Citizen service number (BSN)

The citizen service number (BSN) is a unique personal number allocated to everyone registered in the Personal Records Database (BRP). Everyone who registers with the BRP is automatically given a BSN.

Using your BSN

The government uses your citizen service number (BSN) to process your personal data. You can use your BSN for any government service in the Netherlands. You do not have to provide your data to each different government organisation – they can find it using your BSN.

The BSN in healthcare

The citizen service number (BSN) allows you to identify yourself if you need care. Recognised care providers like general practice doctors and health insurance companies have to use the BSN.

The BSN in education

The BSN is also used in education, where it is called the personal identification number (PGN) or education number. The PGN is the same number as the BSN. Schools must use the PGN in their records.

The BSN for childcare benefit, housing benefit and healthcare benefit

Childcare organisations must ask for your and your child’s BSNs. The Benefits Office of the Tax and Customs Administration checks the number of childcare hours you report against the hours in the childcare organisation’s records. The same applies for landlords and the housing benefit, and healthcare insurers and the healthcare benefit.

Using the BSN to prevent identity fraud

The BSN’s main purpose is to help with contacts between different government organisations, and between individuals and government. Non-government organisations – like general practice doctors and other healthcare providers, pharmacies and healthcare insurers – can only use the BSN if the law requires it. The BSN makes it easier for government organisations to exchange personal details without making errors. Each organisation must make sure that you are using your own BSN.