Citizen service number

What is a citizen service number?

A citizen service number, often referred to as BSN (burgerservicenummer), is a unique personal registration number held by every citizen in the Netherlands. Anyone born in the Netherlands receives one automatically. When relocating to the Netherlands and staying for longer than four months, you need to apply for a BSN as soon as you arrive.

A BSN is the first step towards opening a bank account, working, applying for benefits, filing your taxes, making use of the healthcare system and so on. The government uses the number to communicate with citizens and exchange personal information quickly with other official agencies.

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How to obtain a citizen service number

You must register with your local municipality (for short or long stays) to obtain a citizen service number. Read more on how to register with your municipality in our section on registration procedures.