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Upon arrival

When newly arrived in Denmark, there are a lot of important issues to be aware of as an international citizen.

The requirements regarding issues like tax or importing your car depend on how long you will stay in Denmark and on your citizenship. If you have any questions regarding registration and paperwork, please contact your local Citizen Service Centre or International Citizen Service in Copenhagen.

You can also read more on the website Life in Denmark.

Step-by-step guide

  • Step 1: Residence and work permit

    Nordic citizens

    As a citizen of a Nordic country, you have the right to reside, study and work in Denmark without permission. You are allowed to register in the CPR if you wish to stay for more than three months. You are obligated to register in the CPR if you want to stay for more than six months.

    Read more about residence and work permit for Nordic citizens here

    Citizens of EU/EEA and Switzerland

    If your stay in Denmark lasts more than 3 months, you must apply for a registration certificate no later than 3 months following your entry. You may submit your application personally to the State Administration. You may also send your application by ordinary post or e-mail (before or after you move to Denmark). Alternatively, you can apply via a Danish representation in your home country.

    Read more about residence and work permit for citizens of EU/EEA and Switzerland here

    Non-EU/EEA citizens

    You must be granted a work and residence permit from the Danish Immigration Service before you start working in Denmark. You must submit your application through a Danish representation in your home country before travelling to Denmark. If you are going to study in Denmark, your educational institution begins the application process.

    Read more about residence and work permit for non-EU/EEA citizens here

  • Step 2: CPR number and health insurance

    You need to register in person with Citizen Service or International Citizen Service in order to obtain a CPR number that ensures you free healthcare services in Denmark.

    Bring along:

    • EU registration certificate or residence and work permit, if applicable
    • Identity papers with photo (e.g. driving license or passport)
    • Proof of address in Denmark (e.g. a lease or a letter from the owner)
    • Marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates, if applicable

    When registering with Citizen Service or International Citizen Service, you must also choose a general practitioner. After approximately 14 days, you will receive your health insurance card that contains your CPR number and your general practitioner’s contact information.

  • Step 3: Tax

    When you work in Denmark, you must pay tax on your income to the Danish state. These taxes pay for the Danish welfare system, including child care, education, elderly care, and access to doctors and hospitals. The Danish tax authority is called SKAT and means tax in Danish.

    You must contact SKAT in order to retrieve a tax card. At their webpage you will find extensive information in English about how to get a tax card and how to manage your tax affairs, including how to check and report any changes or additions to your preliminary income assessment. You can also apply for a tax card at International Citizen Service and get further guidance on taxes.

    Using SKAT’s E-tax (TastSelv) service, you can manage your tax affairs when it is convenient for you.

    Please note that SKAT has a special tax scheme for researchers and key employers recruited from abroad.

    Read more about tax in Denmark

    Fill out the special tax scheme for international researchers and key employers

  • Step 4: Bank account

    Once you have your CPR number, you can open a bank account. When working in Denmark, it is necessary to have a bank account. You will need to receive your salary as well as other supplements from the municipality, such as child benefit or pensions.

    All banks offer personal advice in the normal opening hours. Most banks are open from 9:30 am to 4 pm from Monday to Friday and until 6 pm on Thursdays.

    When setting up an account, contact a bank in person, and bring with you:

    • Passport or ID card
    • Documentary proof of your address in Denmark

    Your bank will issue a cash card for cash withdrawal and paying in shops. You will be sent a PIN code that you will need in order til use the card at cash point machines and shops. Some places will require a signature instead of a PIN code.

    Ask your bank to make the account your NemKonto. Remember to inform the payroll department of your bank account number

    Most banks offer free access to an online netbank, and many banks offer this service in English.

    With a netbank, you can also use the automatic electronic payment system “Betalingsservice”. Your regular bills will then automatically be paid on the payment day and the money will be drawn from your bank account automatically. Ask your bank for further guidance.

  • Step 5: NemID

    NemID is Denmark’s common logon solution for both public self-service, online banking, etc.

    Read more about NemID at Living in Denmark.

  • Additional step: Register your car

    You are allowed to bring your own car or purchase or rent a car in Denmark.

    As a foreign resident in Denmark, you are not allowed to drive a vehicle with foreign number plates on Danish roads, except if your stay is for less than 185 days or if you have come to Denmark to carry out a task of a definite duration for less than six months. In all other cases than the two previously mentioned, you must register your car with Danish number plates.

    You must register your car with Danish number plates within 14 days of your arrival to Denmark, and you must pay registration tax. Car registration is administered by SKAT. At SKAT's website you can fill out an application for permit to drive a foreign-registered motor vehicle in Denmark and send it to:

    • SKAT Motorbevillinger, Helgeshøj Allé 9, 2630 Taastrup
  • Additional step: Convert your driving licence

    If you wish to drive a car in Denmark, you might have to convert your foreign driving license into a Danish driving license.

    It is not necessary to exchange a foreign driving license if it was obtained in an EU country, or in Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein. Driving licenses from other countries may be used for up to 90 days after a permanent residence is established in Denmark, after which time it must be exchanged for a Danish driving license.

    To convert your foreign driving license, please contact Citizen’s Service or International Citizen Service. You must bring with you:

    • Your national driving license
    • Identification with a personal identification number
    • Passport or original birth certificate
    • Valid residence permit, unless you may legally reside in Denmark without permission
    • Passport photo
    • Doctor’s certificate
    • Cash to pay for the exchange

    If your driving license is not issued in the Latin alphabet or if it does not have a translation into German, English or French, you will need a translation of your driving license

    In addition, a driving test will typically be necessary when exchanging a foreign driving license to a Danish driving license.

    If you have any questions about registering your car, you can contact SKAT at 72 22 18 18. You can also read more about rules and tax rates for imported cars at SKAT’s website. You can also contact International Citizen Service for more information.

  • Additional step: Insurance

    It is required by law that you have a liability insurance policy if you own a car. This insurance covers damages to other persons and their property. In addition, it is possible to obtain a comprehensive insurance policy that covers damages to your car and theft.

    It can be beneficial to acquire private insurance coverage to avoid unnecessary financial surprises in case of burglary, accidents etc. The most common insurance coverage policies are basic insurance and accident insurance.

    A basic insurance is normally a combination of a household contents insurance, a personal liability insurance and legal protection. This is also sometimes called a family insurance. It covers all family members living at the same address. It also provides coverage for children under 21 years old when they are living on their own.

    Bicycles are seen as a household content in this matter, but they are only covered when locked with a lock approved by the Danish Institute for Informative Labelling or Tryg. In case of theft, you must present the lock certificate and the frame number of the bicycle.


Administration By Kultur og Miljø
Tlf 46 31 30 00

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