Get NIE or TIE if lost: Imagine finding yourself in Spain without your NIE or foreigner identity card due to loss or theft. This is not just any document; it’s your key to identification in the country, and it’s crucial to have it with you.

Not having this card can have serious implications. It can prevent your re-entry if you’re considering leaving Spain and returning. So, what’s the solution?

In such situations, the next step is to apply for a duplicate of your NIE or residency card. This article will guide you through the process, step by step, reassuring you that you can handle this situation.

The NIE is safe; it’s the TIE that’s been misplaced

Let’s address a common misconception many foreigners face when dealing with their identification documents in Spain. Let’s clear up a common misconception: if you’ve misplaced or had your card stolen, you haven’t lost your NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero).

What’s missing is your TIE (Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjero), also known as the residency card. The NIE is your unique identification number, not a physical card or document. It’s tied to you as an individual and remains constant throughout your time in Spain.

Think of it this way: the NIE is your unique identification number, not a physical card or document. It’s tied to you as an individual and remains constant throughout your time in Spain.

So, whether you’ve lost, renewed, or been issued a new card, your NIE number remains the same forever.

However, this important NIE number is printed on your residency card or TIE. This is the plastic card you physically carry with you, the document that includes NIE.

Throughout this article, we’ll often refer to it as the NIE for simplicity. But remember, we’re always talking about your actual card or TIE.

Situations Requiring a Duplicate NIE Number in Spain

You can  Apply for replacement of  NIE:

  • When your legal or professional standing (as the cardholder) changes, such as when your residence permit is renewed.
  • If you’ve secured a visa for a period longer than six months.
  • Upon the loss of your card.
  • In situations of theft resulting in the loss of your NIE.

Do you need clarity? Contact our immigration lawyers for personalized legal guidance and resolution of all your questions at Marfour law firm.

How to Obtain a Duplicate NIE Number if Lost in Spain

Let’s now explore the step-by-step process of obtaining a duplicate of your NIE number if it has been lost in Spain:


1. Report the Loss to the Police

The initial and crucial step is to report the loss of your NIE to the local Police. Then visit any police station to file a report stating that your NIE has been lost.Resultantly, you will receive a document from the Police certifying the loss. 

You have to keep this document safe.

2. Wait and Search

After filing the police report, waiting a few days before proceeding further is advisable. Often, documents are found in unexpected places, so it’s a good idea to search your belongings thoroughly.

In theft cases, items may be turned in to the Police by others, so waiting for a while could result in their return.

3. Request a Duplicate at the Immigration Office

If the NIE has not been located, it’s time to request a duplicate at the nearest immigration office. Visit the official Spanish immigration website and select the option for “duplicate card after loss.” Fill out the application form for a duplicate NIE number.

4. Attend the Appointment

Once you have completed the application, schedule an appointment at the immigration office. Bring all the required documents with you to the appointment.’

5. Receive Your Duplicate NIE Number

After processing your request, the immigration office will issue you a new NIE card with the same number. Keep this new card safe, as it is your official identification in Spain.

6. Update Institutions and Services

After receiving your duplicate NIE card, update any institutions or services where you used your NIE for identification. This might include banks, employers, schools, and other official entities.

Essential Documents for Getting a Duplicate of Your Card

When attending your appointment to obtain a duplicate of your lost or stolen TIE card, please make sure to bring the following documents:

  • Form EX-17: This crucial form can be downloaded . Remember to select “DUPLICADO POR ROBO, EXTRAVÍO, DESTRUCCIÓN O INUTILIZACIÓN.”
  • Ensure you have made the necessary payment for the duplicate card.
  • Bring the original and a photocopy of your passport.
  • Provide three recent photos with a white background.
  • A copy of the theft complaint filed with the Police is required.

Processing Time for the Duplicate

Once you have submitted all the necessary documents, the immigration office typically takes 40 days to issue your duplicate NIE/residency card. Additionally, remember that you have a window of 30 days to request the duplicate after you lost or had your NIE stolen.

However, waiting 40 days might only be feasible for some, depending on their circumstances

Traveling When Your NIE is Lost or Stolen

If your NIE has been lost or stolen and you have travel plans shortly, you might wonder if you can still leave Spain. Leaving the country with your residency card is generally fine. However, the challenge arises when you attempt to re-enter Spain.

Entry into the country will be permitted with your NIE/TIE during border control. So, what are your options?

Immediately after the loss or theft, it is crucial to request a duplicate of your card from any immigration office. This process allows you to register your fingerprints for a new card. Subsequently, you will receive a document certifying that your card is in the process of being issued.

With this proof, you can apply for authorization to return to Spain. Upon receiving the return authorization, you can enter Spain with your passport. During periods when the return authorization is not required (such as summer), the document certifying the card’s production will suffice.

We strongly recommend acting swiftly, especially during peak times like summer, as appointments for return authorizations often face significant delays.

 This is crucial to avoid any potential complications and ensure a smooth process.

Traveling When Your NIE is Lost or Stolen

Recovering a Lost NIE Number Online in Spain

If you have lost your NIE number and need to retrieve it online in Spain, you will typically need to follow a similar process as if you were checking it for the first time.

Here’s a general guide on how to find your lost NIE number online:

  • Go to the official website for Spanish immigration services, often called the “Sede Electrónica de la Administración Pública” (Electronic Office of the Public Administration).
  • Look for the section related to the NIE. This can usually be found under “Trámites y Servicios” (Procedures and Services) or “Extranjería” (Foreigners).
  • Within the NIE section, there may be an option for “Consulta de NIE” (Consultation of NIE) or “Recuperar NIE” (Recover NIE). Click on this option.
  • You will likely be asked to enter personal information such as your full name, date of birth, nationality, and other relevant details.
  • The system may require you to verify your identity using a digital certificate, electronic ID (eID), or another authentication method. Follow the instructions to complete the verification process.
  • If there is an option to recover your NIE, select it. You may be asked additional questions to verify your identity and ownership of the lost NIE number.
  • Once your identity is verified and the request is processed, you can view your lost NIE number online on the screen.
  • It is advisable to print or save the information for your records. Taking a screenshot can also be helpful.

Securing Your NIE Document Number in Spain

To obtain your NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) document number in Spain, you typically need to follow these steps:

  • Decide why you need the NIE. It’s usually required for various transactions such as employment, bank account opening, buying property, or starting a business.
  • You’ll need to schedule an appointment at the nearest National Police Station (Comisaría de Policía) or through the online platform if available. The process can vary by region, so checking the specific requirements is best.
  • Prepare Required Documents: Generally, you will need:
  • A completed application form (Form EX-15).
  • A copy of your passport (including the main page with personal details).
  • A document explaining the reason for requesting the NIE (such as a job contract, property purchase agreement, or business plan).
  • Proof of payment of the application fee (Tasa Modelo 790 Código 012).
  •  On the scheduled day, go to the National Police Station with all your documents. You must present them, fill out any necessary forms, and provide additional information if required.
  • You must pay the required fee at the police station to process your NIE application. This fee can vary and is usually paid at a local bank before the appointment.
  • After processing your application, you will receive a certificate with your NIE number. This temporary document will be your NIE until you accept the physical card.
  • Within a few weeks or months, you’ll receive a notification to collect your physical NIE card (Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjero or TIE) from the police station.

Seek Legal Assistance

This outlines the complete process for obtaining a duplicate NIE. It serves as your roadmap if you misplace or have your residency card or TIE stolen.

However, if you have any questions or need guidance from our legal team,Marfour law firm is here to provide you  services.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us!


Here are some important FAQs:

1: What should I do if I lose my NIE card in Spain?

If your NIE card has been lost or stolen in Spain, it’s important to report the loss to the Police immediately.

2: Can I still travel outside Spain if my NIE is lost?

You can still travel outside of Spain without your NIE card. However, re-entering the country without it can be problematic.

Conclusion: Get NIE or TIE if lost:

Hence, obtaining a duplicate NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) in Spain after a loss or theft demands organization. Reporting the incident to the Police initiates the journey while gathering essential documents lays the foundation for the application. 

We have provided you with steps, you  can navigate the process smoothly, ensuring you can resume your  activities with the essential identification that the NIE provides.