The Norwegian D number (D-nummer) is essential if you want to stay in Norway for longer than a typical vacation, and this is needed for opening a Norwegian bank account, which again is needed for most services like getting a cell phone plan, signing a gym membership, or taking university exams in Norway.
You will want to get a D number if you plan on staying longer than a few weeks, and even students who want to stay for only a semester should get a D number. The D number is your Norwegian National Identity number for as long as you stay, but how exactly do you get a D number in Norway?
To get a Norwegian D number, book an appointment with the tax office (Skatteetaten in Norwegian) and bring your passport or valid ID to the appointment. If you are a non-EU/EEA resident, you can also apply for a D number when you report to the police to get a resident permit when arriving in Norway. You will get your D number in the mail after 7 – 14 days (usually).
When going to the tax office, please fill in this form before going there. This will make it much faster to apply for the D number. The application for a D number is free of charge.
Other methods to getting a Norwegian D number
There are also a few different methods to get a D number, and as long as you got a valid ID it should be easy to get your hands on. Only EU or EEA citizens can get a D number from the sources in this article, so people from the rest of the world will need to get to a tax office.
Some employers will apply for a D number on your behalf before you arrive in Norway, while others have to get it for themselves. Ask your employer, because it will save you a lot of time if they get the D number ready before you arrive!
The same goes for banks. Some banks will apply for a D number on your behalf, while other don’t want your business until after you have gotten this yourself. Newer passports with a fingerprint and biometrics are useful to convince the bank to let you get in business with them even without having a D number from the tax office.
As mentioned, the police will also help you out. Many people, who are moving to Norway will have to report to the police station within 90 days of arriving in Norway to get a resident permit. When you apply for this, the police will also apply for a D number for you, so you will get both of these at the same time.
If you are unsure about getting your D number, the correct place to go to is the tax office. This is their responsibility, and they will be more than happy to help you out either over the phone or in person. You will need to go in person to one of the offices to get your D number, since they will have to verify your ID or passport.
What the D number is used for
The D number is considered a temporary Norwegian National Identity number, and you use this for lots of different purposes.
The most common uses are when you get a bank account, which you probably will want to do if you plan on staying in Norway.
Some house lords also require a D number when you are to sign a lease, but this is not really needed. Some will still want it though, so you might as well be prepared to get it when looking for a place to stay.
If you are working in Norway, then you will also need to have a D number. As mentioned above, some employers will apply for you to get a D number before you arrive in Norway, but this is not something that all employers offer.
The D number is also used when signing a work contract, starting a business, getting married, signing a gym contract, applying to take exams at Norwegian universities, applying for a credit card, paying taxes, getting a GP / fastlege, or applying for MinID. In other words, it is used for most contracts that will affect you financially or is related to public services.
Students might get a visit from the tax office on campus
Most universities who accept foreign students will have a certain day just after the start of the semester where the police and tax office comes to campus and let you apply for your D number there. This is pretty useful for students who study in places far away from the nearest tax office.
If you are coming to Norway to study, make sure to ask the university or college university if they will be visited by the tax office at the start of the semester to save you some time. The universities are not required to offer this, but it’s pretty common. I have experienced this in both of the universities I have attended here in Norway.
D number are intended for temporary residents
The D numbers are for people who come to Norway for a temporary stay, and if you plan to stay here several years or even relocate to Norway, then you will want to get a social security number (personnummer). You can also get this from Skatteetaten.
The general rule of thumb for getting a personnummer instead of D number is if you plan on staying here for longer, plan on paying tax to Norway (instead of your home country), and have a job in Norway. There are some exceptions, and it might even depend on which country you come from, so ask Skatteetaten which rules apply for you.
D numbers are generally meant for people who plan on staying in Norway for less than 6 months, or who come to Norway on grounds of asylum.
That said, most people who relocated to Norway tend to also get a D number when they first arrive, and “upgrade” to a personnummer at a later point when they have settled down and met the requirements.
How long does it take to get a D number?
Most public services like the tax office or police station in Norway have pretty long queues for these kinds of inquiries, especially now after the pandemic. Expect to wait several weeks for an appointment at either Skatteetaten or the police station.
Banks and private institutions will generally have much shorter queues, so it might be a good idea to try to get a D number from one of these sources.