What is an NIE number and who needs one?

An NIE number is basically a “foreigner’s identification number” in Spain. An NIE number is required if you wish to carry out administrative procedures such as opening a bank account in Spain, contracting electricity in Spain, setting up a mobile phone contract in Spain etc.

An NIE number is also required to work in Spain, take out private Spanish health insurance and apply for Spanish state health cover.

The Decree (Real Decreto 338-1990) March 9th, establishes that anyone, of whatever nationality, resident or non resident, who has any “official business” in Spain, must have a fiscal number (NIF/NIE).

How to apply for an NIE…

The application process differ slightly in different areas of Spain. It is advisable to check out the procedure with your local Police station (Comisaría de Policía) or foreigners department (Departamento de Extranjería)

  1. Complete the following EX15 form. This can be done online here. ( NOTE: Ensure you print out the form once you have completed it. You cannot save the data.)
  2. Take the completed EX15 form with a good, clear copy of your passport and the original. (NOTE: British passport holders must take an additional copy of the front of the passport)
  3. Follow the procedures indicated at your local police station

NIE Application Procedure in Marbella:

  1. Arrive at the Comisaria de Polica by 8am at the very latest with your completed EX15, passport & photocopy. (Map here )
  2. At 8.30am numbers are handed out in order of your position in the queue.
  3. You are also given a form to be taken to a bank to pay the appropriate cost for the paperwork. The cost will be marked on the sheet for you. (NIE at present costs €10.50). There are a couple of banks within approx.500m of the police station.
  4. Go to a nearby bank. Pay the required costs and return to the queue.
  5. Be careful not to lose your place. The numbers are called out to pass through into the correct office.
  6. When your number is called to the desk, hand over the paperwork. If it is all correct, then your NIE will be issued in a matter of minutes.
  7. NOTE: If it is not correct you will be sent backwards and forwards …

If you are uncertain whether you need an NIE Number or Residencia in Spain read this article.

Moving to Spain? Get a free copy of our Guide How to Apply for NIE & Residency in Spain by signing up for our Hints & Tips for moving to Spain.


By Lisa Sadleir



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