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What is DigiD?

Date:23 September 2021
Read everything about DigiD and why it's so important to have one.
Read everything about DigiD and why it's so important to have one.

We have spent the last few blogs explaining some subjects that are complicated but also necessary, like checking your health insurance and dealing with culture shock. This week we will tell you all about DigiD, a system that is very important in your process to be a Dutch citizen.

What is DigiD?

DigiD is short for digital identification. You can see it as an online passport. It is a system by which the Dutch government can detect someone's identity on the internet. Your DigiD is meant to be used for arranging many different things with government institutions in a safe but digital way. The DigiD is linked to your BSN number (citizen service number) and other personal information. 

Why do I need a DigiD?

We now know what a DigiD is, but where do we use it? And is it that important? Well, in the past years almost everything has been digitised, but a lot of people don’t trust the internet. This DigiD is a secure way to handle your important business online. At this point, you may be asking yourself, do I need one? In short, no it is not obligatory, but yes you need one in order to be able to do your administration online. This includes things like paying taxes, applying for (student) benefits, receiving allowances and checking your pension. For all these things, you need a DigiD. Additionally, the police, water boards, Dutch healthcare companies and providers, government departments and city municipalities use the DigiD as an online identification. This also includes getting vaccinated or tested for COVID-19. So, in theory, no, you don’t have to get one, but if you plan on interacting with any or all government institutions, you will need your DigiD.

How do I get a DigiD?

You can request a DigiD for free on the DigiD website by clicking on the apply button (aanvragen). Make sure you put the website on English. Be aware that requesting and activating the DigiD takes a week or so to finalize. After you completed all the steps on the website you will  receive a letter to the address you filled in. In the letter there is a code, you need this code to activate your account. You will receive the letter within five working days. After that, you have 20 days to activate your account.

if your not familiar with the system it can be very frustrating because DigiD is not something you hear a lot about, but it is very handy and very important for easier integration into Dutch society.