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A NIE is a Numero Identificacion de Extranjero or a foreigner’s identification number. You must have one of these to buy any property or a car in Spain. It is relatively easy to obtain but the process can be long as you have to go to the foreigners department of the local police station and queue. You will need to complete a form and after a few days you can go to collect the number. In some instances you will only need to give the number but when buying a property you will need the original.