NIE card in Spain

Does anyone know if you have to apply for another NIE and Health card in Spain after living on and off in Spain and Scotland? I want to move back to Spain but wonder if I need to go through the very complicated NIE process. I still have the 2 cards - from 3 years ago.

the cards do expire, so look at the expiration date.

Ah - why didn't I think of that!! Thanks!

The NIE (that is the number)  never expires, however, the validity of the certificate is 3 months  from date of issue. I understand the reason an expiry date was introduced, it did not apply until 'fairly recently,' was to discourage those who were 'living under the radar' i.e. not registering when required by their circumstances to do so (moving here,  3 months permanently here, 183 days total in a year).

One does not need to renew the NIE Cert  unless they have a reason to use  it and the entity concerned requires a date-valid one.

On a similar Note.   The EU Citizens Registration Certificate, has no expiry date.

What 'card' . Weren't these abolished a few years ago, and replaced by a certificate which is useless as it doesn't contain a foto?

The NIE certificate was first issued in 1998. It still exists, it is a separate document to Residencia which was issued until 2nd April 2007, to those who were resident in Spain.

Since that date when an application is made for residence in Spain,  or when an existing Residencia  expired,  one is required to register on the EU Citizens Register.  Initially that was an A4 size green piece of paper.  That has, at least in some areas, been replaced by a credit card sized piece of green paper.  That document has never been proof of ID  (the Residencia Card was)  thus EU citizens have since then been required by law to carry their national proof of ID.  For Brits that is the ORIGINAL passport (no form of copy, except one issued by a British Consulate, can replace the original).

Non EU citizens must apply for  a Residencia Card which is proof of ID.

When a person who has an NIE applies for EU Registration the number on that Certificate is their existing  NIE .

I hope that clarifies it for Don and any others who did not know.

Thanks for that. Some people kept their old laminated tarjetas (or made a laminated copy)  and use these. I'm reliably informed that no one notices or cares about an expiry date of some years ago. Tho' it's wise to have a back-up such as a carnet. With foto.

Except notaries, of course.

Don,  sorry but there is no reason to mislead people. 

Whilst one can use almost any document , even a fake one, and get away with it most times, that does not make them legal.

For those who want to avoid problems, the ONLY legal ID for a Brit, as I said,  is their ORIGINAL passport or  Consular copy.   Nothing else.   

And, certainly at the police station where have worked for almost 20 years,  they demanded the return of the old Residencia when they issued the EU Reg Cert.

I think supermarkets et al are perfectily happy to accept a carnet as proof of your identity. None has ever demanded to see my passport. But, yes, it might be different for offical purposes - particularly when a notary is involved - and at airports. Though it wasn't when I flew to Jávea 3 weeks ago. The green sheet was accepted, along with some bluster.

Has anyone been told that their driving licence is inadequate? Or even a library card? In non-official situations, I mean.

Really informative thread and comments. Thank you!

Don -  QUOTE  I think supermarkets et al are perfectly happy to accept a carnet as proof of your identity.

Excuse my ignorance but what is a carnet ?   The internet says "Carnets, commonly known as “Merchandise Passports”, are international customs documents that simplify customs procedures for the temporary importation of various types of goods

  I must be missing something as I cannot see what that has to do with requiring legal ID in Spain.

It's Spanish shorthand for driving licence. Sorry to confuse.

Don OK carné not carnet.

Interesting because Spaniards 'also' when referring  to their Carné  mean their,  Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI) or carné de identidad, which they all carry as their legal ID. 

In almost 20 years working with the National Police I cannot recall any Spaniard ever producing any ID other than their DNI.   

It used to be common practice that non Spaniards attending the police station without their original Passports were sent away to get them.

It's a French word which is sometimes Hispanicised and sometimes not.

Of course no Spaniard never produces anything except their DNI to the police. It's second nature to them to carry it. Especially as it's a legal obligation. The first of these is not true of Brits, for example.

And the same will be true when Spaniards are asked for ID at the supermarket, etc. It's a national habit. Always the handy DNI. But their DNIs are always a card with a foto, not a useless piece of green paper. Which will usually be rejected, meaning the need to carry a passport in many, but not all, cases. As if anyone really wants to do that.

But we are talking of foreigners and what:-
1. They must have in some situations - eg for the police. (But my driving licence was enough when I was stopped for the offence here of listening to a BBC podcast. Which is less noise than 4 Spanish women talking in my car. Or even just one.)
2. What they can get away with in other situations. I've used my library card in supermarkets. One friend even used another credit card with a hologram of Francis Drake (of all people) on it and persuaded the checkout girl it was a foto of him.

Horses for courses.

Don:   Of course no Spaniard ever produces anything except their DNI to the police. It's second nature to them to carry it   No it is the law that is why they carry it.  The same applies to my wife who is non EU she carries her Residencia Card, which is ID just like the Spaniards' DNI

With my police background in UK and my experience of working with the police here, I see no point in suggesting how one might break the law but get away with it.

PS I do not understand you comment about the EU Reg Cert,    Printed on the credit sized document, twice (on the front and in bold on the back) and twice (top and bottom of the A4 size Cert. )  is a warning that it IS NOT ID  :   It was never intended to be

You've writtent this recently, confirming that the treatment is different for Non-EU citizens. But no mention of a Tarjeta Residencia for we non-Spanish EU citizens:

An NIE  Cert and EU Registration are completely different things.
An NIE is the tax ID number for a non-Spanish person NOT living in Spain (or here for 3 mouths or 183 days in total in a 12 month period).  It is required by those who say buy a property in Spain and who only VISIT Spain,
If an EU citizen moves here, i.e. to takes up or seeks employment they are required to register immediately on the EU Citizen Register. [And get the bit of green paper?]
If one has a job or formal written job offer properly signed by the potential employer,  take that to the Documentation section of the National Police Station which covers the area where you living, that is where you are staying at the time of application.  Doing that negates any need to have sufficient income or medical cover.
NB Please note:  The procedure for non EU citizens is different.

Don  QUOTE  You've written this recently, confirming that the treatment is different for Non-EU citizens. But no mention of a Tarjeta Residencia for we non-Spanish EU citizens:

I said,  "The same applies to my wife who is non EU she carries her Residencia Card, which is ID just like the Spaniards' DNI"   

That card is commonly known as 'residencia'.

QUOTE  But no mention of a Tarjeta Residencia for we non-Spanish EU citizens:

If that means  you are non EU then  if you live here you must have a residencia  which is your ID (that would not make you an EU citizen though) or if you are visiting, you must (depending on which passport you have) have a visa, in which case you must carry your original passport

My question remains - What do we non-Spanish EU citizens get?

it doesn't seem to be a card, just the useless piece of green paper I've mentioned.

So, as I feared, Spaniard and non-EU citizens can get a convenient card which they're happy to carry. But non-Spanish EU citizens can't.

So, nothing has changed since we had our cards taken away from us.

I guess this makes sense to someone.

A third party's comments on this:

EU Residency in Spain

For European Union citizens:

What is the registration certificate (certificado de registro)?
The registration certificate is a document that certifies your residence in Spain with the Central Register of Foreigners (Registro Central de Extranjeros) and lists your name, where you live, your nationality, the date you registered, and your Foreigner’s Identity Number (also called a NIE, which you’ll need for any number of financial transactions you make in Spain).
You should be aware that the registration certificate is literally a piece of paper. While it does officially prove your Spanish residency, it is not a valid form of identification in Spain – only your own national passport is acceptable as ID.

For the non-European Union spouses and family members of EU citizens:

What is the EU-family member residence card (tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión)?

The EU-family member residence card certifies your residence in Spain as an official family member of an EU citizen.

For the purposes of obtaining an EU-family member residence card in Spain, the family members of Spaniards or EU citizens are:
Current spouses or registered domestic partners (unless separated) who are economically dependent on the EU citizen spouse;
Your dependent minor children
Dependent parents.

The Spanish or EU citizen family member you’re basing your application on must meet some financial criteria and provide documentation .

Don, If what I have posted doesn't cover your situation it must be very unusual.

If you would like a comment please tell me what you situation is, and I will do my best to explain or I will ask my National police colleagues on Friday when I working.

I know my situation. I've been here 15 years and am fluent in Spanish.

I am a single retired British male and I am entitled only to the green certificate.

If I can get a card and you can advise me how, I shall be eternally in your debt.

Unless it means I have to marry a woman from outside the EU and possibly have a child or two . . . .

Sorry Don but I have no idea why we have gone off on so many tangents when the simple answer, as I am sure you know, is that we EU citizens have to get the green paper which we know is not ID so, just like to Spanish, we must carry legal ID, which in our case is our original Passport. 

That supermarket checkout staff might even accept a used bus ticked as ID instead of demanding a passport means nothing.

I apologise to all the other readers who must be almost as confused as I am !

Well, I'm sure it's been very instructive - amusing even - for all readers. :)

I doubt anyone is still confused, TBH.

That supermarket checkout staff might even accept a used bus ticked as ID instead of demanding a passport means nothing.

Sorry to disagree on this - in practical terms, it means that you don't have to carry and show your passport except to the police (if you don't have a driving licence) or to the occasional notary.

It's a probability excercise. Personally, I'd go a long way to avoid carrying my passport 24/7. Just think of the hassle and cost if you lose it and have to replace it.

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