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Registration of foreigners - frequently asked questions

How does the registration take place?

Report to your local register office. Bring your passport and a valid residence permit with you. Other documents needed for the registration include a certificate of marriage if you are married and the birth certificates of any children you might have. Fill out and sign the form entitled the Registration Information on a Foreigner at the local register office. Remember to always make an official change of address notification every time you move. If you are moving from another Nordic country, you must present an Inter-Nordic Migration Form. Citizens of other Nordic countries are not required to report to the local register office.

What does the registration mean?

The basic information on people residing in Finland is recorded in the Population Information System. Registered information includes name, date of birth, nationality, familial relationships and address. A Finnish home municipality is registered for a foreigner who has moved to Finland if he or she plans to remain in Finland and has a residence permit for at least the period of one year. Citizens of Nordic countries do not need to have a residence permit. Under the law, a foreigner is required to submit the same information for registration as a Finnish citizen if he or she resides in Finland for at least one year. The registration takes place at a local register office. Registered information is used, amongst other things, in the organisation of elections, for taxation, health care, judicial administration and statistical purposes.


What is an identity number?

The identity number is a means of identification that distinguishes us from one another even more specifically than our names. Many people share exactly the same name, but no two people share the same identity number. A person's identity number remains unchanged throughout his or her entire lifetime. An individual can be identified anywhere necessary despite any possible changes to his or her name. The identity number has been in use in Finland for over 25 years. An identity number is required, for example, when applying for pension and other benefits. The identity number is always required when handling business at a bank, for example when opening a bank account. It is also necessary in the paying of salaries and fees as it ensures that the money indeed goes to the right person.

The identity number is assigned upon the registration of a baby's birth or, in the case of foreigners, when they are registered in the Population Information System. An individual can only have one identity number. Those entitled to receive an identity number are citizens of Finland born either in Finland or abroad, who receive the number on the basis of their birth certificate, as well as a foreign national residing in Finland either permanently or for a period of at least one year. A person residing temporarily in Finland can be assigned an identity number, and in certain cases their relatives living abroad can also be assigned an identity number.

Date of birth individual number control sign
131052 308 T



Maija Mäkinotkelma's identity number is 131052-308T, of which her date of birth includes the day, month and year of her birth. The character following her date of birth indicates the century in which she was born. In Maija's case it is a hyphen (-), because she was born in the 1900s. For those born in the 1800s it is a plus sign (+), and for those born after 2000 it is an A. The individual number, 308 in Maija's case, distinguishes people with the same birthday. The individual numbers assigned to men and boys are odd numbers, while those assigned to women and girls are even. The control sign is either a number or a letter, for Maija it is the letter "T". It is calculated by dividing the nine-digit number formed from the date of birth and the individual number by 31, after which the control sign is defined according to the remainder as follows:


Control Signs

0 0 11 B 21 N
1 1 12 C 22 P
2 2 13 D 23 R
3 3 14 E 24 S
4 4 15 F 25 T
5 5 16 H 26 U
6 6 17 J 27 V
7 7 18 K 28 W
8 8 19 L 29 X
9 9 9 M 30 Y
10 A