What is a BSN?
The Burgerservicenummer (BSN) is a unique personal number issued to everyone registered with the Basisregistratie Personen, the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).
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?
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen and are planning to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 4 months then you have to register at the Immigration Office. You will then be registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).
If you are coming from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland to live in the Netherlands for longer than 4 months then you have applied for a residence permit from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) and you need to register in the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP).
A child born in the Netherlands receives a BSN when his birth is registered with the BRP (from the municipality in which the family lives).
BRP registration is provided free of charge. The fees for a residence permit can be found on the website of the IND. Your BRP registration will be processed on the spot and you will receive your citizens service number (BSN) immediately.
You can find more information about the BSN and making an appointment to register with the Municipal Personal Records Database on the website of the City of The Hague: Registration procedures EU/EEA or Swiss citizens and Registration procedures for non-EU citizens with residence permit.
For other cities please see: Expat centres in your area.
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).