Croatians and foreigners alike who have any financial dealings in Croatia must have a Personal Identity Number, called ‘Osobni identifikacijski broj’ or OIB (pronounced oh-eeb) for short. The OIB consists of eleven random numbers. From January 1st 2009 it replaced the previous form of Unique Identity Number (Jedinstveni matični broj građana or JMBG, MBG), which had thirteen numbers starting with one’s date of birth.
So if you have a bank account, or own a property and pay taxes and utility bills, you need an OIB. Even if for some reason you have been issued with the number itself automatically, you still need to obtain the OIB certificate, as sometimes you may have to show it.
The OIB is fully explained on its website (in Croatian). The Finance Ministry previously published a brochure with full details about the OIB for foreigners, again in Croatian. In honour of Croatia joining the EU on July 1st 2013, the Finance Ministry website now has an English version. This deals especially with tax issues and the Double Taxation Agreement, but does not spell out the details of the OIB in English.
Applying for the OIB is simple: you just need the application form and a photocopy of your passport details or other identity document.
The application form is in Croatian, English and German and can be downloaded from the internet.
If you by any chance do not have the English version on hand, you can read on about how to fill the Croatian version of the form in.
Zahtjev za određivanjem i dodjeljivanjem identifikacijskog broja
– Application for an OIB to be allocated and supplied
An individual applicant (Fizička osoba) should fill in part 1.
If you have an old Croatian identity number, enter it on the line MBG.
Then you have to fill in the first three boxes and the last one.
Box 1.1 Osnovni podaci – Basic information
Line 1. Ime: put in your first or Christian name
Prezime: put in your surname
Line 2: Spol (sex): enter muški for male, ženski for female
Rođ. Prezime: (for married females) enter your maiden name
Line 3: Datum rođenja: enter your date of birth (dd/mm/year)
Mjesto rođenja: enter your place of birth (city, town, village)
Line 4: Država rođenja: enter the country where you were born
Državljanstvo: your nationality
Line 5: Adresa prebivališta: enter your home address in full.
Box 1.2 Podaci o identifikacijskom dokumentu – details of identity document
Line 1: Broj osobne iskaznice: enter the number of your Croatian ID card, if you have one, otherwise leave this blank
Datum važenja: expiry date of the ID card
Line 2: Broj putovnice: enter your passport number
Datum važenja: enter the passport’s expiry date
Zemlja izdavanja: country of issue
Box 1.3 Podaci o roditeljima – parents’ details
Otac – father, majka – mother
Lines 1 & 2: enter the Croatian OIB and MBG numbers if your parents have or had them.
Line 3: Ime: enter the first / Christian name for your father, then your mother
Line 4: Prezime: enter your parents’ surname (mother’s married name)
Line 5: Rođ. prezime: enter your mother’s maiden name (below ‘majka’)
Box 3: Popis priloženih isprava – list of supporting documents
If you are submitting a photocopy of your passport entry, put in: preslik putovnice
Potpis podnositelja zahtjeva – applicant’s signature
Datum uručivanja potvrde – date of receipt of application
The OIB is issued by the Finance Ministry’s Department for Taxes. You can take your application or ask a friend to take it to your nearest tax office in person. If you go in person, take your original supporting document (usually your passport) and a photocopy to leave with the application. The OIB may be issued immediately, prepared for you to collect later, or posted out to you.
The OIB Certificate
The OIB document is in two parts. The upper part contains a system code (numbers) and explanatory statements:
1. the confirmation slip carries the weight of an official ID;
2. the slip is proof of your OIB;
3. the slip is issued free of charge by the Tax Department;
4. if you lose the original document, you can apply for a duplicate;
5. for all official purposes requiring identification, you can produce the slip or any other official document showing the OIB;
6. the OIB is used for any business activities involving accounts etc;
7. Below is the statement of the OIB (which should be detached along the perforation).
The lower part forms a slip containing your number, which you should detach and keep in your wallet or in a safe place, as it is the official proof of your OIB. File the upper part of the document for reference.
Be prepared to quote your OIB in any official transactions.
If you lose your original OIB document, you should apply to replace it as quickly as possible.
Written by Vivian Grisogono, updated March 2015