How to get a replacement NIE


After having navigated the labyrinthine process of acquiring a NIE, losing that little piece of laminated green card will plunge you into the depths of despair. But fear not – we’re here to guide you through the process of replacing your lost, stolen or misplaced NIE, step by painful step!

The documents you’ll need

  • Your passport
  • An official report of the theft/loss. You can get this from your local police station. You’ll need to bring proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence and they’ll give you a form to fill out with details of the loss.
  • A current work contract
  • A filled out copy of EX18 (which you can find online here) – this is the form you use to request a replacement NIE.
  • An informe de vida laboral, which is a document confirming that you’re still in work. You can log in to the website here with your username and password, which you should have been assigned when you started working. If you’re not sure, check with your boss or HR department.
  • A receipt of the payment for the replacement NIE. You can get the form for this payment at the locutorio one block back from the NIE office and there are several banks within a couple of blocks. You can also process this payment at any of the ATMs of the local banks if you are paying by card. It costs around 11€.

Photocopies of all of the above documents as well as the originals. They won’t all be necessary, but better safe than sorry! If you were smart enough to have a photocopy or scan of your original NIE, bring that along too.

Where to go

That’s right, it’s back to the NIE office at Rambla de Guipúscoa, 74. The big secret? You don’t need an appointment. The office opens at 9am, but it’s best to turn up at 8am. You won’t be allowed to queue outside the office so you’ll have to awkwardly hang across the road for a bit, but people tend to respect the order they arrived in once the queue starts forming. It’s a good idea to go along with an equally careless and disorganised friend who also needs a new NIE – that way one of you can go on coffee runs. Early birds definitely benefit here, as by 10am the queue often stretches down the block. There are two queues, so join the queue on the left – that’s the queue for people without an appointment.

Once you’re in

Explain to the person on the front desk why you’re there. They’ll ask to see all your documents – which you’ll have ready and waiting if you’ve checked off our list above – and then give you a number and point you towards the waiting area. Once your number has been called, it’s the same deal…pass over all the documents and you’ll be the proud owner of a brand new NIE card.

When you leave

Go to the locutorio one block back from the offices and get them to scan your new NIE and email it to you. At least this way you’ll have a digital copy if you’re unlucky enough to lose it again! Then go for a caña. You’ve earned it!

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