How To Get BankID: Everything You Need To Know About BankID

BankID is a type of security system in Norway that allows for digital identification. With BankID, you can log into government systems, fill out and sign digital applications, apply for a loan, or pretty much any digital service that requires a high level of security.

If you are moving to Norway, then you will want to get BankID at one point. This makes communicating with the government agencies like NAV, Skatteetaten or UDI much easier since you can read and reply to digital letters instead of getting them in your mail box.

But how do you get BankID?

To get BankID, get in touch with your local bank where you have a bank account. You need to meet a banker in person with your ID (such as a passport or driver’s licence). Just book an appointment with your local bank and tell them that you want to get BankID, and meet there at the appointed time.

It’s actually pretty easy to get your BankID as long as you have an existing bank account, and a National Identification Number (personnummer) or D number. It’s currently not possible to get BankID if you do not have a bank account, so you will need a Norwegian bank account before you can get BankID.

Person checking his mobile phone
BankID allows you to log into public services online anywhere. Photo published with permission.

What BankID is used for

BankID is what is called a type 3 security measure, which is the highest level. This means that logging in with BankID is considered to be just as safe as physically signing something with your ID or passport, so you are legally allowed to sign most things with BankID.

In more practical terms, some of the things you can use BankID for is:

  • Logging into your online bank interface.
  • Read sensitive government letters digitally (such as on Digipost).
  • Verify your identify securely.
  • Logging in and interacting with government services such as UDI, NAV, the police, Helsenorge, Skatteetaten etc.
  • Sign money transfers.
  • Sign documents digitally.

A document that is signed with BankID is just as legally binding as one signed with your signature in person, so BankID can work as a method of signing documents digitally. This can save you a lot of time when you need to fill inn applications for banking loans or anything like that.

PS. It’s also possible to use Commfides or BuyPass to log in to most digital services. These are also both level 4 security tools.

Man signing a contract
Sign documents digitally with BankID. Photo published with permission.

How to use BankID

The most common way to use BankID is to download the BankID app for your iPhone or Android phone, then set it up so that it connects to your account. This is typically done when setting up the BankID in your bank.

When you want to sign a document or log in with BankID, enter your National Identification Number or D number on the website where you want to interact. When you do this, you get a pop up on your mobile phone that says that this website wants to confirm your identity.

Main BankID login interface
Main BankID login interface.

Confirm this on your phone by using your personal code. This will either verify your signing, or give you a 6 digit number that you must enter on the website (if they use an older version of BankID). Now enter the pin code and also your BankID password on the website, and your identity is verified.

As you can see, the system is pretty safe. You need your D number or National Identification Number, your phone, the BankID pin code and the BankID password to actually log in or verify your identity.

It used to be common to use a code chip instead of a mobile app to log into BankID, but these are now very rare after most people have chosen to use a phone app instead. The mobile app is deemed to even safer than a physical code chip since it allows for a pin code.

If you do not own a smart phone, your bank can issue a code ship that you can use to generate your login codes.

Is BankID the same as MinID?

Some people think of BankID as the same thing as MinID, but these are a bit different. While they are both used to verify your identify, BankID is considered much more safe, so it can be used for more secure things like official applications with the government.

Also read: How to get MinID.

In technical terms, MinID is only a level 2 security measure, while BankID is a level 3 security measure. To abuse MinID you will only need to find someone’s password and National Identification Number, so it’s not actually all that safe. However, to abuse a BankID you will also need to physically get a hold of their phone, as well as the pin code you use to generate the BankID code.

You might see that some government services like Digipost or NAV allows you to log in to their system, but that certain sensitive parts of the system requires you to verify your identify with BankID before you can access that particular part of the system.

When should you get BankID?

When you are living in Norway, getting your BankID set up is inevitable. You might as well get it sooner rather than later, so ask the bank to set it up for you when you open your bank account. That way it’s ready for when you need it (which you will).

It’s completely free to get BankID, and all Norwegian banks are required to offer it to their clients. They are legally required to offer it to anyone over the age of 18, but each bank can also choose to give it to younger children if they want to. It is common for children over the age of 15 to be able to get BankID, but this does of course require a consent from their parents or guardians since you are considered a minor in Norway until you are 18 years old.

Setting up a BankID is generally a fast process, so if you suddenly need it, just call your bank and set up the appointment. You can usually get it running very soon after meeting in your bank, so it’s not something that takes a long time to set up. So don’t worry if you forgot to set up BankID when you opened up your Norwegian bank account, because you can always do it later.

PS. in some special cases it can take a long time. We’re talking about 6 -12 weeks in these cases! These special cases are often tied to extra security measurements to verify identities, visas etc.

Can you get BankID with only a D number?

There is a lot of online debate if you are allowed to get BankID with a D number instead of a National Identification Number.

The answer is that you can technically and legally get BankID with only a D number, but many banks do require a National Identification Number to give you BankID. This is a fraud prevention measurement.

The better your ID is, the higher your chances of getting BankID with only a D number is. Some banks require a EU passport with RFID chip to issue BankID without a National Identification Number, while others only accept other types of passports. So ask your bank, or look into starting the process of getting a National Identification Number.

If you are staying in Norway for more than 6 months, you should be able to get yourself a National Identification Number.

Some people have trouble getting their BankID

Even though it should theoretically be very easy to get BankID after you have set up your bank account and have your National Identification Number or D number, some people run into a lot of problems.

The issues often boil down to the bank thinking of the person as a security risk, and can be tied to lack of valid identification. However, some people have told me that the banks simply refuse without giving a reason.

So if you have trouble, consider checking out Commfides or Buypass instead. These two login methods are pretty much like BankID and will let you log into any government website with a level 4 security. However, they will not work for anything related to finance.

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