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PESEL and registration

PESEL is the Universal Electronic System for Population Registration, which is a set of data in Poland that collects basic information (identity, administrative and legal status, citizenship, civil status, date and address of registration/re-registration, information on identity and/or residence documents) on Polish citizens and foreigners residing in the Republic of Poland.

The term PESEL is also commonly used to denote a unique registration number of a natural person used in this register.

What do the digits in the PESEL number mean?

PESEL is an 11-digit unique symbol identifying a natural person.

All actions related to opening a bank account, applying for a loan, buying a property, registering a car, calling an ambulance require the PESEL number.

Each digit has its own meaning:


YY — two last digits of year of birth

MM — month of birth

DD — day of birth

PPPP — serial number containing information on gender. For females the last digit is even (0, 2, 4 , 6 , 8), for males it is odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9)

K – check digit

How to obtain a PESEL?

As of January 1, 2018, the PESEL number is assigned to each foreigner residing in Poland. Only foreigners planning short-term stays that do not require registration (when the stay in Poland does not exceed 30 days) are exempt from this regulation.

If you are a foreigner, you can register and automatically receive a PESEL number.

The documents you need are: your passport and a document obtained in Poland: visa / residence card / temporary residence permit and a lease agreement (of premises, room).


Citizens of non-EU states must register with the Municipal Office on the fourth day of their stay at the latest if they plan to stay in Poland for more than 30 days.

In order to register you will need:

  • passport;
  • a visa or a travel document (a temporary residence permit, a certificate of refugee status or any other document listed on the website of the Ministry of Interior;
  • if you are the owner or have other legal title to the premises where you want to register – bring a document to prove it. Such a document may be, for example: a civil law agreement (e.g. a lease agreement), an extract from the Land and Mortgage Register, an administrative decision or a court ruling;
  • if you are not the owner and you do not have any other legal title to the premises where you want to register, the person who has the legal title to the premises must sign the registration form and confirm your stay. You must present a document confirming your title to the property for inspection.

The registration service is free. An officer will register you as soon as he/she receives your application.