What is a BSN?
The Burgerservicenummer (BSN) is a unique personal number issued to everyone registered with the Gemeentelijke Basisadministratie persoonsgegevens (GBA), or the Personal Records Database of the municipality. The BSN was formerly known as the Social-Fiscal (SOFI) Number.
Government authorities use the BSN to correspond with citizens and exchange personal information with other (government) agencies, when legally permitted; for example, between the municipality and the Inland Revenue Department (Belastingdienst). The BSN is an important tool for improving government services.
The BSN is required for starting a job in the Netherlands, opening a bank account, using the health care system, applying for benefits, buying a car and announcing a change of address, to name a few examples.
The BSN is also being used to combat identity fraud and misspelled names.
How do I get a BSN?
A child born in the Netherlands receives a BSN when his birth is registered with the GBA (from the municipality in which the family lives). SOFI numbers have been converted into the Burgerservicenummer. If you are moving to the Netherlands from abroad, you will need to register with the municipality at the Immigration Office. The Immigration Office will issue you your new BSN within 2 to 4 weeks.
You can direct any questions you may have about the Burgerservicenummer to the national information line at tel. (088) 900 10 10 or by checking the website at www.burgerservicenummer.nl (in Dutch).