Redesigning the personal identity code system

The task of the Ministry of Finance’s project on redesigning the system of personal identity codes was to redesign and develop the system of personal identity codes and to prepare the necessary legislative amendments, including impact assessments. The project term was from 1 December 2020 to 31 December 2022.

The government proposal prepared as part of the project was submitted to Parliament in September 2022. The proposal included proposals for enabling remote registration of foreign nationals, removing gender information from personal identity codes and creating a new personal unique identifier. Parliament did not have time in its schedule to consider the proposal before the end of its term. The next government will decide on moving the proposals forward. Because the proposal has lapsed, the proposed legislative amendments will not enter into force.

The project on redesigning the system of personal identification codes has ensured the availability of sufficient personal identity codes for years to come. This was one of the project’s key objectives. Ensuring that sufficient personal identity codes are available was not dependent on the lapsed government proposal, as it was prepared separately.

How has the availability of sufficient personal identity codes been ensured?

The availability of personal identity codes has been ensured through an amendment decree adopted by the Government in July 2022. The decree solves the issue of availability of personal identity codes by enabling the use of new intermediary characters indicating a person’s century of birth:

  • 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 amendment officially entered into force on 1 January 2023. The new intermediate characters will be taken into use when the existing characters run out. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency will update its estimate of the schedule for introducing new intermediary characters each month. This amendment has no effect on personal identity codes that have already been issued.

How will work continue?

The Ministry of Finance will next look into how to continue work on the matters included in the lapsed government proposal. The goals of the next government programme will be taken into account in this respect, and work will continue accordingly. The questions that have arisen in connection with the consideration of the proposals will also be taken into account.

The working group on information guidance, which worked in connection with the project on redesigning the system of personal identity codes, was tasked with proposing measures to prevent the abuse of personal identity codes and personal data and to improve identification practices in society. The recommendations published by the working group in spring 2022 relate to, for example, increasing the use of strong electronic identification, the future of Kela cards and identity cards, a review of the Data Protection Act and creating guidelines and communications. Work to move these measures forward and outline them in a sensible manner is being continued internally by public officials. 

Contact information

Sari Liski, Project Manager

The Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 226, [email protected]