What is PESEL and what does it cost?
The PESEL* national identification number is mandatory for all permanent residents of Poland. It always has 11 numbers, identifies just one, unique person. If you are from the UK then think of it as your national insurance number or if you’re from Spain think of it as your Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE)
*(Polish Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności, Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population)
Where do I need it?
You will need it to get your public insurance, sign an agreement with internet or phone provider or any other kind of service, to buy something on installments, to get a medicine prescription. You will need it for your TAX declaration if you are hired in polish company. It is needed widely from governmental offices,hospitals, banks and work places.
How much does it cost?
Great news! It is free of charge and this includes the whole process of applying and receiving your PESEL.
Where do I apply?
City council office closest to the place of your residence (urząd gminy).
Some of the closest to the Palace of science and culture which is one of the most central and easily located buildings:
Nowogrodzka 43, 00-691, Warszawa (750m)
Marszałkowska 77/79, 00-001, Warszawa (1.1km)
Sienna 76, 00-001, Warszawa (1.2km)
What do I need with me?
Passport, temporary or permanent stay permit and apartment/house lease to register your place of residence.
When you are registering your place of residence in the city council office simply tell them you will need PESEL number and they will automatically apply. You will be given small document proving that you are waiting for your PESEL numer which you will need to pic kit up when its ready but it may be useful in the situation you need it. Sometimes just a proof of application is enough to already sign documents.
What is your reason for applying?
When you’re applying for your PESEL you will be asked this question:
You can not just write a personal reason such as ‘for work, for tax or for medical reasons’. You must write down a legal regulation that relates to your needs.
Here is an example of a commonly used legal reason for applying for a PESEL
ART. 31A UST. 3, PKT. 4 ORAZ UST. 4 PKT. 3 USTAWY O EWIDENCJI LUDNOŚCI I DOWODACH OSOBISTYCH (DZ. U. Z 2006R. NR 139, POZ. 993 Z PÓŹN. ZM.)
This translates to wanting to be on the population record. Your needs might be different and we always recommend seeking legal advice from a professional.
What are requirements to apply?
First thing is getting a residence permit for a certain period of time and the second one is registering your place of residence (zameldowanie).
PESEL number is given automatically after registering your place of residence and it doesn’t require any filling of forms or any other bureaucracy.
It takes up to 4 weeks for the City Council to give you the PESEL, but usually it takes much less so even after 1 week its worth to check with the office if its ready.