#1 – When in Denmark, do as the Danes do

Registration certificate & CPR number

Life as a volunteer abroad means immersing yourself fully in the local lifestyle to truly appreciate the experience. You will adapt to new people, habits, food, weather and you will learn to expect the unexpected. Adapting is not always easy, but it is a great chance to learn about another way of life, to push yourself out of your comfort zone and gain more insight about own personality.

Being a volunteer in a foreign country, especially if for a period longer than 90 days, means you also need to follow the rules and regulations of the country you are living in. For example, you can stay in Denmark for up to 3 months without a registration certificate. However, if you expect that your stay will last more than 3 months, you need to apply for an EU residence document before the three months have expired.

Why do you need it?

Unlike a residence permit issued under the Danish Aliens Act, registration certificate/card is a fundamental proof of your existing rights under EU rules on the free movement of people and services. It is worth mentioning, the registration certificate is an absolute must have when applying for the second, probably the most important thing here – the CPR number. If you do not have it with you, you will be asked by an official to come back some other day, after you get it.

Where to go to get it then?

Honestly, the safest choice would be to go to the State Administration (Statsforvaltningen) at Ellebjergvej 52, 2450 Copenhagen SV as it is opened 5 days a week (Mon-Wed: 8:00-14:00, Thurs: 12:00-16:00, Fri: 8:00-14:00) and you do not need to book an appointment in advance. Another possibility is to visit the International House at Gyldenløvesgade 11,1600 Copenhagen V. There is the International Citizen Service (ICS) too. Nevertheless it issues a limited number of EU registration certificates and is open only twice a week; Wednesdays 25 cases (10:00-15:00) and Thursdays 20 cases (11:00-15:00). That is why booking an appointment online is required http://icitizen.dk/

What to bring?

  • Your passport or other valid travel document like an ID
  • One passport picture
  • Documentation on the basis of which you apply for registration

Now let’s get back to the CPR number. CPR stands for Central Person Register, which is a Civil Registration System. In order to be able open a bank account, be covered by the health insurance, sign up for free Danish language classes, get a Danish phone number or loan books from the library, you need a CPR number a.k.a. the yellow card. To get it, you need a registration certificate and a registered address in Denmark. Below you will find how it looks like:

Yellow card
See how the Yellow card is organised

You apply for the CPR card in person at the Citizen Service Office (Borgerservice) in your municipality. If the voluntary service is done in Copenhagen, it is the CPR Registration at the already mentioned before International House (Mon-Fri 10:00-15:00). The card will be mailed to you that is why, it is so important to always have your name clearly marked on the mailbox or to give the name of an institution you are staying at as otherwise the mail will not be delivered.

If you change your address do not forget to inform the municipality (kommune) about your new address. The CPR number is connected to your residential address in Denmark. That is why every time you change your address, you need to inform the municipality, even when leaving the country for good. It’s very simple and can be done online on the municipality’s website.

Magdalena – 2018 spring term volunteer