Spanish DNI for foreigners: how to process it for the first time?

After many years of waiting and a lot of work and effort, you will finally be able to process your ID as a foreigner. How to do it? In this blog we tell you!

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The step that will allow you to obtain the document that certifies that you are finally a Spanish citizen: the National Identity Document (DNI) and the Spanish passport.

This card is known colloquially as an identity card, it is a personal and non-transferable document issued by the General Directorate of Police (Ministry of the Interior), which serves as accreditation, for all purposes, of the identity and personal data of your headline. The DNI is made up of 8 numbers and a control letter.

It is mandatory to have a DNI from the age of 14, although it can be requested from the registration of the minor in the Civil Registry. But how exactly to do it? Where should you go? Does it have any associated cost? What is the process like for foreigners?

In this blog we tell you, we explain how to process the DNI, the documents necessary to do it, the price and the details that you must know to live an easier process. And if you have any questions, you can contact Entre Trámites and we will solve it for you. You can manage your Spanish nationality with us, schedule a free consultation!

Electronic ID

Since March 2006 it has been electronic, which means that it includes a chip with digital information and has dimensions identical to those of credit cards. The electronic DNI, or DNIe, allows its bearer to physically and electronically prove their identity, in addition to being able to digitally sign electronic documents with the same legal validity as a handwritten signature.

In 2015 the DNI 3.0 with NFC technology was launched. Then, in August 2021, the DNI 4.0 was launched, with security improvements and greater integration with the identification documentation of the rest of the European Union and the identification of the document in English.

How to request Spanish DNI for foreigners?

The process is really simple and easy, and it is summarized in very few steps.

Once you have finally obtained your nationality by residence and have completed the oath process, you will simply have one last step left: change your NIE for your DNI.

The first thing you should do is gather all the necessary documentation, which we will see in the next section. Once you have everything ready, the next step is to request an appointment to deliver the documentation and have the document issued to you.

The procedure is carried out at the National Police, so you must make an appointment through its Electronic Headquarters, by phone by calling 060 or you can rely on an expert agency in Immigration procedures such as Entre Trámites, do not hesitate to contact us.

You can request an appointment at any office of the Police Station, not necessarily the closest one, since appointments are usually very few and they are taken very quickly, we recommend you to be agile. You can do it at any of the available ones, regardless of where you are registered or where you live.

The process is very fast and you will leave the same day of the appointment with your ID. In other words, you should not wait for it to be issued or come back another time to pick it up. However, once you request it, the process does not end here.

Right after you must request your certificate of agreement and use it to notify all the institutions, entities or companies with which you have registered with your NIE that now your new identification method is the recently obtained DNI.

What is needed to get the Spanish DNI?

The list of documents to obtain the DNI in Spain is really short and easy to obtain:

  • Empadronamiento certificate issued with a maximum notice of three months prior to the application for the DNI.
  • Birth certificate or literal birth certificate issued by the Civil Registry, which must specify that it is issued for the purpose of obtaining the DNI. Only literal birth certificates with a maximum of 6 months old will be accepted.
  • Color photograph (card type) size 32x26mm, with white background. Keep in mind that you cannot appear with dark glasses or any other garment that makes your identification difficult.
  • In the case of being the first registration as a Spanish national, the foreigner must also provide their TIE (physical residence card) or European Union Registration Certificate in which their NIE appears.

Spanish citizens residing abroad

Keep in mind that the DNI and the birth certificate can be requested (and obtained) from your country of origin at the Spanish consulate. In this case, the certification of the Diplomatic or Consular Representation where the applicants are registered as residents will act as a method of accreditation of domicile.

Once these Spanish nationals move to Spain (and having obtained their DNI abroad) they must renew it in Spanish territory as soon as possible to have it correctly updated.

How much does the ID cost?

As of today, the fee to request and obtain the DNI in Spain is €12. Unlike the rest of the immigration procedures, you will not have to pay in advance and take the receipt with you; on the contrary, you must pay it (in cash) the day of your appointment at the National Police Station.

On the other hand, you must bear in mind that if you wish to renew your DNI since you must make some change to your address and/or affiliation, you will not have to pay the €12 and the process would be free.

What is the duration or validity of the document?

Once you request and obtain your DNI as Spanish, you must take into account the renewal terms (according to an expiration that you will see inscribed on the card itself). Thus, the duration or validity of this identity document (of the card) depends on your age at the time of request/obtainment:

  • It is valid for two years if the applicant is less than 2 years old
  • 5 years of validity if the applicant is between 5 and 30 years old
  • 10 years when the holder is over 30 years old
  • Permanent when the applicant reaches 70 years of age.

Do you need more information about Spanish DNI for foreigners?

If you want to do any immigration procedure, make sure it has an expert team in the field.

At Entre Trámites we invite you to know all our immigration services here. Fill in our contact form and we will call you to help you as soon as possible, schedule a free online consultation or just text our WhatsApp.

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