My Spanish NIE number

Another milestone was reached today, as our Solicitor has confirmed that he is in receipt of my ‘Numero de Identificacion de Extranjero‘ (NIE number).  A NIE number is a tax identification in Spain for everyone who is not a Spanish citizen.

You will need an NIE number as a foreigner in Spain to do any of the following:

  • buy a property in Spain (only needed by the time you need to sign the deeds).
  • sell a property in Spain.
  • Inherit assets in Spain.
  • Open a bank account in Spain.
  • Obtain a mortgage or other credit in Spain.
  • Pay taxes in Spain.
  • Work or open a business in Spain.
  • Study in Spain.
  • Receive social security benefits in Spain.
  • Buy a car or apply for a driver’s license in Spain.
  • Get connected to utilities in Spain.

Basically a NIE number is pretty essential !

My research revealed that there are 3 ways to get your NIE number, the option you choose will be determined by your budget, your time constraints and your confidence.

The 3 routes to getting an NIE number

1. Through your Solicitor/representative in Spain. This was the option that we chose based on our time constraints. We simply gave our solicitor a power of attorney and he applied for it on our behalf. We paid 63.33 euros to the notary for the power of attorney and 160 euros to our solicitor for his services.
2. Apply in person in Spain.  If you have both the time and the confidence then this is by far the most cost-effective option, the only cost being a police administrative fee of 10.80 euros.  The process appears to be as follows:

  • Download the EX15 form and complete it appropriately. There is an excellent completed sample document in English on the Citizens Advice Bureau website.
  • Make an appointment at the foreigners office of the local “Policia Nacional’. Present the completed EX15 form, your passport (and copies of first and photo pages) and 2 passport photos.
  • They will present you with a tax form which you take to the nearest bank and pay. This is the 10.80 euro police administrative fee.
  • Return to the ‘Policia Nacional’ where you will be given an official receipt.
  • Return with the receipt on the date advised (usually a couple of days) and collect your NIE certificate.

The general consensus is that you should take a good book with you to the police station to keep you entertained during the inevitable queue process.

NIE number

This is certainly the route we will take when we sort out an NIE number for Josie (watch this space).

3. Apply in person through the Spanish consulate in the UK.  All the same documents as for applying in person in Spain, although you sign the EX15 in the presence of the consular official. Additionally you need a self-addressed envelope (no stamp). The Spanish consulate cannot issue an NIE number, they simply act as a ‘post box’  between you and the authorities in Spain. They cannot provide any information of the status of your application. Within 4 – 6 weeks you should receive your NIE number in the mail. I kept finding conflicting information about the cost of applying by this method, it would probably be best to phone the consulate to check this out.

NIE number


So there you have it … just remember that this based on my research alone and is in no way legal advice !







And back to us … with my NIE certificate in hand, we are now one step closer to owning our very own cave house in Spain.

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 …

Number – Número

Appointment – Cita Previa

Tax (payment) – Tasa

A Book – El Libro

Receipt (proof of payment)  – Resguardo



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