PESEL used in Poland as an identification number for each person registered in the country. The register is used to collect basic information identifying the identity and administrative and legal status of Polish citizens and foreigners residing in the territory of the Republic of Poland. All Polish citizens, as well as some foreigners, must have a number.

What is and why is it needed?

The PESEL is an abbreviation of “Basic Electronic Population Registration System”. PESEL is a unique identifier that is assigned to each natural person residing in the country. The number is an 11-digit numeric identifier uniquely identifying a specific natural person. Polish PESEL is needed for many activities, such as opening a bank account, obtaining medical care or settling taxes.

Since when have PESEL numbers been issued in Poland?

PESEL was introduced in Poland in 1979 as a unique identifier of a natural person. The number itself allows you to determine the date of birth and gender of a given person. It also contains a unique string of numbers, which allows you to uniquely identify each person in the country.

Where is the PESEL number on the ID and residence card?

The PESEL number is on the ID card, which is one of the most important identity documents in Poland. On the new ID cards, it’s at the top of the second page, to the left of the barcode. We will also find it on the residence card, also on the second page of the document, this time on the left side in the middle.

The PESEL number is on the ID card - MAGFIN

What data is included in the register?

The PESEL register is a collection of basic personal data of citizens. Each person residing in Poland has their own unique PESEL number, which contains a lot of information about their life.

The register includes such data as:

  • name and surname,
  • date and place of birth,
  • gender,
  • citizenship,
  • address of residence,
  • information about parents and spouse (if any),
  • as well as information about employment and health insurance.

An important aspect of the PESEL register is the protection of privacy. Personal data is protected by the Personal Data Protection Act and may be disclosed only in exceptional cases, such as performance of official duties by state authorities.

Legal basis and application for foreigners

The legal basis for obtaining a PESEL number by foreigners results from the Act on population records and identity cards. According to the provisions of this Act, foreigners who have obtained a temporary residence permit in Poland have the right to receive a PESEL number. If a foreigner who lives in Poland registers for a stay of more than 30 days, he will automatically receive a PESEL number. If he cannot check in and some office requires a number, an application for a PESEL number should be submitted along with the legal basis provided by this office.

There are also other grounds under which a foreigner may apply for a PESEL number. For example, during the period of the special act introduced in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Ukrainian citizens who meet certain criteria may receive a PESEL number with UKR status.

The PESEL number for a foreigner’s child is also very important. Because having a PESEL number enables the use of medical care, education and other public services. In the case of children of foreigners who were born in Poland, it is mandatory to provide a PESEL number.

Let us explain at the beginning that a foreigner who was not born in Poland  does not have to have a PESEL number.  Only those born in Poland receive it automatically ex officio, like every Pole. 

However, without a PESEL number:

it is not possible to access certain benefits or obtain certificates and settlements from the Tax Office (Tax Office) or ZUS (Social Insurance Institution). In addition, you cannot run a business or deal with offices electronically using a Trusted Profile, the establishment of which also requires a number.

There are also special cases. For example, under a special act, citizens of Ukraine who receive a PESEL number may become beneficiaries of the 500+ programme. They are also entitled to the Good Start benefit, Family Care Capital or co-financing the fee for a child’s stay in a nursery. PESEL may also be necessary when the entry of a Ukrainian citizen to Poland was not registered by the Border Guard during border control.

Assigning a PESEL number will facilitate the settlement of many official matters in Poland.

Not every foreigner knows that it is necessary to assign a PESEL number to those working in Poland.

PESEL is necessary, among others, for settlements with the Tax Office. We will be happy to help you obtain a PESEL number .

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How to get a number? 

This question is asked by many people, especially those who have just arrived in Poland.

The application must be submitted to the office of the commune. Where the temporary place of residence is registered. And in the absence of a place of residence, to the office of the commune where the employer is located.

A person or his legal representative submits a reasoned written application to the competent authority along with documents confirming the data specified in the application (for example, a passport). The application must state the factual legal basis from which the obligation to hold a PESEL number arises. In the event that an office (for example: ZUS or Tax Office) requires providing a PESEL number, it should also indicate the legal provision from which the obligation to have this number arises

Can I change my number?

Pursuant to the applicable regulations, changing the PESEL number is possible only in exceptional situations, for example in the event of a mistake in the original assignment of the number.

Who does not have a PESEL number?

A PESEL number is not required for persons who do not have Polish citizenship or do not have a permanent place of residence in Poland.

How long does it take to obtain a number?

The process of assigning a PESEL number may take from several days to several weeks, depending on the workload at the office.

The official will accept your application right away. If there is a basis for assigning a number – after considering the case, you will receive a notification about assigning a PESEL number.

Where to get a number?

PESEL can be obtained at the commune office in the place of residence.

What is the new number?

The new PESEL number is a number assigned to people who do not have this document yet or it is necessary to change the number for various reasons.

How to change the PESEL number?

As we have already mentioned, changing the PESEL number is possible only in exceptional situations. In this case, we recommend contacting the MAGFIN office for detailed information on the procedure.

How to get PESEL for a foreigner without a registration?

In the case of foreigners unable to register in Poland for a sufficient period, the process of obtaining a PESEL number is a bit more complicated. It may be necessary to show additional documents, e.g. a work permit, residence card or contract.

What are the requirements for obtaining a PESEL number?

The required documents depend on the individual situation, but usually you will need: an identity card or passport, a document confirming the place of residence and any additional documents.

It is worth remembering that having a PESEL number is necessary in many life situations, such as applying for an ID card, passport, obtaining a loan or opening a bank account.

Therefore, it is worth remembering that each of us should take care of our personal data and their security in order to avoid unpleasant situations related to their illegal use.

PESEL number for a citizen of Ukraine

The PESEL number for a citizen of Ukraine is used, among others, to to register legal residence in Poland. The identification number with the note UKR (also referred to as PESEL UKR) enables a citizen of Ukraine to use the benefits provided under the Ukrainian special act. Number is also necessary for establishing and running a business by a citizen of Ukraine. In addition, it is easier to employ a Ukrainian with a number.

It is worth noting that at the time of submitting the application, a citizen of Ukraine must provide fingerprints. This obligation does not apply to children under the age of 12 and persons who are physically unable to provide fingerprints.

The Act on assistance to Ukrainian citizens

On January 28, 2023, the Act amending the Act on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with the armed conflict in the territory of this state and certain other acts entered into force (Journal of Laws, item 185). Its provisions regulate, among other things, issues regarding the rules of residence of Ukrainian citizens in Poland. The amendment to the Act introduces to Art. 4 regulating the assignment of a PESEL number to a Ukrainian citizen whose stay in Poland is legal and the deadline for submitting an application in this matter. According to the wording of art. 4 sec. 2 of the Special Act, this application must be submitted within 30 days from the date of arrival on the territory of Poland.

Official fees

The service is free.

How can we help

Obtaining a PESEL number is very important because it is necessary in many situations, such as buying real estate, opening a bank account, obtaining insurance or settling taxes. If you are looking for experts in obtaining a PESEL number, it is worth turning to MAGFIN for help.

MAGFIN is a professional company that offers comprehensive assistance in obtaining a PESEL number in Poland. Our company deals with the entire process from submitting the application to obtaining the number itself. If you do not want to waste time and nerves on misunderstandings related to obtaining a PESEL number, it is worth using the services of the MAGFIN office.

If you want to obtain a PESEL number and need professional help in this regard, contact MAGFIN today. Our experts will help you at every stage of obtaining a PESEL number so that you can take advantage of all the opportunities offered by living in Poland. Don’t wait, call now.

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