Life in Norway For Members
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.
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 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 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.
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.