Abstract Localized electron states in oxides adjacent to metals hybridize with conduction electron states forming interface states, which at the localized site have an amplitude resonantly enhanced over the amplitude of the conduction electron states. The interface states mediate a continuous transition between the metal and the semiconducting or insulating oxide. Resonant tunneling via these interface states to an opposing metal surface can dominate over direct and intermediate-state tunneling. Resonant tunneling is obstructed by the correlation (Coulomb) energy which causes voltage, temperature and time dependencies. The obstruction increases with distance of the localized state from the metal and this increased obstruction causes the transition from resonant to intermediate-state tunneling. This corresponds to a space-wise metal-insulator transition. In oxides, like Nb 2O 5, the correlation energy is small and the hybridization is strong and thus resonant tunneling through localized states at the Fermi energy can account for various tunnel anomalies observed in the normal or superconducting state.