The personal identity code

The personal identity code is a means of identification that is more specific than a name. Several people may have the exact same name but there are no two persons with exactly the same personal identity code. A personal identity code is meant to be permanent. Personal identity codes were introduced in Finland in the 1960s.

The personal identity code is used to identify persons in the registers and information systems of different authorities as well as in data communication between them.

In some situations private sector actors such as banks, insurance companies, and private healthcare service providers may need your personal identity code to ensure that information is registered for the correct person. In many instances, you can get services with just your name.

A personal identity code is issued to a person who is registered in Finland’s Population Information System. 

Parents of newborn children born in Finland need not take any measures to obtain a personal identity code for the child. The hospital provides the necessary details of all births to the Population Information System, and when the child’s birth is registered, a personal identity code is issued for him or her. 

Finnish citizens born abroad are issued a personal identity code when the parents of the child have issued a request to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, which then registers the child in the Population Information System. 

Children adopted from abroad are generally issued a personal identity code after their arrival in Finland. When the child is adopted from certain countries, however, the personal identity code is issued before the arrival.

A personal identity code is issued to a foreign citizen moving to Finland from abroad, when they have been registered in the Population Information System at their own request or at the time they are granted a residence permit.

A personal identity code is meant to be permanent. It can only be changed, if a person’s date of birth or gender has been incorrect or if the person has been legally confirmed to have changed. Additionally, in very exceptional cases, a new identity code can be issued to protect a person, if there is a threat to their health or safety or if another person has repeatedly misused a person’s original code.

Please note! The personal identity code will be reformed. No changes will be made to the current personal identity codes. Additional information on the reform can be found on the page Reform of personal identity codes.

Frequently asked questions