DigiD: 3 Quick Steps To Set It Up
First of all, what on Earth is a DigiD? This method of identification in the Netherlands is complicated even for locals. I totally understand if looking into it has made you a little nervous. I am here to change that, so let’s take a look at it together:
The DigiD is short for Digital Identification. So far, so good. It gets complicated when you realize that it is a bit like a digital passport that you cannot use to identify yourself with, but instead, you’ll use it to gain access to certain services. Some of these include the Dutch Tax Office, Health Insurance providers, study institutions (universities), applying for grants (like rent allowance) and many more. Essentially, you truly need it if you’re living in the Netherlands.
It is made up of a username and password, which are connected to your BSN (you can learn more about what this is here). Logging in usually requires either an additional code (which gets sent to your cell phone) or scanning a QR code with the DigiD (which was recently introduced). All of these steps may seem complicated, but they are just to insure extra security.
So, how do you set it up?
1) Go to the DigiD website
When you get to this page, select “Apply for your DigiD”.
2) Fill in your personal information
After pressing “Apply for your DigiD” you will be faced with the form below. Fill in all the details and when you are done, press “volgende” (next). The form is in Dutch, so here are some translations to help you out:
- “Burgerservicenummer” → Dutch Identification Number (BSN)
- “Geboortedatum” → Date of Birth
- “Postcode” → Postal Code
- “Huisnummer en toevoeging” → House number and additions
In the following pages, you will be able to select a username and password, as well as filling in your phone number for extra security. You will need your username and password very frequently, both for accessing DigiD but also other services. Make sure you write these down and keep them safe. If you forget your password, the only way to reset it is by waiting for a letter in the mail, which takes a long time.
3) Activate your phone number & e-mail and wait for your activation code to arrive in the mail
Immediately after filling in the form you will be sent a confirmation link to your email and a verification code to your phone number (if you selected this option, which I highly recommend). Confirm you received these so that these get activated.
You will have to wait 5 business days for an activation code to arrive by (snail) mail to the address you provided. Once you receive it, you can activate it on the website using your username and password here.
Once again (unfortunately) the form is in Dutch, so here are some translations to help you out:
- “Activeren” → Activate
- “Gebruikersnaam” → Username
- “Wachtwoord” → Password
- “Activeringscode” → Activation Code
- “Transactiecode” → Transaction Code (provided via SMS if you enabled this option)
And you’re set!
Remember to keep your username and password both handy and safe (so that you have access to it but no one else does!). If you run into any problems throughout the set up you can always email DigiD at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 088-123 6555 (they are open from 8am-10pm, Monday to Friday).