NIE Number


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We received a web enquiry not long ago abut the NIE number.

In this blog we want to answer all the questions involved in getting the NIE.


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. This certificate is called an NIE (“Número de Identificación para Extranjero”). This document identifies you to the Spanish tax authorities.

In conclusion, 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.

Why do I need an NIE number in Spain?

The original  NIE  certificate is essential to complet many of the transactions on a daily basis in Spain.

  • Buying and selling a property
  • Getting a car registered in your name
  • Getting a job
  • Opening a bank account
  • Pay taxes in Spain
  • Become self-employed
  • Start a business
  • Inheritance
  • Study in Spain

The NIE certificate is a doccument that is valid for 3 months. But really you only need to renew it for some Traffic matters. For most other issues the original or a copy certificate suffices.


How to get an NIE certificate in Spain?


NIE applications can be submitted while living or visiting Spain. You nees to make an appointment to the Spanish National Police station dedicated to foreign documentation.

You can also apply for a NIE number at the Spanish embassy located in your country.

In Spain, the NIE number can be requested either by you or via an authorised figure (as Spanish Solutions) holding a Spanish power of attorney.

You should check the requirements regarding the legalisation and translation of foreign documents.

How can Spanish Solutions can help you?


We will prepare the paperwork for the NIE application and then accompany you to the relevant issuing office to obtain this certificate.

Also, we will need a copy of your passport and a passport picture.

Please contact us to apply for an NIE number, or you can Read more about the How to get an NIE certificate.


  • 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

  • Mrs Linda Henderson

    Buenos dias
    We have had property (3 different properties) over a period of 17 years. We received our NIE numbers back in 2003. We are not resident. We have been asked twice this year for our updated NIE documents. I was of the understanding that an NIE number was the equivalent of a national insurance number in the UK and that you had this for life. Could you explain why I could have been asked this? Our NIE document has our photos and lots of our information on it, with the ayuntamiento stamp, is it that we just need to obtain duplicates?

    • Ian C.

      Hello Linda,

      as you think the NIE number is the same for life, but the certificates expire three months after their issuance.
      To obtain a duplicate you have to request it at the Foreign office, we will be happy to help you.

      Kind regards

      Spanish Solutions

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