Work in Poland

What is PESEL and how to get it?

May 10, 2022

Hi! Didn’t you come to Poland just for a trip? Then you will surely (sooner or later) come across the term PESEL. In this article, we’ll explain what’s PESEL, its benefits and how you can apply for it. Read the frequently asked questions related to the PESEL number.

Who can obtain a PESEL?

  1. Anyone who registers his/her residence in Poland, called a “zameldowanie”, for more than 30 days will receive a PESEL automatically. You can also register for residency HERE, but you will need a “trusted profile”, which you can only obtain once you have, for example, a bank account in Poland and the bank has all your documents.
  2. After applying at any city office if you cannot register for residency.

What do you need to prepare?

  • The application for obtaining a PESEL number (currently only possible to file physically at the office)
  • A document that confirms your identity and the other details you will enter in the application.

Where can you apply for a PESEL?

  • At any municipal office in the city. For a complete list of city offices in Warsaw, see HERE.

How much will it cost you?

  • It won’t cost you a penny. Literally! This service is completely free of charge.

How long will you wait for the PESEL to be issued?

  • The official will accept your application and issue your PESEL number straight away. However, the office has up to 30 days, so if you don’t receive the number right away, you’ll be notified by text message. You don’t have to worry, in the vast majority of cases you will receive your PESEL right away and even if you have to wait a few days, nothing happens, the contract and other formalities can be temporarily handled with, for example, a Slovak passport

Don’t forget the important thing! The application must state the so-called legal reason for obtaining a PESEL number. The latter is specifically a 2010 law and regulation of the Ministry of the Interior. Its wording is as follows:

  • Ustawa z dnia 24 września 2010 r. o ewidencji ludności (Dz.U. z 2021 r. poz. 510, z późn. zm.),
  • Rozporządzenie Ministra Spraw Wewnętrznych z 4 stycznia 2012 r. w sprawie nadania lub zmiany numeru PESEL (Dz.U. z 2015 r. poz. 1984).

What benefits does the PESEL number bring you?

You will need a PESEL number, for example:

  • when you sign your lease,
  • when you sign your employment contract,
  • when you buy a Polish SIM card,
  • when visiting the doctor,
  •  to communicate with all authorities, not including the tax office.

It is basically similar to our Slovak birth number, but the Polish system is more centralized and any records about you will be kept under this number.

Want to know even more? So read further!

The PESEL number contains the date of birth, serial number, gender and control number. So what do the specific numbers mean? PESEL has the following format: YYMMDDPPPPK. We will go through the individual characters together in detail:

RR – last two numbers of the year of birth

MM – month of birth

DD – day of birth

PPPP – ordinal number indicating sex, where for females the last number of this quadruplet is even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) and for males odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 1)

K – control character

Let’s practice and do a short recap.

To get your PESEL number, you will need your ID card, or you can bring your passport with you. Next, you need to fill in the application form, which you can download HERE. You will then need to visit your nearest municipal office to hand in your completed application form and you will automatically receive a PESEL number. The other option is to register for residency, which you can also do at any municipal office. You will need a signed lease agreement and a completed application form for temporary or permanent residence. You can download the applications HERE and HERE. You will receive a PESEL number automatically when you register for residence.

Once you have successfully completed your interview and arrived in Poland, you will have our Community Manager at your disposal to help you during your first days and weeks in your new country. Whether it’s help with arranging a bank account, information about important offices or advice on how and where to find suitable accommodation, you’ll have a contact person to turn to from day one.

Now that you know what PESEL is, we invite you to visit our jobs page. Choose the one that interests you the most, send us your CV and start a new phase of your life in Poland.