NIE number, what do you need it for and how do you get one?

What is an NIE and what do you need it for? All you need to know

What is an NIE and what do you need it for? All you need to know
N.I.E. stands for Número de Identidad de Extranjero, Foreigner’s Identification Number.  

Why do you need one?
Most transactional or official processes in Spain like buying a property or buying a car require that you have an NIE number. 

Where do you get one?
At one of the Foreigner’s Offices of the National Police in your area. This search facility on the National Police website will help you find the nearest Extranjeria. 

How do you book an appointment?
The Spanish government website has links to both the online appointment booking system and lists the documents you need to download and take with you. While the basic requirements are pretty standard, there can be variations depending on your region and even by province. It’s always best to double-check the requirements with your local Foreigner’s Office beforehand.

What documents will you need?

  • Application form – EX15
  • Application Taxes – Modelo 790 (best to take these prepaid) 
  • Original and copy of passport (photo page only for EU passports, all pages for non-EU passports)

What happens at the appointment?
The National Police will check your details, make sure you’ve paid the fee and put you on the system to generate the NIE number.
This generates the NIE Certificate, issued as a white A4 paper with an official stamp. It’s rarely issued on the spot – normally you get a receipt (resguardo), which you take back a few days later to collect your Certificate. Best to check if this is done at a set time or by appointment. 

Good to know
Although the NIE number doesn’t expire and stays with you for life, the Certificate itself will need to be dated within 3 months to be accepted for a car purchase, house purchase etc. 

Can someone get an NIE number on my behalf?
Yes, with a notarised authorisation known as a ‘poder‘ – find out how to get a poder here

Can you get an NIE number at the Spanish Consulates in the UK?
Yes, you can. Here is the information issued by the Spanish consulate in London. If you are applying for a visa or for EU residency in Spain, you will automatically be issued with an NIE number during the application process.  

The NIE Certificate isn’t a declaration of residency in Spain. 
Although when you take residency in Spain you will automatically be given an NIE number, an NIE Certificate isn’t a declaration of residency. The NIE Certificate described in this article is for non-residents. The residency application process is completely different. If you are unsure whether you need an NIE Certificate or residency,  book a call with us, and we will be happy to advise you.

Is an NIE the same as a TIE? 
No, a TIE (tarjeta de identidad extranjero) is completely different, check out this article for more information. 

I have a green A4  certificate – Is this my NIE?
No, if you have a green certificate you have a certificado de registro de ciudadano de la unión residency, and should either consider swapping it for a TIE card (if you are British) or, if you don’t live in Spain, renouncing the residency. 

Need our help?
To find out more, book a call with us today for a completely free of charge chat, and we can take it from there.

The information in this article was current on the date published.
Article last updated 26/02/2024.

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