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Expert Advice

Categories: All For Buyers For Sellers Two Minute Tuesday

The NIE number explained

If you are looking to purchase a property in Spain you will  have almost certainly heard of the NIE number.

So what is the NIE?

The NIE number is a tax identification number for foreigners and stands for the número de identificación de extranjero.


Why do you need one?

  • You will be required to have NIE if you wish to buy a property
  • In order to have the utilities connected in your name at your new property
  • Open a bank account you may be required to have one
  • Purchase a vehicle
  • Start work or study in Spain

Who needs a NIE number?

Any foreigner who becomes resident in Spain for tax purposes. So a fiscal resident
Any non-resident who plans to own assets in Spain i.e. real estate, car, boat etc.

What does a NIE number look like?

A NIE number is issued by the National Police and it comes on a sheet of A4 white paper  which also has your name, surname, date of birth and nationality.


How to obtain an NIE number

This varies wildly from region to region and often the rules change on a regular basis.
Here in the Costa Blanca south we use the the national Police Stations in Orihuela and Elche depending on the availability of appointments.

It is possible to obtain the number yourself and all the application documentation EX-15  and requirements can be found online and we will put an additional link in the description.

We personally use the services of a company who specialise in obtaining Nie numbers for our clients. They have better access to appointments and with them getting the Nie numbers on a daily basis they have their finger on the pulse and can often get us an appointment when the computer says no appointments are available. This is a simple, fast and inexpensive option and you come away with your Nie number on the same day.

Other options are:

obtaining the Nie in the country of your residence. You will need to apply to the Spanish consulate in your country, however it is worth checking the time required as this can sometimes be a slow process.

You can also give your lawyer POA and they can obtain this on your behalf.

This is slightly more expensive than using a company or doing it yourself but it is all done for you.

  • What is required to obtain your NIE?Passport and photocopy
  • Passport size photographs
  • Application form Fill
  • application fee


When you live in Spain you will be asked for your NIE number on an almost daily basis, from signing for packages to purchasing a car. You will soon be reciting it fluently in Spanish

If you require any further information, please drop me an email on the link below and I will be happy to help.

[email protected]

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