How to obtain Polish personal identification number?

Polish personal identification number (PESEL) is a numeric symbol that allows to identify a person. It can facilitate numerous issues like gaining medical support, entering bank account, dealing with administrative matters. In this article we shortly describe how to get it.

PESEL for foreigners – a registration of residence

The first way to have PESEL is getting a registration of residence (in Polish: zameldowanie). The registration of residence certifies that a person stays at the specific address. There are two types of residence: temporary or permanent. No matter which of them you receive, you will be given PESEL automatically (without additional formalities).

To get the registration of residence it is necessary to undergo the administrative procedure. Its shape is similar regardless if you want to receive registration of temporary or permanent residence. The procedure starts at your motion which should be issued in a commune office (in Polish: urząd gminy) in the place where you want to register. The procedure requires you to:

  1. submit a form available at: – for a temporary residence or – for a permanent residence;
  2. obtain and submit the consent of the person entitled to the premises in which you intend to reside;
  3. show the legal title to the premises (for instance an excerpt from the land and mortgage register);
  4. show a valid travel document (for instance a passport);
  5. show a document legalising your stay in Poland.

In typical situation an official will register your residence and give you the certificate immediately after receiving your motion. The procedure is free of charge.

PESEL for foreigners – an application

The other way to obtain PESEL by a foreigner is submitting a PESEL application. In this situation you need to prove that you have a specific legal duty to possess PESEL.

You can submit the application to any commune office on the form available at:

In the application you should determine the legal basis on which you want to gain PESEL. It can be for instance:

  1. Article 3 section 1 of the act on 13 October 1995 on rules governing registration and identification of taxpayers – for people who may have tax or social insurance obligation in Poland (for instance they plan to start business activity in Poland);
  2. § 4 section 2 and appendix 1 of the regulation of Ministry of Digitization on 29 June 2020 on a trusted profile and trusted signature – for people who want to gain the trusted profile.

The trusted profile is a method of confirmation of identity in electronic administration systems. It allows you to deal with administration matters online.

Issuing PESEL number is free of charge.  

The PESEL application is by far easier way to obtain PESEL, since it does not require meeting conditions for receiving the registration of residence. It means that you can get PESEL even if you do not have a residence or your long-term stay in Poland is not legalized yet.    

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