Obtaining a Social Security Number

What do you need to know?

It is the procedure by which the social security number is obtained. That number identifies the individual in his or her dealings with the social security system.

It applies to all citizens who wish to start working for the first time, whether as employees or as self-employed individuals, and, therefore, do not yet have the number. 

Social security is a public system of protection against situations of illness, disability, unemployment, old age, accidents at work, maternity or loss of the family's means of support.

VERY IMPORTANT:

It is a compulsory formality for anyone wishing to work in the country, whether as an employee or as a self-employed individual. Obtaining the number is a preliminary step towards social security registration.

If you are a citizen of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you can apply with only your passport. However, you may later be asked for an identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) to validate the application. In that case, you will have to go back to the offices, fill in the form to amend the details and present the identity number for foreign nationals (NIE).

It is important to take the following into account:

  • Your social security number will become a social security registration number when you begin an employment relationship.
  • To save you having to return to the Social Security offices to amend the details, it is recommended that you apply for the identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) beforehand.

What requirements must be met?

Not having previously obtained a social security number in Spain.

How long is it valid for?

It does not expire.

What do you need to do?

You can obtain the social security number in person at any office of the General Treasury of the Social Security System, or electronically over the website, if you have a digital certificate.

What steps must you follow?

ONLINE

STEP 1: Obtain the digital certificate
  • In order to apply online, you must first obtain a digital certificate.
  • To get information about the procedure for obtaining the digital certificate, access the information on the formality, where there is a description of all the details about how to obtain it.

 

STEP 2: Go to the Social Security website
  • Select the option "Citizen > Registration > Social security number assignment" to start the application. (The information is available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state.)

 

STEP 3: Fill in the standard application form and attach the required documentation
  • Follow the steps indicated on the website and provide all the information and documentation requested.
  • The different screens will allow you to select and fill in the details, which will depend on the options you choose.
  • You must obtain and fill in the application form (form TA1).
  • It is advisable to have prepared certain details that may be required during the application:
    • Contact details: mobile phone and e-mail.
    • Identity documents:
      • For citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland: passport.
      • For citizens from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland: Identity number for foreign nationals (NIE).

 

STEP 4: Obtain a social security number
  • You will receive notification of the decision within 45 days. Once this period has elapsed, the request will be understood to have been accepted.

 

STEP 5: Before you start working, register with the social security system
  • In order to find out about the procedure for registering with the social security system, consult the information on the formality, which contains all the details on how to do it.
  • Remember that if you are going to work as a self-employed individual, you will also have to register with the Tax Office.

 

IN PERSON

STEP 1: Fill in the application form
  • You must access the application form (form TA1), download it and fill it in. The fields of the form must be completed in capital letters.

 

STEP 2: Go to a Social Security office and submit the documentation
  • In order to apply for a social security number, you must go in person to the office of the General Treasury of the Social Security System for the area where your home is located or where the company in which you will be providing services is located. It is not necessary to make an appointment.
  • Consult the website to find out which Social Security offices are available near you.
  • When you arrive, obtain a number for the appropriate desk and wait your turn to be seen. You must present the application and the required documentation.

 

STEP 3: Obtain a social security number
  • When applied for in person, the office usually assigns the number at the time of application.

 

STEP 4: Register with the social security system
  • Before you start working, register with the social security system
  • In order to find out about the procedure for registering with the social security system, consult the information on the formality, which contains all the details on how to do it.
  • Remember that if you are going to work as a self-employed individual, you will also have to register with the Tax Office.

Who can submit the application?

  • The application must be submitted by the individuals concerned.
  • A third party may apply for your social security number, provided they provide an authorisation signed by you.

What documentation must be attached to the application?

  • Standard application form TA1, signed by the person concerned.
  • For citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland: TIE (if the TIE procedure is yet to be completed and to obtain the card, you must first register with the social security system and get a social security number: passport and administrative decision granting the corresponding residence and work permit). 

How long does it take to process the application?

  • When applied for in person, the office usually assigns the number at the time of application.
  • If you applied online, you will receive notification of the decision within 45 days. Once this period has elapsed, the request will be understood to have been accepted.

What does the application cost?

It is FREE OF CHARGE.

Want to know more?

Which body is responsible for the formality?

The General Treasury of the Social Security System (Government of Spain).

Where can I find more information?

You can also consult the official Social Security website (available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state).

Important linked formalities

Obtaining a social security number is essential if you need to complete the formality: 

If you want to carry out the whole procedure online, you need to have the following certificate:

Digital certificate

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.