Personal identification number

A national identification number, national identity number, or national insurance number is used by the governments of many countries as a means of tracking their citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purposes of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other governmentally-related functions. The number appears on identity documents issued by several of the countries.
The ways in which such a system is implemented vary among countries, but in most cases citizens are issued an identification number upon reaching legal age, or when they are born.
Many countries issued such numbers for a singular purpose, but over time, they become a de facto national identification number. Some countries are required to collect Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) information for overseas payment procedures.
Search your country below to find your tax identification code:


In Germany, there is no national identification number in the full meaning of the term. Until 2007 only decentralized databases were kept by social insurance companies, who allocate a social insurance number to almost every person.

Since 2008 new Taxpayer Identification Numbers (German:Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer or Steuer-IdNr) replace the former Tax File Number. Persons who are both employees and self-employed at the same time may receive two taxpayer identification numbers. The corresponding number for organizations, also issued by the tax administration, is named economy identification number (Wirtschafts-Identifikationsnummer). These numbering concepts are national systems, organized by the Federal Central Tax Office. For special purpose further value-added tax identification numbers are issued for persons and organizations that are subject to paying VAT as a deduct from their revenues. This is a Europe-wide unified concept. Additionally for all persons joining the military service, a Service Number is issued.

None of these numbers are commonly used for other than their specific purpose, nor is such (ab)use legal. German identity documents do not contain any of the mentioned numbers, only a document number. People are not expected to know their number when dealing with an authority, so there are some troubles about people being mismatched.

For some time, the West German government intended to create a 12-digit personal identification number (Personenkennzeichen, PKZ) for all citizens, registered alien residents on its territory, as well as for all non-resident Nazi victims entitled to compensation payments. The system, which was to be implemented by the 1973 federal law on civil registry, was rejected in 1976, when the Bundestag found the concept of an identification system for the entire population to be incompatible with the existing legal framework.[36] In East Germany, a similar system named Personenkennzahl (PKZ) was set up in 1970 and remained in use until the state ceased to exist in 1990.

When applying for the Visa Waiver Program

As Germany is part of the Visa Waiver Program German citizens can enter the USA for up to 90 days without the need of a visa. In order to participate in this program it is required to fill out an online form called ESTA. This formular specifically asks German citizens about a national identification number. US authorities expect to provide the document number of the German identity card.[37]


In Austria there are two schemes to identify individuals:

Sector-Specific Personal Identifier

The Sector-Specific Personal Identifier (ssPIN) tries to do away with the problems of the SSN. Its legal foundation is the Austrian E-Government Act,[27] and it is derived from the Central Register of Residents (CRR). Its specification is related with the Austrian Citizen Card.[28]

Its computation (specification)[29] is a two-stage process: The CCR ID is encoded into the Source Identification Number (Source PIN) with a symmetrical crypto-function. This is again one-way encoded into the ssPIN per sector of governmental activity. For the storage of SourcePINs is not limited to citizen cards, and an application cannot convert a ssPIN from one sector to the ssPIN from applications of other sectors, the link-up of data of sectors by PINs is constricted. However, there is a legal exception to this rule: applications may query for and store ssPINs from other sectors if they are encrypted in a way that makes them only usable in the target application. This enables the application to communicate across sectors.

Sample values
  • CCR-ID: 000247681888 (12-digit)
  • SourcePIN: MDEyMzQ1Njc4OWFiY2RlZg== (24 bytes base64)
  • ssPIN(BW): MswQO/UhO5RG+nR+klaOTsVY+CU= (28 bytes base64)
    • BW (Bauen + Wohnen) is the public sector related to “construction and habitation”.
    • There are approximately 30 sectors like health, taxes, statistics, and security.


In Croatia, the Personal Identification Number (CroatianOsobni identifikacijski broj (OIB)), is used for identifying the citizens and legal persons in many government and civilian systems. The OIB-system was introduced on January 1, 2009 and replaced the old JMBG system, renamed to Master Citizen Number (Croatian: Matični broj građana (MBG)) in 2002, that was used in former Yugoslavia. The OIB consists of eleven random digits and the last number is a control number.[30] Although the OIB is in use, the MBG is still issued and used for data coordination among government registries.[31]


Slovenia uses a 13-number identification code Enotna matična številka občana (EMŠO) – Unique Master Citizen Number.

It is composed of 13 digits as follows DDMMYYYRRSSSX.

DD – day of birth>
MM – month of birth
YYY – year of birth, last three digits

RR – a constant value 50
This is a remnant of Yugoslavia, a registry number that marked the birth zone:
– 00-09 – foreigners
– 10-19 – Bosnia and Herzegovina
– 20-29 – Montenegro
– 30-39 – Croatia (33 – Zagreb)
– 40-49 – Macedonia
– 50-59 – Slovenia (only 50 is used)
– 60-69 – (not in use)
– 70-79 – Central Serbia (71 – Belgrade)
– 80-89 – Province of Vojvodina (80 – Novi Sad)
– 90-99 – Province of Kosovo

SSS – serial number or combination of sex and serial numbers for persons born on the same day (000-499 for men and 500-999 for women)
X – checksum of first 12

Czech Republic and Slovakia

Czech Republic and Slovakia uses a system called Birth Number (Czech/Slovak: rodné číslo (RČ)). The system was introduced in the former Czechoslovakia.

The form is YYXXDD/SSSC, where XX=MM (month of birth) for male (numbers 01-12) and XX=MM+50 for female (numbers 51-62), SSS is a serial number separating persons born on the same date and C is a check digit, but for people born before 1 January 1954 the form is without the check digit – YYXXDD/SSS. This enables the system to work until the year 2054. The whole number must be divisible by 11.

The system is raising privacy concerns, since the age and the gender of the bearer can be decoded from the number. Therefore, the birth number is considered a sensitive piece of personal information.


In Albania, the Identity Number (AlbanianNumri i Identitetit (NID)) is issued by the Central Civic Registry Service (Ministry of Interior). The coding structure and algorithm is regulated by a decision of the Council of Ministers of Albania (No.827, Dated 11.12.2003). From 2004 to 2007, the Identity Number was referred to as the Citizen Identity Number (AlbanianNumri i Identitetit të Shtetasit (NISH)). As of 2007, with the introduction the new legislation regarding the new biometric ID cards and biometric passports, it is referred to as the Identity Number. The Albanian national identification number appears in the Albanian national ID cards and biometric passports under the ‘personal no.’ section.

The Albanian Identity Number is a unique personal identification number of 10 characters in the format YYMMDDSSSC, where YYMMDD indicates the date of birth and sex (for males MM is 01-12, for females 50 is added to the month of birth so that MM is 51-62), SSS is a sequence number of persons born on the same date (001–999), and C is a checksum letter (A–W). The YY part of the date of birth is calculated from the following table:[26]

00–09: 1800–1809 A0–A9: 1900–1909 K0–K9: 2000–2009
10–19: 1810–1819 B0–B9: 1910–1919 L0–L9: 2010–2019
20–29: 1820–1829 C0–C9: 1920–1929 M0–M9: 2020–2029
30–39: 1830–1839 D0–D9: 1930–1939 N0–N9: 2030–2039
40–49: 1840–1849 E0–E9: 1940–1949 O0–O9: 2040–2049
50–59: 1850–1859 F0–F9: 1950–1959 P0–P9: 2050–2059
60–69: 1860–1869 G0–G9: 1960–1969 Q0–Q9: 2060–2069
70–79: 1870–1879 H0–H9: 1970–1979 R0–R9: 2070–2079
80–89: 1880–1889 I0–I9: 1980–1989 S0–S9: 2080–2089
90–99: 1890–1899 J0–J9: 1990–1999 T0–T9: 2090–2099

e.g. For people born in the year 2003, YY would be K3.


In Belgium every citizen has a National Register Number, which is created by using the citizen’s date of birth (encoded in six digits), followed by a serial number (three digits) and a checksum (two digits). The serial number is used so that men get the odd numbers, while women get the even numbers; thus, there can be only 500 men or women on each day.

The national number is unique to each person and in that capacity used by most government institutions; however, because one can immediately read the date of birth and the sex of the numbers’ holder and because it is the key in most government databases (including that of the tax administration, the social security, and others), it is considered a privacy-sensitive number. For that reason, although it is put on the identity card by default, with the old ID cards a citizen could request that this would not be done. With the newer Digital ID cards that Belgium is rolling out, this is no longer possible, since the National Number is used as the serial number for the private cryptography keys on the card..

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Each citizen receives 13 number Unique Master Citizen Number (Bosnian: Jedinstveni matični broj građana) upon birth. Unique Master Citizen Number comprises 13 digits in DDMMYYY RR XXX C format. DD/MM/YYY represents citizens birth date. RR indicates one of 10 Bosnian regions (10: Banja Luka, 11: Bihać, 12: Doboj, 13: Goražde, 14: Livno, 15: Mostar, 16: Prijedor, 17: Sarajevo, 18: Tuzla, 19: Zenica) where the citizen was born. XXX is a unique sequential number where 000 – 499 is used for males and 500 – 999 for females. The final number is a check-sum.

Foreign citizens born or residing in Bosnia & Herzegovina can also receive a Unique Master Citizen Number (UMCN). The RR sequence foreign nationals is 01. Upon gaining Bosnian citizenship, a former foreign national can request new UMCN where the RR part is represented by the region where they were first registered.


A Personal Identification Number (Da. CPR, Det Centrale Personregister) in Denmark is used in dealings with public agencies, from health care to the tax authorities. It is also used as a customer number in banks and insurance companies. People must be registered with a CPR number if they reside in Denmark, if they own property or if they pay tax.

In Denmark, there has been a systematic registration since 1924, however it was in 1968 that the electronic CPR register was established.[32]

In the 1980s, the electronic system was exported to Kuwait, Jamaica, Malaysia, Thailand, Romania, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, and Saint Petersburg.[33]

The CPR number is a ten-digit number with the format DDMMYY-SSSS, where DDMMYY is the date of birth and SSSS is a sequence number. The first digit of the sequence number encodes the century of birth (so that centenarians are distinguished from infants, 0-4 in odd centuries, 5-9 in even centuries), and the last digit of the sequence number is odd for males and even for females.

Prior to 2007, the last digit was also a check digit such that less than 240 SSSS values were available for any given combination of gender and date of birth, but due to an administrative practice of assigning Jan 1 and similar dates for immigrants with unknown date of birth, any SSSS value consistent with gender and century of birth may now be issued, even for birth dates prior to 2007.

Companies and other taxable non-humans are issued an eight-digit “CVR” number which is a mostly sequential number, there is no defined rule preventing the issuance of a CVR number with the same digits as a CPR number of an unrelated person, so the type of number must always be indicated, but CPR are always 10-digit and CVR 8-digit. VAT registration numbers for Danish companies are simply “DK” followed by the CVR number, but far from all CVR numbered entities are VAT registered (companies with no need for a VAT number, such as holding companies, typically do not request a VAT registration for their CVR).

Government entities are numbered in a variety of ways, but since 2003 all government entities (however small) now have EAN numbers for billing purposes. Some Government entities also have CVR numbers. Only one Government Entity (the Queen) has a CPR number.

The CPR number gives government agencies access to state-controlled databases with information about the person. The information includes: The person’s marital status and spouse, parents, children, current and former addresses, the cars the person has owned, the criminal record and other information about the person.

Foreigners who are not eligible to get a CPR-number, but who need one, includes persons who have witnessed a crime, persons who have been charged with a crime, or are victims of a crime. These persons are registered with a CPR-number with the format: DDMMYY-XXXX where XXXX are four letters instead of four numbers.


Since the introduction of a national pension scheme in 1948, most persons resident in Switzerland are allocated a Social Security Number (AHV-Nr. [de] / No AVS [fr]), which is also used for other governmental purposes. The eleven-digit format in use since 1968 is of the form AAA.BB.CCC.DDD and encodes information about the name, birth date and sex of its holder:

  • The “AAA” digits encode the family name.
  • The “BB” digits are equal to the last two digits of the year of birth.
  • The “CCC” digits encode the birth day as a trimester number (1-4) followed by the number of the day in the trimester. An offset of 400 is added for female persons (e.g. 101 is January 1 for men and 501 is January 1 for women).
  • The “DDD” digits are used to be an origin code depending which country the person came from and or if this person was a Swiss citizen through birth or naturalisation.

As of 2008, an anonymous thirteen-digit number is being issued to all Swiss residents. It is of the form 756.XXXX.XXXX.XY, where 756 is the ISO 3166-1 code for Switzerland, XXXX.XXXX.X is a random number and Y is an EAN-13 check digit.[46]

European Economic Area/Switzerland

Within the European Economic Area and Switzerland, a card known as the European Health Insurance Card is issued to any resident who so wishes, proving the right of health care anywhere in the area. This card lists a code called “Identification Number”, which in some cases may be the national identification number of the residence country, for Germany the health insurance number.


Main article: INSEE code

In France, the INSEE code is used as a social insurance number, a national identification number, for taxation purposes, for employment, etc. It was invented under the Vichy regime.


In Hungary, there is no national identification number. The Constitutional Court decided in 1991: “A general, uniform personal identification code which may be used without restriction (i.e. a personal number) distributed to every citizen and to every resident of the country based on an identical principle is unconstitutional.”[39]

Although the universal use of national identification number (known as “Personal Identification Number”) is considered to be unconstitutional, it is still used in many places. The structure of such number is GYYMMDDXXXC, whereas G is the gender (1-male, 2-female, other numbers are also possible for citizens born before 1900 or citizens with double citizenship), YYMMDD is the birth date year, month, day, XXX is the serial number, and C is a checksum digit.

The meanings of the first number:

  • 1 male, born between 1900 and 1999
  • 2 female, born between 1900 and 1999
  • 3 male, born before 1900 or after 1999
  • 4 female, born before 1900 or after 1999

Until 1997 also were used the following first numbers:

  • 5 male, foreign citizen living in Hungary, born between 1900 and 1999
  • 6 female, foreign citizen living in Hungary, born between 1900 and 1999
  • 7 male, foreign citizen living in Hungary, born before 1900 or after 1999
  • 8 female, foreign citizen living in Hungary, born before 1900 or after 1999

As the “Personal Identification Number” is considered to be unconstitutional, another identification form, the ID-card number is in use.

So an average Hungarian has these identifiers: personal identification number, ID card identification number, social security number (“TAJ” number), tax identification number. They may also have passport identification number, driving license number.


Montenegro uses a 13-number identification code Jedinstveni matični broj građana/Јединствени матични број грађана (JMBG) – Unique Master Citizen Number.


In the Netherlands, all people receive a Burgerservicenummer (BSN) (Citizen Service Number) when they are born. It is printed on driving licenses, passports and international ID cards, under the header Personal Number. Before 2007, the BSN was known as sofinummer (the acronym sofistands for so-ciaal (social) fi-scaal (fiscal) ). The number is unique. However, initially it was issued by regionally operating branches of the tax department which were all assigned ranges; in densely populated areas the assigned ranges would overflow thus causing duplicate numbers. This mistake was corrected during the transition from SOFI to BSN by issuing a new number to people having a duplicate one. The number does not contain any information about the person to whom it is assigned (i.e. no information, such as gender or date of birth, can be derived from a BSN).


Main article: PESEL

In Poland, a Public Electronic Census System (Polish Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności – PESEL) number is mandatory for all permanent residents of Poland and for temporary residents living in Poland for over 2 months. It has the form YYMMDDZZZXQ, where YYMMDD is the date of birth (with century encoded in month field), ZZZ is the personal identification number, X denotes sex (even for females, odd for males) and Q is a parity number.


Serbia uses a 13-number identification code Unique Master Citizen Number (Serbian: Јединствени матични број грађана/Jedinstveni matični broj građana, acronym JMBG).

United Kingdom

There is no legal requirement in UK to obtain or carry any identification document or other proof of identity, however some form of identification is required for many things like renting a flat.[48]

National Insurance number, generally called an NI Number (NINO), is used to administer state benefits, but has not gained the ubiquity of its US equivalent, and is not considered proof of identity. As it is the only number that is unique to each individual, does not change during the course of the person’s lifetime, and is issued to virtually every adult throughout the UK, it is used by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to track individuals for income tax purposes. The number is stylised as LL NN NN NN L, for example AA 01 23 44 B.

Each baby born in the England and Wales is issued a National Health Service number, taking the form NNN-NNN-NNNN, for example 122-762-9257 (the last number being a check digit[49]). They were formerly of the style “LLLNNL NNN”, for example KWB91M 342, which continued patterns used in World War II identity cards. However, due to the decentralized nature of local NHS organizations issuing the numbers, some patients have been allocated several numbers, the ratio is more often more (one person:many numbers) than (one person:one number). The National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT) has also shown that one person can have many numbers, although measures are being undertaken to fix duplicates in the data.[50]

Babies born in Scotland are issued a CHI (Community Health Index) number, taking the form DDMMYY-NNNN, with the DDMMYY representing their date of birth and a four digit unique number thereafter (e.g. someone born on 1 January 2010, would have the number 010110-NNNN, with the four digit number allocated upon entering newborn details on to the local health board’s patient administration system). The second last N is even for females and odd for males.

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