I’ve Forgotten My NIF Number, What Do I Do?

The small print: Portugalist may generate a commission from mentioned products or services. This is at no additional cost to you and it does not affect our editorial standards in any way. All content, including comments, should be treated as informational and not advice of any kind, including legal or financial advice. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors or omissions or damages arising from its display or use. Links to external websites do not constitute an endorsement. [Disclaimer Policy]

Written by: | Last updated on February 29, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 2 minutes
This article is available in:

It can be easy to forget your NIF number, particularly if you spend an extended amount of time outside of Portugal. When you’re not using something every day, your brain simply pushes it to the back of your mind.

Obviously, this can be an issue in Portugal where the NIF number is used for so many different purposes — you might be asked for it at the supermarket or when signing up for broadband, a mobile phone contract, or utilities. And, you’ll most likely want to use it given that if offers certain tax benefits.

According to Kathleen Lo, from Bordr, ‘if you are in Portugal, you can go to a Finanças office to request a copy of your NIF. If you are abroad, please get in touch with the Portuguese embassy or consulate nearest you.’

Get a NIF with Bordr.com for just $140.

That’s exactly what one Portugalist reader did.

I visited the fiscal office in Tavira, and although they will not give a copy of my existing fiscal number “on Paper,” they have provided a Certificate to confirm my number!!! It cost 6.5 euros and was deemed to satisfy the phone company for a contract.

On a more frivolous  note  for any other casual visitor, if you have previous experience of a game called “musical chairs”, you could possibly consider yourself well prepared for the visit.


The easiest way to find your nearest Finanças office is to use Google Maps. Similarly, if you are abroad, Google Maps is the easiest way to find your nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate.

Apparently, our brains struggle remembering more than seven numbers and given that the NIF number is nine, this makes it a little harder to remember. Rather than try to remember all nine digits at once, most people split it into three groups e.g. 123-456-789.

Don’t forget to memorise your tax number in Portuguese, or at least write it down, since you’ll be giving it out verbally in shops and supermarkets. You don’t have to do this in the supermarket, and it’s not a legal requirement in this instance, but there may be tax benefits to doing so, as well as the chance to win prizes – and we all want to pay less in taxes, don’t we?

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal. This article includes contributions from Kathleen Lo, co-founder of Bordr.io.