Project on redesigning the system of personal identity codes

The project on redesigning the system of personal identity codes will update the personal identity code system and develop the way in which the state-guaranteed identity is managed. The project term is from 1 December 2020 to 31 December 2022.

The project will ensure there are sufficient personal identity codes available, allow gender-neutral personal identity codes, enable foreign nationals to conduct their affairs more conveniently by broadening the eligibility for personal identity codes, and produce guidance on using personal identity codes and other related core personal data in Finland. One of the aims is to reduce the use of personal identity codes in situations where identification is required.

Key tasks of the project are to draft the legislative amendments required for redesigning the system of personal identity codes and for developing the way in which the state-guaranteed identity is managed, and to produce comprehensive impact assessments. The project will also create a framework for enabling a new identification code. In addition, together with the authorities and other participants, instructions will be prepared and practices specified for the appropriate use of personal identity codes. 

The most urgent need for redesigning the system of personal identity codes is to ensure that sufficient personal identity codes are available. There are only a limited number of personal identity codes available per day and per gender, and it is estimated that primarily for people moving to Finland these codes will run out for certain dates in the next 2–3 years. To ensure the sufficiency of personal identity codes, additional characters will be introduced. More information on the amendment of the decree on the matter can be found on the Hankeikkuna website (Gateway to Information on Government Projects).

Project aims

The principal aims of the project are: 

  • to develop the Population Information System’s identity management so as to ensure that everyone can conveniently conduct their daily affairs;
  • to secure the conditions for Finland’s future digital operating environment and ensure sufficient personal identity codes are available;
  • to enable gender-neutral personal identity codes; and
  • to avoid the use of personal identity codes in situations where identification is required.

Project background

In its final report, the working group on redesigning the system of personal identity codes and on state-guaranteed identities proposed that from 2027 Finland should introduce a new form of personal identity code that would no longer indicate the person’s age, date of birth or sex, or other information on the individual. The working group also proposed that Finnish personal identity codes be made available to a broader range of people than at present.

Based on the consultation comments regarding the final report and on the further work carried out by officials at the Ministry of Finance, it is not considered possible to fully implement the working group’s proposals without alteration. Following the comments, the Ministry has focused on preparing more limited changes to the present format of the personal identity codes.

The comments drew attention strongly to significant operating and financial implications of the working group’s proposals. In the project that is now in progress the aims are being pursued in stages. This should allow the impacts to be managed, and should give time for different parties to prepare for the various changes sufficiently in advance.

Closely linked to the renewal of identity management is the project on digital identity that is also under way, led by the Ministry of Finance. The overall aims are to ensure everyone can conveniently conduct their daily affairs and to secure the conditions for Finland’s future digital operating environment.

Developments at the EU level regarding personal identity management and related verification procedures will also be taken into account. 

Contact information

Sami Kivivasara, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Head of Unit, telephone 0295530023, [email protected]

Anneli Kupari, Development Manager, telephone 0295530035, [email protected]