Leiden Expat Center


Burger Service Nummer / Personal Public Service Number (BSN)

If you are coming to the Netherlands to work or to study, you will need a Burgerservicenummer (BSN). The Burgerservicenummer is a unique personal number, which you get when you register with a Dutch municipality.

You will need a BSN to arrange all your affairs with Dutch government agencies.
The BSN is required for starting a job in the Netherlands, enrolling in an educational programme, opening a bank account, using the health care system, applying for benefits and paying taxes, to name a few examples.

There are two ways to register in the Netherlands, depending on your situation.

If you are visiting the Netherlands from abroad to work or study and you will be staying less than 4 months, and you have to arrange any affairs with Dutch government agencies, you will still need a Burgerservicenummer. To register and arrange a BSN you can contact the Municipality of Leiden or one of 17 other selected municipalities. These are: Alkmaar, Almelo, Amsterdam, Breda, Doetinchem, Eindhoven, Groningen, Goes, Heerlen, Leeuwarden, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, The Hague, Utrecht, Venlo and Zwolle. Read more under Registration procedures for non-residents of the Netherlands (Registratie niet-ingezetenen, RNI).

* As of 6 January 2014, short stay migrants will no longer be required to request a social security number from the Belastingdienst.

Are you staying in the Netherlands longer than 4 months? Then you need to register with the municipality where you live or are going to live. You will receive a BSN number after registering with your municipality. The BSN number is stated on the summary of personal details which you will receive by post a number of weeks after your registration.