheduled for. Easy peasy.


    1. I wish I had a contract, I would have had way less stress. In the end it was easy for me too, but I didn’t realize that it would be when initially reading the required paperwork! I was pretty sure that I was screwed and that I would have to go home!


      1. I really lucked out with having a contract. I’ve also heard of people going with a teacher from their school who lets them register at their address. I’m glad you worked it out!


  2. Gotta love that Spanish bureaucracy…

    Thankfully I lucked out by having a contract for my piso, but I feel like I’m bound to have bad luck with getting my NIE because things have gone so smoothy thus far. It’s only a matter of time!



    1. I am also waiting for Spanish bureaucracy to come crashing down on me! My NIE appointment isn’t until December 3rd, and then I have to get an autorización de regreso after that before I leave for the states for Christmas! I want to get my autorización de regreso now to get it out of the way but I think my fingerprints have to be taken first and I have to have some paper that states I’m waiting for my TIE! Or something! I have to look into it more, I wish my visa didn’t expire before I got back to Spain after Christmas. #unnecessarystress


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