The Swedish personal identity number

We continue our blog entries this week with some information regarding the Swedish personal identity number (personnummer), a key concept in the Swedish society and a must-have if you want to function in Sweden.

First of all, the national identification number was introduced in the late 1940s. And the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) is the institution which assigns it for everyone. The magic number is formed by the year of your birth (or its last two digits), followed by the month and day, each with two digits and ending with other four digits assigned randomly in order to validate a specific algorithm. Therefore, a such number can can look like: 19890102-3286 or 890102-3286.

In order to be able to properly live in Sweden, you’ll need to have a personnummer. It’s usually given to foreigners if they come to Sweden for studies for a longer period of time or to work. But there are many different cases and if you want to read even more about it, visit the Swedish Tax Agency.

Now, what makes this number so important? There are a couple of reasons. You will absolutely need it if you want to open a bank account, buy gym membership or get a library card, for example. Also, it’s needed if you want to register as a job seeker or to make a doctor appointment. These are just standard examples, but you can see its use at almost any registration you want to make (card membership for a sport organization, language courses, membership cards at various stores and so on).

Text: Ionut @ stoRy touRs
Photo: Hangsna/Wikipedia

P.S. Some universities are giving out temporary numbers for internal use only to incoming students. In this case the last four digits start with a T, followed by three random digits.