How to open a bank account in Norway: A step-by-step guide

If you are staying in Norway for more than 6 months, you should consider opening a Norwegian bank account.

There are several national and regional banks to choose from, but DnB makes the process a lot easier as it offers its website and internet banking in English.

In this article, I will take you through the process of opening a Norwegian bank account to make your financial life in Norway easier.

Why you should get a Norwegian bank account

If you plan on living in Norway for more than 6 months, having a Norwegian bank account can be beneficial.

This will make any transfer and deposit of money a lot easier, as well as payments. This is especially true if you are to receive a salary from a Norwegian employer.

The reason is that transferring and processing money transfers are subject to regulations when done across country lines due to money laundering concerns.

As the holder of a Norwegian bank account, you can also get BankID, which is a very convenient electronic identification service.

Not only does it allow you to log into your bank account safely, but you can also easily confirm online purchases, and identify yourself on a wide range of public and private services (tax authorities, public health sector, etc).

What you need to open a Norwegian bank account

In short, these are the following papers and items you need to open a bank account with a Norwegian bank.

  • Residency permit
  • National identification number
  • Passport
  • Passport size photo
  • Employment contract (if available)

First and foremost, you need to have a residence permit if your stay in Norway exceeds 3 months. This is obtained from the directorate of immigration (UDI) or obtained by registering with the police.

Once you have a residence permit, you have to obtain a national identification number. This is required by the Norwegian authorities and other organizations for anyone staying in Norway for at least 6 months.

This can be obtained by registering with the Norwegian tax administration. When processed, you will receive your national identification number.

This can either be a temporary one (D number) or a permanent one. Which one you get depends on the length of your stay and your residence permit.

Which bank to choose

Norway has several banks to choose between. The largest, and most common everyday banks are DnB, Nordea, Handelsbanken, Danske bank, Sbanken, and Sparebank1.

There is also a large selection of smaller local banks, however, many have limited English customer support and online information, and do not provide their internet banking services in English.

When my fiance moved to Norway, we choose DnB. This is Norway’s largest corporate and consumer bank. 

It offers both English customer service and English internet banking services. This is also my everyday bank as a Norwegian and I am very satisfied with their customer support and easy-to-use internet banking services.

How to open a Norwegian bank account

Once you have everything you need, including your identification number you can contact the bank of your choice online, or by going to their nearest branch.

I recommend DnB. Here you can start the process online by filling out an application form online, after which you will be contacted by the bank with how to proceed. 

Regardless of which bank you choose, you will have to physically identify yourself at one of the bank’s local branches. Make sure to bring the following (unless advised otherwise);

  • Document from the tax authorities with your national identification number
  • Passport
  • Passport type photo
  • Employment contract (if available)
  • Home rental/lease contract (if available)

When identifying yourself with the bank, you might also be asked why you want to open an account. You might also get asked whether you plan to do a lot of money transfers abroad and to what country.

These are standard questions the bank has to ask due to money laundering regulations. Once the bank processes your application and everything checks out you will get your account.

Once the account is set up, the bank can also give you access to BankID. As a non-Norwegian customer, you are given a standard savings account.

If you want a credit card you have to have lived in Norway for at least 1 year. Once you are eligible, contact your bank on how to apply. 

Typically, you will need to provide the bank with a copy of your tax returns, your employment contract, and proof of paying your household bills on time.

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Erik is the creator and editor of Planet Norway. Born in Trondheim and currently living in Oslo, Erik knows the ins and outs of Norwegian History, society, and culture. His idea for starting planet Norway came about when helping his foreign fiance to settle in Norway.