Reform of the separators in the personal identity code

Previously, there was a very limited number of personal identity codes available for each birth date and gender, as before 2023, the separator in the personal identity code was not considered a distinguishing character when issuing codes. In other words, the same individual numbers assigned in previous centuries were not given to those born on the same day in later centuries.

The separator of the personal identity code became distinguishing in 2023. At the same time, it became possible to start using new separator letters in addition to the previous ones, one by one as the previous ranges for those born in the 1900s and 2000s run out. The new separators ensured that there are enough personal identity codes. 

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency has implemented the reform in the Agency’s own services, which are also widely used by other organisations. Still, the reform also requires action from other organisations whose systems make use of personal identity codes.

The reform requires no actions from private individuals. The current personal identity codes remain unchanged.  

New separators ensure that there will be enough personal identity codes 

A personal identity code consists of a date of birth, an individual number and a control character. The individual number helps distinguish persons with the same date of birth.

To provide the individual number, the Population Information System records the individual’s gender as either male or female. The individual number consists of a separator and a three-digit number, which is odd for males and even for females.

New separators have been introduced to ensure there are enough personal identity codes. After the introduction of these new separators, the personal identity code is no longer unique if disregarding the separator. Until 2023, the separator could be ignored, but this can no longer be done. For example, the hypothetical personal identity codes 100190-999P and 100190Y999P would be for different persons, which means the separator could, in some cases, be the only difference between two identity codes.

Separators used in personal identity codes: 

  • for those born in or after 2000, letters A, B, C, D, E, F.
  • for those born in the 1900s, the current hyphen (-) or the letters Y, X, W, V, U.
  • for those born in the 19th century, a plus sign (+). 

Test the new personal identity codes in your system

This Excel table contains hypothetical individuals that have the new types of intermediate characters. You can use the material to test how the new personal identity codes work in your system.


An amendment to section 2 of the Decree on the Population Information System (128/2010) enabling new separators entered into force on 1 January 2023. 

Act on the Population Information System and Certificate Services Provided by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency (in Finnish) 

Decree on the Population Information System (in Finnish)

Previously, there were preparations for making the personal identity code gender-neutral, allowing remote registration and introducing a new identification code. These reforms did not progress. 

Further information

Questions regarding the new separators: hetu-uudistus(a)

Contact information for DVV services

General information about the personal identity code

Frequently asked questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about personal identity codes.