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Your adventure in Rotterdam starts with your Burger Service Nummer or Citizen Service
Number. The BSN is a personal identification code for every resident in The Netherlands and
contains information that is shared between public authorities.

How to apply for a BSN

In order to apply for registration in the Municipal Personal Records Database you can register at the municipality in Rotterdam with a valid passport if your nationality is from outside of the EU, for EU citizens any valid national identification document will be accepted. For people without EU citizenship the residence permit will have to be approved by the the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service) before the BSN can be issued. If you are a highly skilled migrant you can send an email to and make an appointment for registration. If you do not possess this status you can contact the municipality online or by calling +31 (0)10 2001 100.

Where can I use my BSN?

Many government agencies share your BSN information which makes it easier to deal with different departments. A valid BSN is important for an employer in order to provide you with your salary for instance, you will also need it to open a bank account, for health services and many other simple tasks like a phone plan application. If you will stay in The Netherlands for a minimum of four months you must register, and also for shorter periods if you will work or study here. If family members join you they will also have to register if they stay for longer than four months.

How long will it take to apply for the BSN?

High skilled migrants will receive their BSN immediately, other applicants will have to wait for about ten days. You can schedule an appointment for application in advance, there are no charges applicable for registration.