Spain Explained

Can I apply for an NIE number online, in person or by proxy?

Last updated on February 29th, 2020 at 06:06 pm.

Spanish bureaucracy can be complex and unfortunately, you can’t apply for an NIE number online. However, with a helping hand, applying for an NIE is simple. 

If you are moving to Spain or have any economic, professional or family connection with the nation, you will need to apply for a Número de Identidad de Extranjero, or an NIE – which is a Foreigners’ Identification Number. Similarly to a National Insurance number, your NIE number is an all-purpose identification number for taxes and social security, but specifically for foreign nationals. 

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You need your NIE number for a number of administrative purposes, including purchasing property or a vehicle, opening a bank account, or arranging utility payments. Therefore, it is essential that you obtain your NIE as soon as possible when you relocate to Spain. In this article, we explain how to apply for your NIE number.

If I can’t apply for an NIE online, how do I do it?

With so many government services available online these days, it’s likely to come as a surprise that you can’t apply for an NIE online. However, if you’re emigrating to Spain, you shouldn’t let this worry you. With the correct guidance, applying for your NIE is quite straightforward.

How to apply for an NIE in person

Many people will apply for their NIE in person when they arrive in Spain. You can do this at a National Police station in your region. You’ll need to book an appointment and bring all the relevant documentation that day. To apply for an NIE at a police station, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Proof of appointment
  • A completed EX-15 form.
  • Your passport and a photocopy.
  • Two passport-size colour photograph.
  • Photocopy of any document that can support your NIE application, for instance, proof that you’re purchasing a property. Non-EU members will also need to present flight details in and out of Spain, and stamped travel Visa on your passport. 
  • Payment of government fee using a 790 NIE application form.

However, requirements can vary according to region and even town hall so double-check the requirements with your local police station before attending.

Alternatively, if you need your NIE ahead of arriving in Spain, you can apply in person at a Spanish Embassy or Consulate. You’ll need to book an appointment with them and bring the appropriate documentation.

Applying by power of attorney

If you are unable to apply in person, you can authorise a third party to apply for an NIE number in your name. For this, you need to create a power of attorney or poder notarial document. In this document, you will nominate a trusted person to represent you in certain transactions such as the purchase or sale of a property, or indeed, an NIE application. To create a power of attorney, an official letter must be signed in the presence of a notary, which letter will include a legitimised copy of your passport as well. You can arrange this at the Spanish Embassy or a local public notary. Finally, it is validated by the Foreign Office who will stamp it with the seal of the Apostille of the Hague.

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Get a helping hand

Spanish bureaucracy can be challenging, especially if Spanish isn’t your first language. However, if you’re wondering, “how long does a Spanish NIE number last?” you’ll be relieved to hear that your number stays with you for life. At Ábaco Advisers, we can assist you with applying for an NIE number both in person or through power attorney. Although the process is a little more complex than it would be if you could apply for an NIE number online, there’s nothing to be anxious about – Ábaco Advisers is here to help every step of the way. Contact us today and we’ll be in touch shortly.

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Zeb Banks

31 January, 2020 9:42 pm

I will being buying a property in mainland Spain this year but prior to that my wife and I will be spending a month in Lanzarote. Is is possible to apply for a NIE number there or will I have be in mainland Spain.
Zeb Banks

Oscar Paoli

5 February, 2020 2:00 pm

Hi Zeb Banks,
Of course you can apply for an NIE number in Lanzarote as long as you book an appointment in advance and complete all criteria to obtain an NIE number.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Cat D

7 July, 2020 1:50 pm

I have bee trying since the beginning of the pandemic to phone the Spanish Consulate in London as I am unable to book an NIE appointment online. When I do get through all I get is an automated message. Are there simpler ways to get this NIE number? Could my friend living in Spain do it for me if I fill in all the necessary documents? What is the way forward?

Oscar Paoli

7 July, 2020 3:38 pm

Hello there,
You could arrange a power of attorney for your friend in Spain to arrange all necessary documents in Spain.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Helen Bridges

4 August, 2020 11:17 am

If I have a NIE number but canocate the form do I still need to get a firm or can I just use the number?

Oscar Paoli

4 August, 2020 9:25 pm

Hi Helen,
If you have the number you can use it for many different matters, but in some cases like purchasing a property or buing a card the authorities will want to see an original document.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Vanessa Hunt

11 August, 2020 11:49 am

Could you possibly help us obtain a nie number
Regards Vanessa

Oscar Paoli

11 August, 2020 12:09 pm

Hi Vanessa,
Yes of course, please contact us at or call us at 0034966703748 and we will be happy to assist you.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


12 August, 2020 10:22 am

Hello please can you advise on me giving power of attorney to a solicitor in Spain,,to obtain NIE number can it be used criminally, to access my estate

Oscar Paoli

12 August, 2020 10:41 am

You can limit the power of attorney only to the obtention of your NIE number and for a specific period of time. If you do so they will not be able to access any other information such as accounts or estates.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


19 September, 2020 9:17 pm

I need to obtain an NIE before relocating to Benidorm, as I need it prior to renting a property, open a Bank account for my utility bills etc, however I’m unable to get through to the Spanish Embassy in London to see if I get one there first? as I don’t have the flexibility/ time at the moment to just go out to Benidorm to sort this out, any advice would be most appreciated. Is it possible to get them through yourselves without physically going to Spain ?

Oscar Paoli

21 September, 2020 7:56 am

Hi there,
You could arrange an NIE number without coming to Spain via a Power of Attorney or Proxy. With this Power of Attorney or Proxy you could give a thir party, such as Ábaco Advisers, the possibility to obtain your NIE number at the Police in Spain.
Should you be interested in this service please do not hesitate to contacta us at and we will be more than happy to assist you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


24 November, 2020 11:46 am

HI, thank you for this information, very useful. I am looking to apply for an NIE number in Spain for employment purposes. I will need this ASAP, and as you said I would have to go to a local police station after arrival and present my documents. I would be moving to Barcelona, however I have a friend in Malaga. If I go to Malaga first, obtain the NIE number there, is it valid for use anywhere? Alternatively, if I do not go to Malaga, and do this process in Barcelona, how do i book an appointment at a police station in Barcelona? thank you

Oscar Paoli

24 November, 2020 12:40 pm

Hi Jennie,
It does not matter where you apply for your NIE number as it will be valid all over Spain.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Quentin Browne

16 January, 2021 1:31 pm

I have an NIE from a house I purchased in Altea in 2003. We sold the house and I have lost the number. How do I find what it is?


Oscar Paoli

18 January, 2021 3:42 pm

Hi Quentin,
We recommend checking with your bank that might have this number or checking with all previous property paperwork to see if you can find the number in any of these documents.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


24 May, 2021 10:32 pm

so this is maybe a stupid question, and half-unrelated, but i can’t find clarity on what’s necessary for a married couple vs. two individuals obtaining NIEs (in the interest of buying a property, and eventually (but not immediately) relocating) — obviously we both get individual NIEs, but from there does each individual need a separate spanish bank account, for instance, or are joint-accounts acceptable? the NY consulate doesn’t so much answer phones, and i haven’t bothered an attorney yet, b/c we are still waiting for our consulate appointments to pop up next month… Thank you!

Oscar Paoli

25 May, 2021 8:54 am

Hi Jon,
You can have individual or a joint account even though you are not married, no issues at all as long as you have your passport and NIE number.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Kim Perkins

17 June, 2021 3:48 pm

Good day. Sadly my father, who lived in Spain, passed away last year. I am the Executor of his Will but have been advised that I will need an NIE number to deal with the formalities with a Notary. Is this correct and if so, can you assist with this matter?

Oscar Paoli

17 June, 2021 10:23 pm

We are really sorry for your loss.
We will have someone from the legal department get back to you as soon as possible via email with information on how we can assist you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


20 December, 2021 7:44 pm


how much does it cost for NIE power of attorney? Thanks

Oscar Paoli

28 December, 2021 9:12 am

Hi Michelle,
We will send you an email with information regarding the power of attorney and NIE service.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


15 January, 2022 12:33 pm

I went to the Police who told me the go to a bank and the bank (s) said go to the Police..

Oscar Paoli

17 January, 2022 9:50 pm

To apply for an NIE you may do so via certain National Police stations around Spain.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Christina Murren-Plaitford

1 March, 2022 8:49 pm

My husband and I are both retirees in the UK, we are looking to move to Spain in September to live permanently. I have been told that as pensioners we can use an S1 form to allow us to for healthcare and not need private healthcare to apply for our residency documents. I have been told we need to apply for a NLV , are we able to use a legal expert in Spain to apply for the documentation needed to live there and are we permitted to live in Spain and apply once we arrive or do we need to collate any documents in the Uk to bring with us or can a lawyer do all that is necessary on our behalf. We have sufficient funding to fulfil the criteria needed annually.
Thank you

Oscar Paoli

2 March, 2022 10:40 pm

Hi Christina,

At the moment the S1 is still valid for applying for the non-profit visa. In September we don’t know how it will be. It may be the same or maybe they will have released an equivalent for non-Europeans citizens.

Our partner can help you with the whole process: visa, residency and healthcare. As things might change you may contact our partner a couple of months before the visa application, to start seeing how it works, so that you can familiarise yourself with the proces. We would recommend you to speak with our relocation adviser collaborator David Ruiz. He will go through everything with you. If you wish to contact him directly please send him an email at

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Husein Karmal

8 April, 2022 9:16 pm


thank you

Oscar Paoli

11 April, 2022 8:49 am

The documents required are:

– Application form EX-15
– Original and copy of your passport
– Communication of the economic, professional or social reasons justifying the application
– Paid fee and passport picture

With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Mrs Julia Bingley

7 September, 2022 11:46 am

My son lives in Australia and he will need a NIE number because we are leaving all our Spanish assists to him can he apply on line?

Oscar Paoli

7 September, 2022 12:32 pm

Hi Julia,
You could apply for a NIE number at the Spanish Embassy in Australia.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


20 September, 2022 5:48 pm

Hi ,
I want to move Spain next year and I don’t knoW what exactly I should do ,I need to do my NIE but I live in Uk.Could you help me please

Oscar Paoli

20 September, 2022 9:02 pm


You have three alternatives in regards to applying for your NIE number.

First you may visit the Spanish Embassy in your home country and apply for it in person.

Second option is in person at one of the multiple police stations in Spain where you can apply for the NIE number.

Third option is to arrange this via power of attorney, this means that you leave the possibility to a third party to apply for the NIE number on your behalf.

Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further queries.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers