A step by step guide to applying for an NIE number

A step by step guide to applying for an NIE number, takes a look at how we recently went about applying for Josie’s NIE number.

When you start to research into applying for an NIE number it can all seem a little daunting and overwhelming. I am also convinced that the websites offering to get the NIE for you (at quite a cost) make the whole process seem far more scary than it really is !

Back in 2015, we paid an Abogado (Solicitor) to apply for my NIE during the process of buying our cave house (you can read that blog entry here). The reason was simply that we had run out of time and as were living in the Caribbean, it was impossible to do it ourselves. The cost also wasn’t a real issue as we were both earning a living, it simply became part of the overall cost of buying our cave house.

At that time, we had only needed one of us to have an NIE number for the purchase of our cave, however, now that we were living in Spain, it was time to arrange one for Josie.

Now though, with time on our hands, as well as financial constraints, we decided we would apply for Josie’s NIE ourselves 🙂

I will start by saying that having just completed the process (within the last few days), it is very straightforward … more importantly it cost less than 10 Euros (actually 9.45 Euros per person).

So, below is a very simple guide to doing it yourself, and if we can do it, then so can you !

What do you need to apply for a NIE number ?

  1. A completed EX-15 form.
  2. A completed Tasa 790 form.
  3. Your passport and a colour copy of the passports ‘picture’ page.
  4. A little bit of confidence/a sense of adventure 🙂

Completing the EX-15 Form

  1. Download the EX-15 form by clicking here. Complete Sections 1 and 4 only. There is no need to put in an address, as you are applying for an NIE number not residency. Don’t worry that the form is in Spanish, click here for a handy translation thanks to the wonderful people at the Spanish Citizens Advice Bureau 🙂

Completing the Tasa 790 Form

  1. Complete the form online by clicking here. Once completed, print off the form (you only need the first 3 pages). You need to complete the ‘identificacion’ section and click/select: “Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) a instancia del interesado”.

What do you do once you have completed the forms ?

Firstly take the Tasa 790 form to any Bank and make the payment (currently 9.45 Euros).

nie number, A step by step guide to applying for an NIE numberWe walked down the main street in our town until we found the one with the smallest queue 🙂

I simply said ‘Puedo pagar esta por favor’ (can I pay this please) and handed over the form and a 10 Euro note. The teller stamped each page of the document, retained one and passed the other two back to us.

This whole process took about 20 minutes and 18 minutes of that was queuing ! So far, so good.

A step by step guide to applying for an NIE numberNow you need to go to the National Police Station (La Comisaria de Policia) in your town/area.

We presented the paperwork at the front desk and I simply said ‘ A donde vamos con este documento’ (where do we go with this document) and we were pointed to an office. We waited our turn (there were only 2 people in front of us) and handed over the completed EX-15 form, the 2 remaining pages of the Tasa 790 form, Josie’s passport and a photocopy of the passport. The woman stamped the EX-15 form, we were given a copy and told to return in 5 days to collect Josie’s tax number. This whole process took less than 10 minutes.

Now all we have to do next week is return to the same office at the Police Station. We simply present the stamped form and collect Josie’s NIE number.

And you know what, not only did we apply for the NIE number, but it cost less than 10 Euros AND we went away with a real sense of achievement.

On a final note, please remember that we are sharing our personal experience … not providing professional advice 😉 So there you have it, a step by step guide to applying for an NIE number.

A special thanks to Sean at Spanish Inland Properites for pointing us in the direction of the online forms.

So … Who are one foot in the cave ?

We (Danny and Josie) have spent the last 10 years living and working in the Caribbean. In 2015 we decided we wanted to move closer to family and friends so bought a cave house in the Granada region of Andalucia, Spain. We moved there full time in January 2017. Now we write about our experiences of cave living and how we are adapting to life in Spain.
We also have a Facebook page full of pictures, experiences and information that we have found useful along the way. If its your thing, you can also follow us on Instagram 🙂

5 words related to this blog entry …

Guide – La Guia.

Form/Document – El Formulario/El Documento.

Photocopy –  La Fotocopia.

To queue – Hacer cola.

Easy – Facil.


11 thoughts on “A step by step guide to applying for an NIE number

  1. Steve Lally

    Hi Cave people that’s a great blog, i don’t need it but thought you deserved a big well done. Hopefully others will also try and do things for themselves with your encouragement.
    I used to do all my own tax returns after being ripped off by the abogada. First time i tried to do my own my abogada told me i had missed the deadline so would have to pay her as they have a later deadline. I payed her 90€ and asked her to check mine for me. She then told me she would take a copy of it and use it as mine was correct and hers had some errors.
    I then found out i hadn’t passed the deadline. The problem a lot of people don’t realise is that once you use them your contracted to them unless you tell them otherwise.

    1. Danny Post author

      Thanks Steve. I think doing these things yourself not only saves money but also does wonders for your confidence 🙂

  2. Judith Sunley

    The links to the forms are great, thanks, but in our area of the Costa Del Sol there are many more people daily arriving at the police station in Torre del Mar. You need to arrive by 8 to join the queue to get a ticket, only a few (maybe 30) are given out when the doors open at 9. If you are after number 30 you will have to come back the next day, it often happens! It’s a good idea to pay the tax at the bank first as it saves going away and coming back again.

  3. Iccy

    That’s a great article about NIE numbers. When I first looked into it I was pretty scared actually, mainly because I kept reading all sorts of nonsense on ex-pat forums of peoples problems. Sean at SIP also helped us out with it and it turned out to be really straightforward. I’m happy to see the download links too as we will need to sort one out for my partner at some point.
    Good to see the photo of Baza Police Station as well 🙂

  4. Rita Cooper

    Thank you so much for all this information.I dont seem to be able to download the form 790 for the bank. Any ideas ??

    1. Danny Post author

      Hi Rita, you can’t download the form, you have to complete it online and then print it off. Hope this helps. Danny 🙂

  5. Angela Grant-Dean

    Thanks for this, we are coming over in two weeks and are going to attempt to get our NIE numbers using your excellent guide. I just hope we can find the police station in Baza lol.

    1. Danny Post author

      Glad it was of help 🙂 Police station is on the same road as the tourist information office – just off the plaza mayor. Hope it all goes well.


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