PESEL number, what is it and how to get it?

Without a doubt, while in Poland, you have either already been asked for a PESEL number or you will be asked. This number is required in some offices and institutions as well as in everyday life – for example when visiting a doctor. You are probably wondering what a PESEL number is and how to get it. If you want to find out, please read the article below.

What is a PESEL number?

The PESEL number (Polish acronym for „Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population”) is an identification number that allows the identification of the person to whom it is assigned. The identification number consists of eleven digits and includes:

  • Date of birth,
  • Order number,
  • Gender designation,
  • Check number.

Importantly, PESEL numbers are unique – each person has their own PESEL number, which is not unique in combination.

In what situations may the PESEL number prove to be useful?

The PESEL number is used in contacts with various institutions and in legal circulation. Below is a list of matters where PESEL is necessary:

  • official matters, e.g. marriage, court and inheritance matters;
  • tax returns of people who do not run a business;
  • financial services, such as opening a bank account or taking out a loan;
  • employment under an employment / mandate contract;
  • starting your business,
  • usage of medical care services.

How to get a PESEL number?

The PESEL number can be obtained on request, indicating the legal basis (which implies the obligation to have this number). The application is submitted to the municipal or city office competent for the place of residence. If you do not have a place of residence, such an application should be submitted to the office where the employer’s seat is located.

In the case of people who register their stay for more than 30 days, they receive a PESEL number automatically. However, if you cannot register your residence, but you need the PESEL, you shall:

  1. Fill in the application that can be found on the website: Portal ( and submit it in person or through an attorney in the municipality office;
  2. Provide an identity document or another document that will confirm the data entered in the application.

If the application is incomplete for any reason, you will be asked to complete it.

How much will I pay for the PESEL I have received?

The service of both submitting the application and receiving it is free of charge.

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