Reform of personal identity codes

Personal identity codes are being reformed. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency is responsible for implementing the changes in the agency’s services, which are also widely used by other organisations. The reform also requires action from other organisations whose systems make use of personal identity codes.

The changes do not require any action from private individuals. Currently valid personal identity codes will not be voided, which means that the personal identity codes that have already been granted will remain unchanged.

Why are personal identity codes being reformed?

In the current personal identity code model, each day has a limited number of codes, and now the number of identity codes is running low for some days. In other words, the most urgent reform needs of the personal identity code system are related to ensuring that there is a sufficient number of personal identity codes available. No changes will be made to the current personal identity codes.

In the later stages of the reform, an identifier will be introduced for use alongside the personal identity code, and the gender identifier will be removed from the new personal identity codes. In addition, the option of remote registration will be introduced for those who move to Finland from abroad because of work or studies.

The reform

  • ensures a sufficient number of personal identity codes
  • facilitates the use of Finnish services by foreigners
  • enables the use of the new identifier
  • improves equality by removing gender information from new personal identity codes

Legislation and timetable

The implementation of the reform will require legislative changes and this legislation will determine the timetable.

  • The Government decree on new intermediate characters enters into force on 1 January 2023.
  • A bill was submitted to Parliament on 15 September 2022.
    • According to the bill, 1 September 2023 would be the date when the Act enters into force and the use of remote registration and identifiers is introduced in the Population Information System.
    • The bill proposes that the amendments concerning gender-neutral personal identity codes would enter into force on 1 January 2027.

Sufficiency of available personal identity codes ensured by new intermediate characters

A personal identity code consists of a date of birth, an identification number and a control character. The identification number serves to distinguish persons with the same date of birth. In order to provide the identification number, the Population Information System records the individual’s gender as either male or female. The identification number consists of an intermediate character and a three-digit number, which is odd for males and even for females.

The sufficient availability of personal identity codes will be ensured by introducing new intermediate characters. After the introduction of these new intermediate characters, the personal identity code will no longer be unique if it does not include the intermediate character. In the past, systems have been able to ignore the intermediate character, but after the introduction of new intermediate characters, this will no longer be the case. For example, the hypothetical personal identity codes 100190-999P and 100190Y999P would the present different persons – the intermediate character could therefore, in some cases, be the only difference between two identity codes.

Following the reform, the intermediate character used will be

  • For those born in or after 2000, the current A or the new B, C, D, E, F.
  • For those born in the 20th century, the current hyphen (-) or the new letters Y, X, W, V, U.
  • For those born in the 19th century, the current plus sign (+) – no new intermediate characters will be introduced for such cases.

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.

DVV’s estimation of the timetable for the introduction of new intermediate characters

Situation as of 11/2022: According to the current estimate, personal identity codes with intermediate characters in line with the new intermediate character decree will be issued for the first time in October 2024.

This estimate is based on the average number of personal identity codes issued in 2016–2021 and an assessment of future needs. If the need for personal identity codes increases, for example, due to persons moving to Finland for work, the new intermediate characters may be introduced sooner.

Remote registration

According to the bill, remote registration will be introduced in the Population Information System on 1 September 2023 as follows.

Remote registration means that a person considering moving to Finland can independently register their data in the Population Information System and obtain a Finnish personal identity code even before entering Finland. Remote registration is done in a mobile application (Suomi.fi Wallet) using the transaction ID for foreigners, which is being developed by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency as part of the digital identity reform.

The identity of the person registering is verified automatically in the remote registration procedure using their passport chip and facial recognition software.

Organisations must make changes to their data permit in order to be able to integrate remote registration into their own information systems. The data is accompanied by a new method of identification, which can be used to distinguish between remotely registered persons and those identified in some other way. If the organisation does not need remote registration data, it also does not need to modify its data permit.

Test searching for remotely registered persons in the Population Information System

Starting Autumn 2022, organizational customers can test the retrieval of information regarding remotely registered persons from the Population Information System.

Identifiers

According to the bill, identifiers would be introduced in the Population Information System on 1 September 2023 as follows.

The new identifier will be an identification code that is completely separate from personal data, and so could not be used, for example, to determine the age of the person. The new identifier will be added to the Population Information System for each person with a Finnish personal identity code. It will be 11 characters long.

The new unique identifier will not replace the personal identity code. Companies, organisations and authorities that do not want to or cannot process personal identity codes, for example for data protection reasons, may opt to use the identifier as a unique ID code for employees or customers.

Use of the identifier is voluntary for all organisations

Using the identifier is voluntary for all organisations. As a result, only organisations that decide to introduce the use of the identifier will incur costs. The costs are mainly incurred from system updates. Each organisation decides on its own timetable for introducing the identifier.

Organisations that decide not to use the new identifier will continue to use the personal identity code as now.

The new personal identity code does not indicate gender

According to the bill, a person’s gender could no longer be deduced from the identification number of their personal identity code for new personal identity codes issued from 1 January 2027 onwards. In the personal identity code, the individual number is the three-digit number following the intermediate character, which is currently an even number for women and an odd number for men. For personal identity codes issued after the change, the number would be random. The current personal identity codes will not change.

Further information on the reform

For general questions related to the personal identity code reforms, contact [email protected]

Information events on the reform of personal identity codes are being held regularly. The date of the next information event and the registration link are published on the events page at dvv.fi.

General information on the reform can be found on the website of the Ministry of Finance . Information on the ongoing project at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency can be found on the project page at dvv.fi..

Frequently asked questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the redesign of the system of personal identity codes. You can also find more questions and answers on the topic on the Ministry of Finance's website.