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The Burgerservicenummer (BSN) is a unique personal number issued to everyone registered in the Basisregistratie Personen (BRP, formerly the GBA), which is the Municipal Personal Records Database. The BSN was formerly known as the SoFi (Social-Fiscaal) number. The BSN is a unique personal resident service number and appears in Dutch passports, identity cards and driving licenses.
Government authorities use the BSN to correspond with citizens and exchange personal information with other (governmental) agencies, when legally permitted; for example, between the municipality and the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). The BSN is an important tool for improving government services, and is also used to combat identity fraud and solve issues with misspelled names.
The BSN is a requirement for starting a job in the Netherlands, opening a bank account, using the health care system, applying for benefits, buying a car, and announcing a change of address, to name a few examples.