DNI Advice

The Spanish NIE has provided quite a lot of unpleasant last minute surprises, since is compulsory to show it on any important act made in Spain.

You will find here the most frequently asked questions, so you save yourself a few problems:

What is a NIE?

An NIE Number is a tax identification number to be used in Spain. Prior to purchasing a property, selling a property, obtaining a mortgage, starting up a business or working in Spain, it is a requirement by law that every individual possess an NIE Number. The application process is laborious and time consuming, and without the use of a service such as ours, would require normally two trips to Spain, and over 10 hours of waiting in queues, along with the filling out of complex application forms.

The actual NIE Number, when produced from a National Police Station in Spain is printed out on a piece of paper, and this sheet of paper is often used as a form of identity. Once you have been issued an NIE number, it is yours for life.

Everywhere on the internet it says that you have to apply in person for your NIE Number? Is this true?

Yes, this is certainly the case. Without question the Spanish law states very clearly that the person must apply for the documents in person. However, the Spanish law also clearly states that a legalised, Spanish power-of-attorney document enables any individual to be represented by another for all legal purposes in Spain (as long as it is declared as such within the power-of-attorney). Therefore through virtue of these combined laws, we are able to apply for a NIE number on your behalf without the need for you to be in Spain.
You should also note that, regardless of the clearly stated laws, many local branches of the national police throughout Spain choose not to allow this, which is why some lawyers are unable to act on your behalf for this purpose.

How long does the procedure take?

Once we have received your documents (POA and copies of passports – both legalised) the NIE number is obtained within 10 business days (which equates to normally 2 weeks, exceptions made for public and bank holidays).

Prior to sending the documents to us, they must be notarised (by a Notary Public in your area) and then stamped with the Hague Apostille.

Do I need to send photos for my NIE number card?

No you do not need to send photos to apply for the NIE number.

The NIE number is in fact not a card at all. Rather it is a sheet of A4 paper bearing your details (as outlined on your passport) as well as an official stamp from the National Police of Spain. This original document is an extremely important item of identification in Spain, even though it does not include any photo. Your passport and/or eventually your residence card used in conjunction with your NIE number is generally sufficient for most functions to do with government & taxation in Spain(such as purchasing a property in Spain, paying taxes, selling a property in Spain, etc.).

What happens if I have lost my NIE Number?

Applying for a duplicate NIE number is the same process as applying for the first time. One thing to watch out for however, albeit most of the time this goes without saying, is that the same details are put on the second application form as the first because if not, they police will have problems in issuing the same number if they cannot prove 100% that it is the same person.

I am an EU Citizen, what documentation do you need from me?

As an EU citizen, in order to obtain an NIE Number on your behalf, we will require only a notarised, legalised power of attorney document and a notarised, legalised copy of your passport. There is nothing further required.

I am an NON-EU Citizen, what documentation do you need from me?

As a non-EU citizen, in order to obtain an NIE Number on your behalf, we will require a notarised, legalised power of attorney document, a notarised, legalised copy of your full passport, a full copy of your passport (all pages – email or fax is fine for this purpose), documented evidence (or proof of) why you require an NIE Number. In the case of a property purchase, a private purchase contract, a letter from a mortgage company, or similar type of document will suffice.

I’ve been told I can apply for my NIE card through the Spanish consulate. Is this true? If yes, what benefits does your service offer over applying through a Spanish consulate?

Yes, this is entirely true. The primary benefit of using our service as opposed to applying through a Spanish consulate is speed. The average time required for an individual to obtain their NIE number via applying through a Spanish consulate is 16 weeks. This varies from one country to the next, we encourage people to contact their closest Spanish consulate first and enquire about their turnaround time.

Can I get a temporary NIE number at the consulate to sign the deeds of my property?

This is not possible. The NIE that you are issued initially is the same NIE for the rest of your life. Even if you lose the document and apply for a new one, the same number will be issued to you again. Therefore there is no such thing as a temporary NIE.

If you need the NIE for signing title deeds in Spain, as soon as we have submitted the application, we can send a stamped copy to the sellers, mortgage broker, lawyer or whomever is demanding the NIE as proof that the NIE is on the way. This usually pacifies the situation until the document is issued.