Empadronamiento: obligatory registration in the city’s records

Published by in the category Advice, To settle in Barcelona. Article updated 19 April, 2017. 0 comments

After the NIE, the empadronamiento is the second process you need to complete when you arrive in Barcelona. Here are the steps you need to take.

Empadronamiento Barcelona city hall

Empadronamiento is a free but obligatory process for all residents of Barcelona, involving registering on the municipal register. Empadronamiento gives you access to social security or education (yours or that of your children). Although it’s not as urgent as the NIE, it is still indispensable.

Obtaining the empadronamiento at city hall

The fastest option involves making an appointment with the relevant service at city hall so an agent can give you your empadronamiento there and then.

Making an appointment online

This type of appointment can only be made online following this link. Click on “Iniciar” at the bottom of the page and then state the type of appointment you need (register, modify or cancel appointment) for the time and date that suit you.

You will also have to indicate which city hall your apartment or house belongs to, as this is the one that will complete your empadronamiento.

The day of your appointment

When the time comes, head to the oficina d’atenció ciudadana with your appointment number, your ID (identity card or passport) and proof of your address.

If you have not come from the European Union, you will also need to fill in a form. More information is available on the Barcelona city hall website.

Obtaining your empadronamiento remotely

If you can’t get to city hall you can obtain your empadronamiento remotely. But be warned, this is not the fastest solution!

Firstly you will have to fill in a form, which you can access from this page clicking on “Iniciar“.

  • An explanatory video outlining the process is available here.

You will then receive another form by post, as well as the steps you need to complete the process. You will then have one month to return the requested documentation and the form duly completed and signed. You then simply have to wait for your empadronamiento document to arrive by post.

Who can request empadronamiento?

Anyone over 18 living in Barcelona most of the year can request empadronamiento for themselves and their family, if they are also living in Barcelona.

In the case of minors, or those in legal guardianship, their legal representative must complete the process on their behalf.

What documents are required?

  • The documents proving your identity and place of residence must be in Spanish or Catalan. If they are not, you must have them translated by an official translator, and you must also present a copy of the original.
  • If you are seeking empadronamiento remotely, the documents requested are photocopies unless stated otherwise.

If you are over 18 and requesting your own empadronamiento:

  • If you are Spanish, your DNI (Spanish identity card) or passport
  • If you are from an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein: NIE, passport or identity card from your country of origin
  • If you come from another country: residence permit or passport

If you are obtaining your empadronamiento through an adult third party:

  • Legal document proving legal guardianship
  • Guardian’s identity papers

If you are obtaining empadronamiento for a minor:

  • Separation or divorce agreement stating the child’s custody conditions or
  • Legal guardianship document or
  • Joint signed declaration by the parents of the minor and signed photocopy of the parents’ identity documents.

Accompanied by:

  • If the minor is Spanish and over 14: DNI or passport
  • If the minor is Spanish and under 14: family document or birth certificate, DNI or passport.
  • If the minor is from another country: NIE or residence permit, passport or identity document from country of origin (in the case of those coming from EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein)

Proof of address

In all cases, since it is the point of the empadronamiento, you need to bring proof that you are resident at the address you want to register. To do this, there are a number of documents you can choose from:

  • Property deed issued less than a year previously in the name of the person applying for  empadronamiento. If you live there but are not the owner, bring as well an usufruct authorisation signed by the owner as well as a photocopy of their passport or ID.
  • Entry statement from property register (valid 3 months)
  • Private sale contract signed less than a month previously, where the person requesting empadronamiento appears as the owner
  • Rental Contract current and signed less than 5 years previously.
  • Inheritance certificate dating less than one year after the death of the former property owner.
  • Sentence conceding usufruct of the dwelling to one of the parties in a separation or divorce.
  • Signed authorisation by an adult registered in the municipal register at the same address and accompanied by their signed identification document.
  • Original empadronamiento authorisation, signed and stamped in the case of collective residence (hotel, student housing…). This authorisation should be submitted by the person responsible for the home and carry the name, address and NIE of the hotel or residence.

City hall employees in Barcelona can ask for any other proof if they consider your address is not sufficiently proven.

Duration and validity of the empadronamiento

If you are an EU national or assimilated the empadronamiento remains valid until you move (at which point you need a new empadronamiento).

If you are not from the EU, you should get your registration renewed every 2 years.

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Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?