March 2, 2024

How to Change from NIE to DNI in the Social Security System

When it comes to living and working in Spain, it is essential to have the correct identification documents. For foreigners, the initial identification document issued is the NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero), which is a foreigner identification number. However, as you settle down in Spain, you may find it necessary to change your NIE to a DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad), which is the national identity document. In this article, we will explore the process of changing from NIE to DNI in the Spanish Social Security System.

Understanding the NIE and DNI

Before diving into the process of changing from NIE to DNI, let’s briefly understand the difference between these two identification documents.

NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero)

The NIE is a unique identification number assigned to foreigners in Spain. It is required for various administrative procedures, such as opening a bank account, buying property, or starting a business. The NIE is issued by the Spanish National Police and is valid for the duration of your stay in Spain.

DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad)

The DNI, on the other hand, is the national identity document issued to Spanish citizens. It serves as proof of identity and is required for a wide range of activities, including voting, accessing healthcare, and traveling within the European Union. Unlike the NIE, the DNI is a permanent identification document.

The Need to Change from NIE to DNI

While the NIE is sufficient for most administrative procedures, there are certain situations where having a DNI becomes necessary. Here are a few reasons why you might consider changing from NIE to DNI:

  • Accessing certain social benefits: Some social benefits in Spain are only available to Spanish citizens with a DNI. By obtaining a DNI, you can access a wider range of social security benefits.
  • Long-term residency: If you plan to stay in Spain for an extended period or even become a permanent resident, having a DNI can simplify various administrative processes.
  • Convenience: As a permanent identification document, the DNI eliminates the need to renew your NIE periodically.

The Process of Changing from NIE to DNI

Now that we understand the importance of changing from NIE to DNI, let’s explore the step-by-step process:

Step 1: Gather the Required Documents

Before initiating the process, ensure you have the following documents:

  • Completed application form (available at the National Police website)
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of residence in Spain (e.g., rental contract, utility bills)
  • Proof of social security registration
  • Proof of payment of the DNI fee

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment

Once you have the necessary documents, you need to schedule an appointment at the nearest National Police station. This can be done online through the National Police website or by calling the designated phone number.

Step 3: Attend the Appointment

On the scheduled date and time, visit the National Police station with all the required documents. The officer will verify your documents, take your fingerprints, and capture your photograph for the DNI.

Step 4: Collect your DNI

After the appointment, you will receive a provisional document that serves as temporary identification until your DNI is ready. The DNI is typically issued within a few weeks, and you can collect it from the National Police station where you attended the appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions related to changing from NIE to DNI:

1. Can I keep my NIE after obtaining a DNI?

Yes, your NIE remains valid even after obtaining a DNI. However, the DNI becomes your primary identification document.

2. Is there an age requirement for obtaining a DNI?

Yes, you must be at least 14 years old to apply for a DNI. For children under 14, a separate identification document called the NIF (Número de Identificación Fiscal) is issued.

3. How much does it cost to change from NIE to DNI?

The cost of obtaining a DNI varies depending on the region and any applicable administrative fees. It is advisable to check the current fee before initiating the process.

4. Can I change from NIE to DNI if I am not a Spanish citizen?

No, the DNI is exclusively for Spanish citizens. As a foreigner, you can only obtain a NIE.

5. Can I change from NIE to DNI if I am an EU citizen?

EU citizens are not required to obtain a NIE or DNI. Instead, they can use their national identification document or passport for administrative procedures in Spain.


Changing from NIE to DNI in the Spanish Social Security System is a straightforward process that involves gathering the required documents, scheduling an appointment, attending the appointment, and collecting the DNI. While the NIE is sufficient for most administrative procedures, obtaining a DNI can provide access to additional social benefits and simplify long-term residency in Spain. Remember to keep your NIE even after obtaining a DNI, as it remains valid. If you have any further questions, consult the National Police or relevant authorities for accurate and up-to-date information.

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Radhe Gupta

Hello, I am Radhe. I am absolutely in love with writing and by working with News Whizz, I have developed a passion for it. It helps me to stay updated and know what is happening around the globe.

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