Section for people wanting to buy, sell or rent property in Spain.
Spanish legislationmakes it compulsory for anyone selling or buying property in Spain to have a NIE- Numero de Identidad de Extranjeros which, translated, means "Identity Numberfor Foreigners". The NIE is actually just apiece of paper with your name and number and a official stamp so, as friend ofEuroresidentes Angus Wallace suggests, "remember to make about 20 photocopiesof the original and keep those for everyday use, it’s surprising how quickly thatvery important piece of paper becomes a mini jigsaw after it has been folded umpteentimes and stuck in your wallet".
Then,once it became necessary to have one, your legal representative could get onefor you. It is necessary for anyonepaying money to the Spanish Inland Revenue (Hacienda) to have a Spanish identitynumber, and to obtain it in person unless you give someone else legal representation.
Howdo I get a NIE?
In theory it's easy. All you have to do is to goto the Policia Nacional station (Extranjeros department) where the property that you are buying belongs to (find outwhich one is nearest you in this list of National Police Offices in Spainthanksagain Angus!). You must fill in, sign an application form, a complete copy of your passport andyour original passport. In some Regions, a photograph is requested.
In practice, and dependingon where you live, this should be quite straightforward. However, the SpanishForeign Office still makes no distinction between EU-member state cititizens andother foreigners applying for the all-important NIE, so in certain places youwill have to join a very long queue of immigrants in Spain seeking the same paperas you. Some Offices schedule a couple of days a week for applying for NIE, please check.
Our advice: arm yourself with patience and a bottleof water or flask of tea and a good book. And print this page (Reasonsfor living in Spain) incase you start to get desperate and need a reminderof why you are putting yourself through this. Alternatively, get a recommendedSpanish lawyer to sort it out for you. If you need help in finding one, letus know.
Anyone seeking to buy or sell propertyin Spain would be well advised to set aside one whole day to resolve this question.
Update:Read howto get your NIE in the Spanish consulate in the UK.