Understanding PESEL: The Polish National Identification Number

PESEL, or Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności, is Poland's unique 11-digit identification number for registered individuals. It comprises the birth date (YYMMDD), a unique serial number (PPPP), and a checksum digit (K) for validity (e.g., YYMMDDPPPPK). This number is crucial for employees in Poland to manage their tax obligations (PIT-37) and can be obtained without a registered address. Applicants must complete a form (in Polish) and submit it to the city hall in their district with identity proofs and a legal reason for needing a PESEL. Although not mandatory for foreigners, having a PESEL facilitates tax and social security documentation for employers.

Obtaining a PESEL

Without Local Registration
To get a PESEL without Zameldowanie (residence registration), one can apply under specific conditions. The application must state the legal basis for the request, such as the need for an ePUAP profile (electronic submission of applications), regulated by the Minister of Digitization. This profile enables electronic submissions to various offices and the legal basis for needing a PESEL can include regulatory demands or the desire to create an ePUAP profile.

Cost and Duration for Obtaining a PESEL
Acquiring a Polish PESEL number is a free service. The processing is prompt, with immediate application acceptance and notification upon assignment of the PESEL number.

PESEL for Ukrainian Nationals
Ukrainian citizens, their non-Ukrainian or Polish spouses, Polish Card holders, and family members arriving in Poland post-February 24, 2022, due to the conflict are eligible for a PESEL. Ineligibility applies to those with permanent/temporary EU residence permits, refugee status, or those who have applied for international protection in Poland. Direct entry from Ukraine is not a requirement for obtaining a PESEL number.