How to Obtain a Spanish NIE

Obtaining a Spanish NIE.png

If you’re reading this, you probably know what an NIE is. If you don’t, an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is the identification number issued by the General Admin of the State. This is essential if you wish to stay in Spain for longer than 3 months. You will also need one if you wish to carry out transactions such as buying a property, opening a bank account or getting an internet contract.

Your NIE is a different number to your Empadronamiento or Padron which is about getting registered in your living community.

The Spanish NIE number is required for the following:

  • Study in Spain
  • Work in Spain
  • Buy, sell or insure a property in Spain or purchase any asset over € 3,000
  • Buy a vehicle in Spain
  • Inheritance of assets in Spain
  • Setup a company or start a business
  • Pay Spanish taxes
  • Apply for a mortgage or other loan in Spain
  • Register for national Social Security Health plan
  • Register with social services and arrange receipt of social security benefits
  • Apply for a driving license

So, how do you do it? Sounds complicated, right?

Feel free to follow my handy step by step guide or head to the bottom of the page to lead to an external link who will complete these steps for you for £20.

Step 1: Fill in the forms

The Spanish NIE number application form you need to fill out is called EX – 18 Solicitud de inscripción en el Registro Central de Extranjeros_Residencia Ciudadano de la UE which you can download here

The form must be the original document in Spanish. But don’t worry, I have provided the translation of the document below. So, just insert your own details on the main form!

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Step 2: Make an appointment

Appointments are available a month in advance. These can get booked up very quickly. The appointments must be booked through this link.

Now, I will walk you through how to make your appointment. To progress through the pages click entrar, to go back click volver. 

  1. seleccionar: choose the region in which you would like to make an appointment
  3. You will then be brought to a page that informs you of the documentation you need to take with you to your appointment.
    1. Printed confirmation of your appointment
    2. The EX-15 form printed and photocopied
    3. Your passport both original and a photocopy
    4. The reason for your NIE, either economic, professional or social
    5. The tax form 790 (cod. 012) paid into any bank. The form to obtain the model 790 is available here
  4. This is to fill in your own information.
    1. Click pasaporte
    2. Your passport number
    3. Your full name, first name followed by the last name
    4. Year of birth in the full format (eg. 1970)
    5. Nationality (Great Britain is Gran Bretana)
    6. Click to confirm you are not a robot!
  5. Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 19.53.30.png
  6. Click solicitar cita
  7. Choose the office you would like to have an appointment at
  8. Click siguiente 
  9. Type your telephone number and a contact email
  10. You will then be provided with three options of different days and times. Choose the one that is best suited for you!
    Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 19.59.17.png
  11. Print your confirmation!

Step 3: Prepare your documents

For EU citizens:

  • Passport and a photocopy
  • Completed EX-18 form
  • Completed Modelo 790
  • Passport photos, signed on the back with the date
  • Printed confirmation of appointment
  • €9.51 to pay the tax (correct at time of writing)

These were the only things I needed. However, some people have also been asked to show proof of why they require an NIE. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have one of the following available to show, should they ask for it.

  • Proof of address in Spain – your rental contract (in your name) would be sufficient
  • Proof of health insurance – this can be private health insurance or an EHIC card
  • A document, in Spanish, proving why you need a Spanish NIE number. These could be any of the following:
    • a rental contract
    • Job contract from the Spanish company
    • A company ownership certificate
    • Bank statement of proof that you can live in Spain without working
    • An acceptance letter from the school plus proof of payment to the school

Step 4: Useful Spanish terms

Here are a few simple Spanish phrases that you might like to use:

I would like to apply for NIE number – Me gustaría obtener mi número de identidad de extranjero (NIE) . (may gustareeah obtenear me numero day identidath day extranjeroh)

Where can I submit my NIE application? – ¿Dónde puedo inscribirme? (donday pwadoh inscreebeermay)

I have an appointment  – Tengo una cita (ten-go oohna seetah) 

Do you have a pen? –  ¿Tiene una pluma, por favor? (tea-en-ay oohna plooma, por fabor?)

Step 5: Wait!

Normally, the police will keep hold of your documents and ask you to return the same day to collect both your NIE and your documents. If you one of the lucky ones, you will get it immediately whilst you’re waiting.

The NIE is an A4 piece of paper. In the past, there was an NIE card but these seemed to be fazed out. They also used to state they were only valid for 3 months, however, this has been fazed out too.

If you’re wanting to work to Spain, your next step is obtaining your Social Security Number!


Can I apply for an NIE before I come to Spain?

Yes, it’s possible to apply for a Spanish NIE number at the Spanish consulate. Fees vary.

Can I hire somebody to do my NIE?

Yes, however, following the steps it should be easier for you to do it without the fees.

What happens if I lose my N.I.E.?

The NIE number is for life. You do not need to renew it. However, if you lose it, you will need to request a duplicate. This must be done in person, with a valid appointment. It is very rare for somebody to request the original NIE so photocopy it!

If I change my surname do I have to change my N.I.E?

Yes, if your surname changes due to marriage or divorce the N.I.E. must be re-applied for presenting your new passport or I.D. document at the National Police office in your locality. You will have the same number but a new document will be issued.

If I change my address in Spain do I have to change my N.I.E?

No, you do not need to inform the National Police Office if you change your address.

I can’t do it, can somebody help me?

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of filling out the forms yourself and booking your own appointment, you could contact They are able to do this for you for £20!

I hope this helps!

Hasta luego, laurensignature-final.png


12 responses to “How to Obtain a Spanish NIE”

  1. Very informative, well written

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Your social security number is different to your NIE number. It is also different to signing on to El Padron. In order to obtain your social security number, you must first have an NIE. If you don’t have one yet, you can find out how to obtain an NIE here. […]


  3. Gigi Wadham-Smith Avatar
    Gigi Wadham-Smith

    I bought a house in Albir last year and understand I need to pay an annual tax “for the benefit of owning a property in Spain “. However I have been on the Suma website and cannot make head nor tail of the forms. I don’t want to end up being fined – can you help?


    1. Hi, if you send me a copy of the form or the link to an online form, I will either respond directly to you or create a page on it (depending on which I can do quicker!!) my email address is


  4. […] work will have to wait until mañana (or September!) So if you’re thinking of obtaining your NIE, sort it before […]


  5. […] on how to make an NIE appointment, if that’s what you’re looking for then click here for how to make an NIE appointment. But, there wasn’t any information on how to cancel an NIE appointment. So, if you want to […]


  6. […] Once you’re in Spain, you will need to go through the process of obtaining an NIE, Social Security, Padrón and Medical Card. The processes of how to do this are available here. […]


  7. […] you’ve arrived in Spain. You’ve sorted your NIE (if not, click here!), you’ve sorted your Social Security (oops, click here if you haven’t yet!). […]


  8. Hi Lauren, is it always a requirement to show a job contract or is it possible for NIE without one? Thanks


    1. It’s possible without. You’ll need to show you can financially support yourself 🙂


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