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Everything foreigners in Sweden need to know about electronic IDs

Everything foreigners in Sweden need to know about electronic IDs
Swedish electronic ID is used for everything from doing your taxes to booking a Covid vaccine. Photo: Isabell Höjman/TT
Sweden is a country that loves technology. In fact, more than eight million people in the country of ten million use electronic IDs in their daily lives, to access services or shop online.

An electronic ID can be helpful and make your life more simple. But to receive one in Sweden you need to have a personnummer (a 10 or 12-digit code you get when you’re registered as living in Sweden).

There are three types of electronic ID you can use in Sweden:

BankID

Set up in 2005 and issued by Finansiell ID-Teknik (which is owned by several Swedish banks), this is the dominant e-ID used in Sweden.

You can use your BankID for several services, including when using mobile payment app Swish, online shopping and logging into your bank account.

There are three ways of using your BankID. You can use it as an app where you download it from Google Play or the Apple store. Alternatively, it can be connected to your banking card. Your bank will provide you with a card reader to connect the card with your computer. Lastly, you can receive the BankID as a downloadable file. Simply log into your bank, download it to your computer and set up a password. It is active for three months, after which you will need to download a new one. 

You can order a BankID through your bank. Each bank will have their own application process, so you will have to check with each one for further instructions. In general though, you must have a personnummer and be a client at the bank.

The following banks issue BankIDs:

  • Danske bank
  • Handelsbanken
  • Ica Banken
  • Länsförsäkringar
  • Nordea
  • SEB
  • Skandia
  • Sparbanken Syd
  • Swedbank
  • Ålandsbanken

Freja eID Plus

The Freja eID Plus is an app where you can prove your identity. You simply download it from your phone’s app store and can use it to identify yourself when using online services.

Set up by IT company Freja eID Group, it has received the “Swedish e-identification” status by the Swedish Agency for Digital Government. 

The app can be used for places such as the Tax Agency, the Pensions Agency and the Employment Agency

Again, you need a personnummer to set up your ID. You also need to be living in Sweden. 

To set up a Freja eID Plus you need to be at least 13 years old, or have permission from your caregiver.

The Swedish Tax Agency electronic ID card

All ID cards such as passports or driving licenses issued in 2017 or later contain an electronic ID. The eID can be used as a regular ID in Sweden, but not abroad. A letter with a personal unblocking key (PUK) will be mailed to your home and you will select a PIN code when logging in for the first time.

If your ID card was issued before 2017, it will use a Telia eID. Telia eIDs are not available any more, but the ones in circulation still work. Again, you will be sent a PUK and PIN code to your home. If you lose your codes after a month you will have to apply for an entirely new ID card.

To receive an ID card you need to be at least 13 years old, registered as living in Sweden and be able to prove your identity. If you are under 18 you need legal permission from your guardian.

To apply for a Tax Agency ID card you must make an appointment at a Tax Agency office. The application fee is 400 kronor.

You can apply for a Swedish Tax Agency ID card here.


Member comments

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  1. Readers might be interested that recent migrants and immigrants may require an income from Sweden to open a bank account for a BankID. After money lauding scandals involving a few of the banks listed here, this consortium is reluctant to open accounts for those without a BankID.

    Hope this helps.

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