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Everything foreigners in Norway need to know about electronic IDs

To use many online services in Norway, whether its filing your tax returns or accessing your Covid-19 certificate, you’ll need to have an electronic ID. Here’s everything you need to know about electronic identification systems in Norway.

Everything foreigners in Norway need to know about electronic IDs
Everything you need to know about Electronic ID Photo by Federico Orlandi from Pexels
Why is electronic ID so important in Norway?
Electronic IDs – basically proof of identity that’s used online –  have been in Norway since the early 2000’s, with the first, BankID, being launched in 2004. Originally, this early form of Electronic ID was only used for banking.
MinID was the first electronic ID launched in Norway that allowed people to access public services online and was launched in 2008, and today is the most widespread electronic ID in Norway. 
These days to log on to any online public service, you must have an electronic ID that verifies your identity. Without it you cannot log into most services carried out by local and central government.
There are five different forms of ID in Norway you can use to log into digital services from Norwegian public services. These are MinID, BankID, BankID on mobile, Buypass and Commfides. There is also MinID Passport, however this isn’t widely accepted by digital services. 
Each electronic ID also has a security level, meaning that you may only have access to certain services depending on the security level.
This means that it may be helpful to have more than one form of electronic ID or select an electronic ID with the highest security access. 
These are the different forms of electronic ID: 
Everyone who is over the age of 13 can order and access MinID. The Norwegian Digitalisation Authority issues MinID. 
MinID comes with a medium security clearance, level three. 
To register as a MinID user, you will need the following:
• A national identity number or D number 
• Mobile phone or email address 
• A letter sent by the Norwegian Digitalisation Authority containing PIN codes
You can order a PIN code letter here. The PIN code letter will be sent to the postal address you have registered in the National Population Register, and the delivery takes between two and five business days. 
If you do not have a registered address in Norway in the population register, you can send it to your nearest office for the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). 
Once you have accessed MindID for the first time, you will have the option of having a code sent by SMS to your mobile phone instead of using the PIN code letter every time you log in. This could come in handy if you are prone to losing paperwork. 
One of the most significant advantages of MinID is that it is free and straightforward to set up compared to other electronic ID’s.
However, as it only comes with level three security clearance, it is best to have another form of electronic ID handy. 
MinID Passport 
MinID is another form of verification using MinID and uses passport verification to access services such as NAV. 
To register as MinID passport user, you will need to scan your passport using the passport reader app from Nets. You can download Nets on iPhone or Android
The app will then scan your passport and use facial recognition technology to verify your identity. 
After this, you will be able to use MinID passport. MinID passport is used mainly for foreigners without other forms of electronic ID to access NAV. 
One drawback of MinID passport is that it isn’t classed as a higher level of security clearance despite the extra verification step, so it may be worth ordering a different form of online ID. 
Buypass ID 
Buypass ID comes as a smart card and reader with the highest security clearance, level four. 
Having level four security electronic ID allows access to online prescriptions and your digital Covid-19 certificate. 
The biggest drawback to Buypass ID is that new customers pay 899 kroner for its eID service. 
All new Buypass users must also carry out an identification check. 
You will have to undergo the ID check at your local post office. You will need to bring a valid passport and a document issued by a public body containing an identification number, either a D-number or Fødselsnummer. 
Once you have signed up, you can use the card or app. 
To log in to services with the app, you will need to enter a six-digit code sent to your phone. 
Commfides is a USB stick that grants level four security access. You can order Commfides directly from the website. 
You can order Commifdes with either a Fødselsnummer or D-number, although if you are ordering with a D-number, you will need to upload a document containing your D-number. 
You will need to present a passport or driving license when picking up your Commfides from the post office, or do an in person check in Lysaker, Oslo. 
Like Buypass, Commfides is a paid service. Commfides will set you back 1180 kroner, and the ID will last for three years. 
In order to log into public services with Commfides, you will need to download the Commfides plugin, select Commfides as your preferred electronic ID, insert the Commfides USB and enter the pin you were issued and log in.  
Individual banks issue BankID and grants access to public services with the highest security clearance, level four. 
You will typically need a national identity number (fødselsnummer) rather than a D-number to access BankID.  
To order BankID, you will have to contact your bank. You will then have to verify your identity with the bank. 
You can use BankID on either the BankID app or a code generating fob. Once you have set this up, you will also be able to set up BankID mobile. 
You can view a list of all the banks that offer BankID here.
BankID Mobile
To use BankID on mobile, you must already have a BankID agreement in place with your bank. You can only use BankID mobile with the same bank you set up BankID with, even if you no longer plan on using your account with them. 
Once BankID on mobile has been set up, you can use it as an alternative to the code generating fob. 
BankID on mobile is preferable to the code generating fob as the fob can be easy to lose, and it can take a while to get it replaced.
BankID Mobile is probably the best all-around choice as it is free to set up and grants the highest security access. However, it can be a faff for foreigners without a fødselsnummer to obtain. 

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For members


How much does going to the dentist cost in Norway? 

A trip to the dentist can be painful in more ways than one, especially for your bank account, so how much will it set you back in Norway and how do you get an appointment?

How much does going to the dentist cost in Norway? 
Many dread a trip to the dentist. Photo by Yusuf Belek on Unsplash

Is dental work free in Norway?

Norway’s robust and comprehensive public healthcare system is accessible through the Norwegian National Health Insurance Scheme. Because it is so comprehensive, many make the assumption that all health issues, including dental problems, are covered by the scheme.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as, generally, dental care is not covered by the public healthcare system. Instead, you will have to go to a private practitioner should you have an issue with your teeth or if it’s time for a checkup. 

If you’d like to learn more about what is covered by the National Health Insurance, you can look at our guide on how the scheme works and common problems foreigners run into here.

How much does it cost?

The bad news is that, much like most other things in Norway, a trip to the dentists will set you back a fair amount, and unlike the Norwegian National Health Insurance Scheme, there is no exemption card, or frikort, after you have paid a certain amount. 

READ MORE: Seven things foreigners in Norway should know about the health system

On the bright side, dental treatment is free for children under 18, and if you are aged between 19 and 20, you will only need to stump up 25 percent of the total bill. 

In most cases, everyone over the age of 21 will be expected to pay the whole bill, apart from a few exceptions, which you can read about here

The cost of dentistry can be reimbursed or subsidised if you meet any of the 15 conditions that will entitle you to claim support from The Norwegian Health Economics Administration or Helfo.

Helfo is responsible for making payments from the National Insurance Scheme to healthcare providers and reimbursing individuals for vital healthcare services not covered by the insurance scheme. 

The list of conditions includes essential work, such as having an oral tumour removed, for example. You can take a look at the 15 conditions for which you claim help from Helfo here.

You can also apply to the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) for financial assistance relating to dental work.

How much you are eligible to receive from NAV will depend entirely on your situation. 

Below you can take a look at the rough cost of some common dental work in Norway. 

  • Examination/appointment- 600 kroner 
  • Examination/appointment with tartar removal and x rays- 1,000 kroner 
  • Small filling- 900 kroner 
  • Medium sized filling 1,400- kroner 
  • Large filling- 1,500 kroner 
  • Tooth surgically removed- 2,000 kroner 
  • Root canal filling 3,800 kroner
  • Crown- 7,000 kroner

How to book an appointment

Booking an appointment in Norway is as simple as contacting your nearest dentist. Before you book, you can typically check the price list of the dentist you will be visiting to get a rough idea of how much the visit could cost you too. 

The majority of dentists in Norway will speak good English. You can also visit an entirely English speaking dentist surgery, where all the staff will speak English, in the big cities such as Oslo if you haven’t quite gotten to grips with Norwegian yet. 

You can search for a dentist using this tool which will show you your nearest dentist in the town, city or county you live in.