Today I would like to introduce PESEL number. In this article I will answer most common questions about it:

What is PESEL?

I will try to do it as fast and efficient as possible 😉: it is unique national identification number mandatory to all permanent residents in Poland. Abbreviation from “Powszechny Elektroniczny System Ewidencji Ludności”, which means: “Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population”. It always has 11 digits, with birthday and sex coded in. You may find it on each single official Polish identity document, as for example: ID card, Driving license or passport.

Above example of PESEL taken from polish ID card.

Why do I need PESEL?

First of all – if you are staying for longer in Poland or planning to leave here, you will need your Pesel in order to perform basic activities related with GP doctor registration, taxes, banking, mortgage, regular bank credit or buying a car. It is already “must have” in case of many employers.

How do I get it?

Option 1: Residence in Poland.

Below a script with decision tree, which will help you to understand, what documents are required to submit the PESEL request via local authorities.

Option 2: No residence.

If you are leaving in Poland for example with your family, or friends and you do not have a valid renting contract with own name, you need to bring with you filled in application form, valid Identity document from your country of origin and in majority of the cases work contract. In order to make it easier for you, I am attaching below a link to official polish government site. Mentoned link contains a form online in PDF, so you can fill it in at home in order to save some time in the office. I need to say here, that this approving process takes up to 1 month.–usluga-dla-cudzoziemcow-en

Where do I get PESEL?

If you have filled in form you supposed to find the municipal / township office (Urząd Gminy) responsible for your place of residence and ask for department, where you can apply for PESEL. Google Maps is the easiest way to find it. Just type in: “Urząd Gminy” and search for nearest place of your leaving. There is one important thing here: biggest cites as Warszawa, Kraków, Wrocław, Łódź or triple city (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot), have dedicated buildings for cases related with PESEL for foreigners. Few examples with proper location from biggest cities below:

  • Gdańsk – Urząd Miejski W Gdańsku. Zespół Obsługi Mieszkańców, Wilanowska 2, Gdańsk
  • Katowice – Urząd Miasta Katowice – Biuro Obsługi Mieszkańców, Rynek 1, Katowice
  • Kraków – in this case we have three evidences:
    • North & Western district: aleja Powstania Warszawskiego 10, Kraków
    • Nowa Huta district: osiedle Zgody 2, Kraków
    • South district: Wielicka 28a, Kraków
  • Łódź – Piotrkowska 103, Łódź
  • Warszawa – Grójecka 17a, Warszawa
  • Wrocław – Gabrieli Zapolskiej 4, Wrocław

Getting residence and PESEL number are completely for free. I hope this clarifies the whole mystery of PESEL. Let me know in the comments if this is any useful knowledge or what is your opinion in here.


Elsa · 17/01/2021 at 21:31

I like what you doing with your blog very informative

    Mateusz · 17/01/2021 at 23:37

    Hi Elsa,

    Thank you for your appreciation 😉 Pleasure to read it

Baz · 24/04/2021 at 17:20

I have a PESEL in document form, should I get it as a card ?

    Mateusz · 26/04/2021 at 06:37

    No – no need to do this. PESEL itself cannot be released as a card. But, if you will exchange your driving license or ID to Polish one, you will have automatically your PESEL on it as well.

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