NIE number in Spain

NIE number in Spain: All your questions answered clearly

You have heard about the NIE number in Spain and now you have questions like:

What is the NIE? What do I need it for? How do I get it? What does it cost? And so on.

Below you will find comprehensive answers to all your questions. And you will also learn how to apply for the NIE number in Spain easily and successfully.

My first advice would be: Learn Spanish (at least the basics) before you come to Spain. Many things will be easier for you. Apart from the fact that English is usually not understood (especially by the authorities), Spaniards really appreciate it when you speak to them in their language.

I learnt Spanish through Mosalingua and I can really recommend this school (advertising):


What is the NIE number?

The N.I.E. (“Número de identidad de extranjero”) is a personal identity number for foreign nationals (unique and exclusive) for the purpose of identification in certain public administration procedures in Spain. It must appear on all documents issued or processed to you. Art. 206 Real Decreto 557/2011

The NIE number in Spain also serves as a tax number: “Número de identificación Fiscal (NIF)”

What does a Spanish NIE number look like?

You will get a white paper en size A4, therefore it is commonly known as the white NIE.

The NIE has 7 numbers thy start with a letter (X or Y) and end with a letter (see example below):

NIE number in Spain
NIE number

What do I need it for?

The NIE number in Spain must be stated on all official applications, declarations and formalities.

It is essential for carrying out economic or professional activities, such as:

  • opening a Spanish bank account
  • starting a business
  • buying or selling a home (property)
  • buying or re-registering a vehicle
  • the conclusion of supply contracts for electricity and water
  • completing a tax return or an administrative application form in conjunction with the immigration authorities;
  • applying for a national insurance number,…

The Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) is just an identification number. It has nothing to do with a residence or work permit.

The NIE does not entitle you to reside in Spain.

If you want to stay in Spain for a longer period of time, EU-citizens must be registered in the registry of foreigners and non-EU nationals must hold a TIE (identity card for foreign nationals).

Who can apply for the NIE in Spain?

Any foreign national in person or through a representative if the requirements are met.

What are the requirements for its assignment?

Art. 206 Real Decreto 557/2011

Basically there are 3 conditions:

  1. That you are not in Spain in an irregular situation
  2. That you have economic, professional or social interests in Spain
  3. That you specify the reasons for requesting the NIE. The main reasons are buying a home or vehicle or opening of a bank account.

How to I get a NIE number in Spain?

There are two possibilities:

  • ex oficio: The NIE is assigned automatically if a procedure is initiated to obtain a document entitling the foreigner to stay in Spain other than a visa (e.g. registration certificate as an EU national, identity card for foreign nationals -TIE) or an administrative proceeding has been initiated in accordance with the regulations on foreigners or
  • by application: You can apply for the NIE on your own initiative, provided that you can prove your request.

Tip: When you apply for the registration certificate or the TIE, the NIE number will also be assigned. So if you don’t absolutely need the NIE beforehand, I wouldn’t apply for it separately. This causes additional costs and administrative work.

Where and how do I apply for the NIE?

a) If I am legally in Spain:

You must submit the application in person directly to the General Directorate of Police (“Dirección General de la Policía”) or more simply to the immigration Office (“Oficina de Extranjeros”) or the police station (“Comisaría de Policía”) where you reside.

The application can also be presented by a representative with a corresponding authorisation.

b) If I am in my home country (outside Spain):

In this case, you can generally apply for the NIE number at the Spanish diplomatic mission or consular office for the area where you live.

There are exceptions in the case of a change of residence or a longer stay in Spain.

How much does a NIE number cost in Spain?

Fee: 9.84 for 2024

You must pay the fee using the form: Tasa modelo 790 Código 012. (“Reconocimientos, Autorizaciones y Concursos”) at a bank

Steps to pay the fee:

  • Access the form on the website of the National Police (“policía nacional”)
  • Fill in the form. Click on the item “Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) a instancia del interesado”
  • Download the filled-in form (“Descargar impreso rellenado”) and print it out
  • Go to a bank and pay in the amount. (Please note: cash payments at the bank where you do not have an account are only possible on certain days and times)

Later, hand over the form (with the bank’s payment confirmation) to the relevant authority together with the other documents.


You have to pay the fee at a bank before the application can be processed.

What documents do I need for applying NIE (required documents)?

Important Note and tip

Make copies of all documents and attach them. Show the originals at the time the application is presented.

In general, you must submit the following documents:

  • official application form (EX-15 – (“Solicitud de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) y Certificados”) in duplicate, duly filled in and signed. You can also obtain the form from the responsible authority.
  • Indication of the economic, professional or social reasons that justify the application
  • Confirmation of payment of the fee by means of “Modelo de tasa 790, código 012 “
  • Valid Passport or identity card (original and copy)
  • If applying through a representative: Power of attorney (proof that expressly authorises the submission of the NIE application)

Depending on the diplomatic mission or consular office you may have to provide any additional documentation.

Do I need an appointment?

Currently, an appointment for foreigners (“Cita previa de extranjería”) is required.

It is possible to make an appointment via

  • Internet: on the website of the public administration (“sede electrónica de las administraciones públicas “). To do this, select the province in which you live and follow the instructions. If the corresponding procedure is not displayed, it is not possible to make an appointment online.
  • Telephone: 060 or the appropriate number of the authority where you are submitting the application

How long does it take to process my application?

The maximum decision period is 5 days from the date of receipt of the application by the relevant authority.

But this period may be extended depending on the organization to which you turn.

Does a Spanish NIE number expire?

Once assigned, the NIE number in Spain is valid for your entire life. It has no expiry date and will always be the same. You can not change or chancel this number.

You are still uncertain?

Then simply take benefit of my online expert assistance.
Economically from the comfort of your own home,
you will receive a law-based and comprehensible assessment
of your specific situation.
This gives you more clarity, more legal certainty and more time.

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38 thoughts on “NIE number in Spain: All your questions answered clearly

  1. Hallo, wollte nur mal kurz meine Erfahrungen zur Beantragung der N.I.E mitteilen.
    Eine Terminvereinbarung (Cita Preva) scheint von Deutschland online nicht möglich zu sein. Nur mit einer spanischen IP-Adresse erreicht man die gewünschte Seite (VPN mit spanischem Server hilft hier.)
    Einen Termin zu bekommen ist leider nicht so einfach, bei mir wurde über Wochen immer angezeigt, das keine Termine verfügbaren sind (Valencia). Letztendlich habe ich dann jeden Tag geschaut ob ein Termin verfügbar ist. Dann hatte ich Glück und es gab einen Termin in 2 Tagen, den ich natürlich sofort bestätigt habe.
    Mit allen Unterlagen und der Quittung für die Gebühren (entsprechendes Formular, kann man runterladen, vorher in der Bank seiner Wahl bezahlen,) zur Policia Nacional – Ajuntament de Burjassot und abgegeben. Nach einer Stunde (Kaffetrinken um die Ecke) konnte ich meine N.I.E abholen.
    Das größte Problem ist, einen Termin zu bekommen.

  2. Habe gerade meine NIE Nummer über eine Anwaltskanzlei in Las Palmas bentragen lassen und bekam daüfr die saftige Rechnung und wollte Fragen, ob das in der Höhe üblich ist?
    Gesagt wurde mir, es kostet mich 250 € und es sei auch ein digitales Zertifikat notwendig ab 2023?
    Kosten für die NIE Nummer 350 €
    Kosten für das digitale Zertifikat 350 €
    Notar für eine Beglaubigung 59 €
    NIE Satz 9,84, was wohl die eigentlichen tatsächlichen Kosten sind
    Begleitung Sekretärin zum Notar 90 €, war vor 5 Wochen dafür extra in Las Palmas
    Fahrtkosten 10 €
    Telfon, Schreib Porto Gebühren 30 €
    Auf alles noch die I.G.I.C 57,40 €

    Alles zusammen also 9,56 € also fast 1.000 € dafür dass mir ein Anwalt die erforderliche NIE Numemr besorgt hat, die ich für den Kauf einer wohnung benötige.

    Wer kann mir dazu bitte vernünftige Kommentare oder Infos geben? Vielen Dank

    1. Hallo,
      das war ja echte Abzocke.
      Kosten, wenn man es selber macht: 9,56 € und die Kosten für die Kopien des Personalausweises. Da muss nichts beglaubigt, übersetzt oder sonstwas gemacht werden. Ausfüllanleitungen gibt es auf Deutsch. Das Formular muss natürlich auf spanisch ausgefüllt werden. Das Gebührenformular wird online erstellt und ausgedruckt. Mit dem Formular zu einer Bank und bezahlen. Bei einigen Banken kann man Gebühren lediglich am Automaten bezahlen, mit Karte, da sollte man echt spanisch können um durch die Menüs zu klicken. In der Regel sind die Spanier nett, ein Mitarbeiter ist mit mir zum Terminal gegangen und wollte helfen. Leider war der Automat zu schlau und hat auf Deutsch umgestellt, nachdem ich meine Karte eingeführt habe. Dar war der Bankmitarbeiter dann auch überfordert. Bei der BBVA ging es auch am Schalter. Das Problem ist leider das es, je nach Ort in Spanien, schwierig ist, einen Termin zu bekommen.

  3. Ich habe die NIE Nummer auf einem A 4 Blatt erhalten. Nun verlangt die Bank eine Karte und sagen mir ständig die NIE auf dem A4 Blatt können Sie nicht akzeptieren. Ich konnte im Feb 2023 ein Bankkonto mit sämtlichen Unterlagen (durchleuchtet) eröffnen und siehe da ohne Info, hat die Bank jetzt meine Karte gesperrt.

    1. Hola, ich kann Ihnen nicht sagen, warum Ihre Bank die NIE nicht akzeptiert und die Karte gesperrt hat. Grundsätzlich reicht die NIE auf dem A4-Blatt aus. LG mag wilhelm

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