NIE, necessary for real estate

Obtaining the NIE is the obligatory passage for the acquisition or rental of a property in Spain. You will not be able to buy or rent your apartment in Barcelona or your villa in Alicante if you do not have a NIE!


It is the Número de Identidad de Extranjero (The National identification number of foreigners). It is a unique and exclusive personal number that the General Directorate of Police assigns to foreigners. This number appears on all public documents sent or transmitted to foreign citizens in Spain. But it is necessary also on all requests directed to the administration; and on most acts between private persons of a socio-economic and professional nature. The NIE is therefore indispensable in the case of an acquisition of real estate.

The NIE is not an identity document, the European citizen must therefore have, in addition to the NIE, his personal documentation (passport, identity document of his country …).


The NIE is essential to carry out a large number of actions and approaches in Spain. It is strongly recommended to apply as soon as possible. Among the main uses of NIE, which are in some cases impossible without it, you will be able to take care of the following:

  • Housing: purchase or sale of real estate, signature of a mortgage loan, register of property and notary studies.
  • Administration: census, housing permit, taxes on real estate, tax on vehicles with mechanical traction, added value, work permits, civil register, health assistance card.
  • Social security: obtaining the social security registration number, requesting services from the INEM (unemployed management service), exporting benefits received for unemployment from a member state of the European Economic Area.
  • Economic relations: liquidation of national or autonomic taxes; non-resident income tax; incorporation of society; Corporation tax ; value-added tax, inheritance tax and donations.
  • Other: opening a bank account, registering minors, certifying diplomas, acquiring or transferring a vehicle, driving license, underwriting electricity, water, telephone, internet …

For a residence in Spain, the NIE must be requested exclusively from the local police station. The appointment request is made on the official website You will first select your home region and then “EU Certificados” from the list of available steps.

For non-residents in Spain, the NIE must be personally requested from a police station of the National Police in Spain or from the Spanish Consular authorities in the country of residence.

  • Appointments with the Office of the National Police in Barcelona or Madrid are very difficult to obtain; if you choose this option, we advise you to connect to the site indicated above on Monday morning from 8:50 am, and to refresh your request every 2 or 3 minutes.
  • Otherwise, as our reader Jacques advises, the trick is to go to a police station in a small town near a big city; they is also authorized to issue the NIE but there are very few requests, so there is little waiting for an appointment.


To apply for NIE, you must complete the EX-15 form.

Form EX-15 in Spanish to fill to download here: Formulario_NIE EX-15

Translation of the form and instructions for filling the NIE in French: Formulario_NIE EX-15 EN


With more than 20 years of experience in real estate acquisition procedures in Spain, we are at your disposal to assist you with all the necessary steps from the search for a property to services offered after the acquisition. When you are buying a home in Spain we help with organizing the visits of properties, the legal verification of the properties, the obtaining of a mortgage, the administrative procedures and the signature of the different notarized documents.
Do not hesitate to contact us!
Send an email to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.