The Local Register Offices in Finland maintains a national Population Information System in Finland, which includes information on people's names, addresses and age.
You go to the Local Register Office if you want to change a name, an address or register a new person.
Every person dwelling in Finland has to be registered here. The Local Register Office provides everyone with a social security number. A social security number is very important in Finland and is needed, for example, when you visit the health care services. A social security number could look like this: 190588-264R.
The first six numbers shows when the person was born. Among the first things you should do after arriving in Finland is to visit the Local Register Office and register as a new resident in Finland.
After having registered at the Local Register Office, they will contact Kela (FPA) which is an independent social insurance institution supervised by the Parliament. Kela will provide you with a "Kela card" (a personal health insurance card) for free.
You will need this card when you visit, for example the health care centers or the pharmacy. The card will have your name and social security number on it and you should bring it with you everywhere you go.
If you have a Kela card it means you are covered under the National Health Insurance scheme of Finland and by presenting it at the pharmacy or a medical clinic you can get reimbursement for your costs.
At Kela you can also apply for financial aid in different ways, such as housing allowance, child benefit, parental allowance, student allowance, disability benefits etc. Kela, however, does not pay anyone automatically. You always have to submit an application yourself. If you apply for money that you are not entitled to, you will be forced to pay them back.
The Police is where you should go and report if you have been the victim of a crime. You do not need an appointment to report, for example a lost passport or a stolen bike. The Police is also where you apply for a new passport.