Registration / BSN

BSN number - registration in Netherlands

How can I get my BSN number/register in the Netherlands?

Expats who arrive in the Netherlands will need to acquire a BSN or (Burger Service Number/Citizen Service Number). Something that I thankfully didn’t have to go through, since Dutch citizens get it from birth. Try to get your BSN as soon as possible once you are in the Netherlands. You can even arrange the appointment before you arrive so that once you’re here, you’ve don’t have to the being your wait. You’ll need it for a lot of things like opening a bank account, get a working permit/visa, make use of the healthcare in the Netherlands. Maybe good to mention as well, sometimes there is referred to as 'Sofinummer', which is exactly the same thing.

How long are you staying in the Netherlands? 

Less than 4 months

If you are staying for less than 4 months in the Netherlands you are referred to as a 'non-resident'. You must register at a municipal that has a special registration facility. At the website of the Belastingdienst (tax authorities), you can see where you can register.

More than 4 months

You must register as a resident with the municipality you live in if you are staying for 4 months or longer in the Netherlands.

You have to do this within 5 days after you arrived in the Netherlands.

If your partner and/or children are staying in the Netherlands too, they have to register as well. Besides from your registration you also need to apply for the relevant residency permit or working permit.

How to apply for your BSN?

To apply for your BSN number, you have to go to the municipal you live in or, as a 'non-resident' to one of the list.

1. Make sure you can register your home address

If you are renting an apartment it is important that you can register at this address. Sometimes owners don't allow this since additional taxes have to be paid. If you can't register at the address you live at, it is unwise to rent this apartment.

If you don't have a home address yet, you can register with a correspondence address, for instance, your work address. For more information see the website of the Dutch Government.

2. Make an appointment & visit your municipality

Please check the opening hours of your municipal online and make an appointment, often they are only open during office hours.

To make sure that you can visit your municipality at a convenient time just after you arrived in the Netherlands. I would recommend scheduling an appointment before you leave your current residence.

3. Documents to bring

When making the appointment your municipality will tell you exactly which documents to bring, often it are:
- Your rental agreement
- Your passport/ID card (driving license is not allowed)
- Your residence permit and/or visa
- A copy of your birth certificate
- A copy marriage certificate, divorce or registered partnership (if applicable)

4. Receiving your BSN

After the registration is done, the BSN will be mailed to the home address.

Please note

The way of application may slightly differ per municipality.

Cost involved

It is free to acquire your BSN through your local municipality. However, if you make use of special services like IN Amsterdam, you have to pay the requisite service fees.

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