System ID number

The purpose of system ID numbers

The general criteria for allocating a system ID number is the need for a unique identification towards public authorities when it is necessary to separate individuals in order to exchange information regarding the individual to other public authorities and companies and also if laws or regulations deem a ID number necessary.  

Who can apply for a system ID number and for what purpose

Only public authorities can apply for a system ID number for foreign citizens. Applications must be submitted electronically with an electronic identification. With the application the public authority confirms that they are applying for an ID number for their own purposes.

Note that a system ID number is only issued to individuals who intend to stay less than 3-6 months in Iceland or do not intend to stay in the country at all. This registration does not grant any rights in Iceland.If a foreign citizen intends to reside in Iceland for longer than 3-6 months the following applies: EES/EFTA citizens use form A-270 (Icelandic) or A-271 (English). Nordic citizens who intend to reside for longer than 6 months use form A-257.

Application process

The application should be submitted electronically on Registers Iceland‘s website

Please note that a copy of passport or legal travel ID must be included in the application and the ID must be valid at the time the application is submitted.

In order to submit the application the public authority must identify themselves in the following ways:

  • IceKey/electronic identification of the public authority
  • IceKey/electronic identification of an employee with a mandate to submit applications for system ID numbers on behalf of the public authority. In order to grant a mandate to an employee an electronic ID of the public authority is needed to sign in to my pages on Í and register the mandate. 

About the system ID number registry

The system ID number registry has been in use since 1987 and the director of Statistics Iceland (Hagstofa Íslands) issued rules on registration and the uses of system ID numbers for the purposes of public authorities. The purpose of the system ID registry was to ensure that public authorities were able to identify individuals who were not registered in the population register. The purpose of the system ID register and the application process remains the same. 

With the law on the registration of individuals nr. 140/2019 the system ID number and the application process was legislated for the first time. One of the changes that came with this law is that only public authorities that need the system ID number for their own purposes can apply for the system ID number for foreign citizens. It is also stated that the system ID number should be differentiated by visible means from the ID numbers in the population registry.