You will want to get a method of logging into digital public services if you are moving to Norway, because most applications and official letters are sent digitally here. These require a higher level of security than regular passwords, so you need what is called a “level 4 security” login.
There are three different types of level 4 security logins in Norway, and either of them is fine to use. We’re going to be looking closer at Buypass in this article, but you can also consider either BankID or Commfides as alternatives.
So, what’s Buypass like, how do you get Buypass, and how is it used? Let’s take a deep dive into all you need to know about Buypass!
You can get Buypass by ordering it from their website here. Wait 3-4 days until you can pick it up at a postal office. Bring your passport, and wait for your PIN codes to arrive by mail. Once you have the PINs and the Buypass card itself, it’s ready to be used to log in with!
The price for Buypass is 889 NOK for the card only, or 1,030 NOK for the card with a USB reader (which you will need). Each card is valid for 3 years after you activate it, so you will need to buy a new Buypass after year 3 for an additional 889 NOK.
In other words, Buypass will cost you around 300 NOK yearly to use. The USB reader is only 165 NOK, but this can be used by multiple people, so a family only need a single USB reader. It can also be used for more than 3 years unless it breaks.
There’s also a Buypass mobile phone app that you can use instead of the traditional smartcard. We will get back to this option at the end of the article.
How to use Buypass
Buypass is a physical card that is attached to the USB card reader. You order these at the same time, and need both of them to use the card to login to government services.
To actually use Buypass, connect the USB card reader to the computer you want to login on.
When logging in, choose the Buypass option and hold the Buypass card over the card reader. Wait until its verified (only takes a second or two), then type in your PIN code to verify that it’s really you.
After that’s done, you’re logged in with level 4 security!
Who can get Buypass?
You need to be registered at the National Population Register to be able to get Buypass. This means that you need to register with the Tax Office (Skatteetaten) and register your address there.
Only those who have intentions of living in Norway for an extended period of time will be allowed to register in the National Population Register, so you cannot do this is a migrant worker or short-term student.
In addition, you need a Norwegian private address where they can send the Buypass and card reader to, as well as a valid passport or other type of valid ID. The passport is needed to identify yourself when collecting the package from the post office.
From what I understand, you are not able to get Buypass with only a D number, and will need a regular National Identification Number (personnummer / fødselsnummer). This does make sense since you will be getting a National Identification Number when you register in the National Population Register.
How Buypass is different from BankID
Buypass is a lot like BankID in many cases, and they share the similarity that they both allow you to log in with level 4 security. This allows you to access all public systems that require additional security.
The big difference is that Buypass cannot be used for any financial transactions. You cannot sign money transfers with it, or use it to log into your online banking systems.
Another big difference is obviously that Buypass is a physical card that needs to be put into a card reader connected to the computer you are on. This means that Buypass cannot be used on most mobile phones.
BankID on the other hand is just an app on your phone. It’s just as secure, and can also be used to sign financial transactions.
Where to use Buypass
All places that require you to sign in with level 3 or 4 security will accept Buypass as a method of logging in. This means thousands of different websites!
This means that you can use Buypass at places like:
- The tax office (Skatteetaten).
- To the municipality’s website to do thing like apply for kindergarten.
- To sign legal documents online.
- To log in to Digipost.
- To apply for higher education like universities.
- To change your doctor (fastlege).
- Apply for banking loans.
- And lots of other things!
Buypass is a good alternative to BankID if you don’t need to use it for banking purposes.
That said, there’s no benefit to using Buypass over BankID unless you don’t have a smart phone that allows for apps. BankID can do everything Buypass can, and more. It’s also free of charge, so it’s no wonder that 95 % of Norwegians use BankID to log in with.
The Buypass mobile app
There’s a special Buypass mobile app that you can use as an alternative to the physical Buypass smart card. This might be a good alternative for a lot of people.
The Buypass mobile app also cost 889 NOK for a 3 year period, and can be ordered from Buypass’s website. When ordering, you get sent digital codes to activate the app in the mail, and will need to pick these up from a post office with your valid passport or ID.
So it’s not that different from the physical card.
If you already have the Buypass smartcard, then you can order the app without getting new codes in the mail. Instead you can use the card to activate the app.
One of the benefits to using the app is that you can use it on a mobile phone, and there’s not need to plug in a USB card reader to log in.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.