Prepaid cards - subscriber's toolbox - UKE

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Prepaid cards - subscriber's toolbox

Karty sim
Following numerous doubts concerning the obligation to register prepaid cards, the Office of Electronic Communications prepared answers to frequently asked questions.


Is it necessary to register SIM card?
There is no such obligation, but cards bought before 25 July 2016 which will not be registered by 1 February 2017 will be deactivated by the operator.

Operators shall enable registration of SIM cards - both those bought after 25 July 2016 and prior - at their stationary shops. It is necessary to go to the shop with the SIM card and an identity document. Operator may entrust its cooperating companies with the performance of these tasks.

Registration consists in filling in and signing the registration form.

What is the registration procedure?

Registration consists in providing the operator with the following data:

1)   in the case of a subscriber being a natural person:
•    name and surname,
•    PESEL number or the type, series and number of the document confirming identity,

2)   in the case of a subscriber other than a natural person:
•    name,
•    REGON identification number or NIP (tax identification number) or number from the National Court Register, business activity register or other relevant register.

Subscriber shall provide operator with these data when concluding a contract in written or electronic form.

Is it possible to register prepaid card online?

The provisions do not preclude the possibility for subscriber to provide the data in electronic form via Internet, but it should be noted that verification/confirmation of identity by electronic means will be carried out with the use of electronic identification means.

Is it still possible to buy a card in a kiosk or shop? Is it necessary to show ID to buy a card?
A SIM card sale is performed according to the previous rules. Purchase can be made at any place without any obligation to show ID. However, the card will not be active until registration.

Will a card bought at the operator's shop be active right away, or will it be necessary to wait for the data to be verified? How long?
Operator will start the provision of telecommunications services:
  • only after confirming that the data provided by a subscriber are valid, or
  • after providing the data by a subscriber and confirming them electronically.
The provisions do not indicate any term in which registration shall be completed.

What to do if operator does not have any stationary shop?
Virtual operators enable online registration of SIM cards. All you have to do is to fill in an online form and go to a chosen point cooperating with the operator, or wait for a courier.

How will operators verify subscribers' personal data?
The process for verification and confirmation of subscriber's identity is established by respective operators.

The obligation to collect and confirm data prior to the activation of services applies to operators, not the SIM card sellers or distributors. The data have to be collected prior to the activation of services, but it does not mean that they have to be collected upon the SIM card purchase.

Confirmation of the subscriber's data can be made electronically or through a third party acting on behalf of service provider. Operator may entrust these activities both to its employees at stationary shops and to employees of its cooperating companies.

What about disabled persons for whom physical mobility is not possible - are they excluded from the possibility to register their SIM card to their name? What are the procedures in this regard?
Disabled persons and seniors are obliged to register their SIM cards just like other subscribers.

Confirmation of data is possible through third party acting on behalf of the operator. Operator may entrust activities connected with verification to other entities, e.g. a courier company. The data may be also provided and confirmed electronically.

If subscriber's data have already been verified in connection with a previously concluded contract, confirmation of the data can be done through an IT system made available by the operator. Operator decides on the possibility to register SIM cards via Internet or phone and later confirm the data in the place of residence of a subscriber, e.g. disabled person, by a courier or in a different way that does not require a visit at the stationary shop.

What about minors? Can they register their cards?
Minors who are over 13 (young people between 13 and 18 years of age) may register a prepaid card to their name. In order to be able to start providing services, operator has to confirm data correctness on the basis of a valid identity document.

What is the aim of prepaid card registration? How does it work in other EU countries?
The basic aim of the regulation is to increase efficiency of the Polish counter-terrorism system, thereby increasing the safety of all Polish citizens.
Obligation to register SIM cards is aimed at limiting ability to communicate and camouflage for criminals, also those engaged in terrorist activities.

Some EU countries have regulations limiting the possibility to purchase prepaid cards to the stationary shops of telecommunications operators. Such solutions have been adopted i.a. in Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria and Hungary. Obligation to collect data concerning subscribers who use telecommunications services can be found i.a. in the German law.

Does UKE monitor the implementation of the obligation to register and verify personal data connected to the sales of prepaid cards? Does it plan to impose penalties on the operators who fail to comply with the obligations imposed in this scope?
The President of UKE is authorised to monitor compliance with the provisions of law.
If, on the basis of information and complaints submitted to the Office, the President of UKE finds that service providers fail to provide services under relevant provisions, it may give grounds to launch an explanatory proceeding or inspection.

You should not trust any person who calls or writes you claiming to be a representative of the operator. SIM card registration cannot be done by phone or e-mail; it can only be done at a stationary shop, or after filling in an online form by the consumer followed by a confirmation of identity done e.g. by a courier.

Remember! You need to check all the details connected with the registration of prepaid cards with your operator.


Legal basis:
  1. Act of 16 July 2004 on Telecommunications Law (i.e. Journal of Laws No 2014, item 243, as amended)
  2. Act of 17 February 2005 on informatization of activities of entities performing public service tasks (Journal of Laws of 2014, item 1114 and of 2016)
  3. Act of 10 June 2016 on counter-terrorism (Journal of Laws of 2016)
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