CASE STUDY – NIE Certificate


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We received a web enquiry not long ago.

“Good morning, I have just bought a car from a dealer and been told I need a tax identification number, is this correct? “

So what is this NIE number?

All foreigners with any kind of possible fiscal (tax) obligations here in Spain are required to obtain a foreigner’s identity number, called an NIE (“Número de Identificación para Extranjero”), which identifies you to the Spanish tax authorities. This is very similar to the National Insurance number which you have in your own country. Of course, buying a car, someone will need to pay road tax.

This original certificate is essential when completing many of the transactions on a daily basis in Spain – buying and selling a property or getting a car registered in your name, getting a job or opening a bank account.

The NIE number certificate is now only issued with a validity of 3 months, but really this only needs renewing for Traffic matters, as for most other issues the original certificate suffices.

How to get an NIE in Spain? We will prepare the paperwork for the NIE application and then accompany you to the relevant issuing office to obtain this certificate.

We will need a copy of your passport and a passport picture.


  • Debra youngs

    I dont live in Spain, only holiday, dont work or live there. I want to buy a car to keep in Spain, surely I dont have to have an NIE number if not working or living in Spain. Can you please help with advise

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Evening Debra,

      Unfortunately, you need to have an NIE and a permanent address, here in Spain, to register a car in your name. You need an NIE for most things in Spain, for example, bank account, pay as you go phone , we are sorry.

      Should you need any assistance with your NIE, please do not hesitate to contact us, we deal with the NIE process on a daily basis.

      Kind regards

  • Gerald Hayward

    I fully understand that a NIE number is required to buy a car. But if we are not resident in Spain, where may we obtain a “permanent address in Spain” so as to register the car we have purchased.

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Gerald,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      We understand your concern but you do not have to be resident in Spain to have a permanent address. When you buy a car in Spain you have to provide an electricty or water bill or padron in your name no more than 6 months old, you would have to have a Spanish address to register the car. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

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