Availability of sufficient personal identity codes to be ensured using new intermediate characters
New intermediate characters indicating the century will be incorporated into personal identity codes starting in 2023. Existing personal identity codes will not be changed by this reform. The new intermediate characters can be used, for example, in personal identity codes issued to foreign nationals moving to Finland to work.
The Government issued a decree on the new intermediate characters on 8 July. For people born in the 2000s, the letters B, C, D, E and F will be introduced alongside the letter A currently in use. For people born in the 20th century, the letters Y, X, W, V and U will be introduced in alongside the hyphen (-) currently in use.
The decree also sets out that the intermediate character will be part of the individual part of the personal identity code, which means that it would be possible to distinguish personal identity codes from one another just by using a different intermediate character.
The amendment decree will enter into force on 1 January 2023. Personal identity codes containing the new intermediate characters will only be issued once the intermediate characters currently in use run out.
New intermediate characters multiply the number of available personal identity codes
A person is issued a personal identity code when their information is first entered into the Population Information System. In practice, a personal identity code is essential for a person to be able to take part in Finnish society.
There are a limited number of personal identity codes available for each date of birth. Because codes are issued, for example, to people moving to Finland, it has been estimated that the number of available codes will run out for certain dates in the next few years.
The changes brought by the decree will multiply the number of available codes and ensure that sufficient codes are available in the future. Personal identity codes containing new intermediary characters will be issued in the future once no codes using the existing intermediary characters can be issued for a particular date.
Redesign of the personal identity code system continues
The Ministry of Finance is also preparing legislative proposals for redesigning the personal identity code system. The government proposal is to be submitted to Parliament in the autumn. The objective is, among other things, to speed up and expand the issuing of personal identity codes to foreign nationals and to make new personal identity codes issued starting in 2027 gender neutral, in other words to remove information on a person’s gender from them.
In addition to ensuring that sufficient personal identity codes are available, the redesign is seeking to promote work-based immigration, improve the protection of privacy and prevent gender-based discrimination. The removal of gender information from personal identity codes issued from 2027 onwards will have no effect on existing personal identity codes. The other legislative amendments are scheduled to enter into force at the beginning of 2023.
Maarit Huotari, Head of Unit, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 29 553 0518 (available until 8 July)
Jarkko Levasma, Director General, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 29 553 0117 (available starting on 2 August 2022)