Not sure how to get a NIE number in Madrid? When applying for a job or renting an apartment in Spain, you probably came across the term “NIE”. NIE stands for Número de Identidad de Extranjero, also known as a tax number that lets you work in Spain. It is issued by the National Police of Spain and is also required for students and anyone wishing to purchase any kind of real estate or vehicles.

The process to get a NIE number has been known to baffle even the most experienced, but we can promise our experiences will help you get on your way. Please note that this guide is for EU citizens; those from non-EU countries will have to go through a different process.

There are two types of NIE available – temporary and permanent. Make sure you make an appointment for your permanent number as soon as possible as it might take a few months to get your appointment and then a few weeks to get your number.

How to get a NIE number temporarily (no appointment needed):

You used to be able to get your NIE from Calle San Felipe 7, without an appointment. This changed in February 2018 - you now need to book an appointment at the Brigada Provincial Extranjería on Avenida de los Poblados 51.

Try to complete the EX-15 NIE application form before you get there. You should also complete the tax form, and pay the tasa (about €9,54) beforehand. You can pay the tasa at any bank, but some have different policies and different hours. Banco Santander is the most flexible. Don't forget to take some cash!

You are now ready for your appointment. To be on the safe side, make sure you bring:

  • Your passport,
  • Your application and paid (and stamped) tax form,
  • A copy of the confirmation of your appointment,
  • Your National Identity Card (if you are a EU citizen).

When you arrive at the Brigada Provincial Extranjería, turn left after security. You'll see a courtyard. Walk through it and you will find the building's entrance. Wait there, and you'll be let in with a group of people.

In just a few minutes after presenting your documents and filled out forms, you will get your temporary NIE which is valid for 3 months. Within this time, you have to make an appointment at Calle Padre Piquer 18 (In the ‘tramites disponibles para la provincia seleccionada’ select ‘Certificados UE’ and follow instructions) .

Note that you cannot get a temporary NIE if your reason states you need it for your work. However, with a temporary NIE you can open up a bank account.

How to get a NIE number permanently (appointments only):

On the day of your appointment at Calle Padre Piquer 18 (closest metro station is Campamento), bring a photocopy of your passport, all relevant documents (the EX-15 form, temporary NIE number, your bank account contract, social security number, marriage certificate and any document you think would be useful), passport photo and your reason for needing NIE(work contract etc.) to the police station. Again, be early. Appointment at 11am means you will be seen at 12pm, so make sure you take enough time to do this.

At the reception, request a tax form and again, pay the €10,90 at the nearest bank station (there are several located around Campamento metro station). If your appointment is later in the day, make sure you do this beforehand as most Spanish banks close by 14:00 or 14:30. You can ask for the tax form (impreso 790) at the Foreigners Department of your local National Police Station.

Be patient and speak some Spanish if possible. You will be issued a small green piece of paper, which is your new NIE card. Afterwards, celebrate the amazing feeling of not having to go through the same process for another 5 years.

If you already have your temporary NIE number, there is a chance you can get your permanent number issued at the appointment – if not, return to Calle Padre Piquer in 2 weeks time. In a true Spanish style, there might be slight variations to the process of getting your NIE, so it’s best to be prepared for all possible results. Please let us know your experiences with getting NIE and if they differ from our advice above!

Also, feel free to also check out the step by step guide to apply for a NIE or TIE in Madrid by our friends of Citylife.

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