Resident registration number

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In the Republic of Korea, a resident registration number (RRN) (Korean: 주민등록번호 (romanized: Jumin Deungrok Beonho), Hanja: 住民登錄番號) is a 13-digit number issued to all residents of South Korea. Similar to national identification numbers in other countries, it is used to identify people in various private transactions such as in banking and employment. It is also used extensively for online identification purposes. Foreigners (except those affiliated with the U.S. military) receive an alien registration number upon registration with a city office, which serves as a substitute for the "resident" registration number on their alien registration card.

Every South Korean citizen following month of his or her 17th birthday registers their fingerprint at the government local office and is issued the Resident Registration Card in which indicates the name, registration number, home address, fingerprint as well as a photograph.

Components[edit]

The resident registration number consists of 13 digits, with each block serving a certain function, as illustrated below:

yymmdd-sbbbbnc

The first six digits signify the person's date of birth; for example, a person born on September 1, 1946, such as former President Roh Moo-Hyun, would have 460901 as the first six digits of his RRN.

s, the seventh digit, indicates the sex and the century in which the person was born:

  • 1 – male Korean citizens (born 1900–1999)
  • 2 – female Korean citizens (born 1900–1999)
  • 3 – male Korean citizens (born 2000–2099)
  • 4 – female Korean citizens (born 2000–2099)
  • 5 – male foreign residents in Korea (born 1900–1999)
  • 6 – female foreign residents in Korea (born 1900–1999)
  • 7 – male foreign residents in Korea (born 2000–2099)
  • 8 – female foreign residents in Korea (born 2000–2099)

bbbb, the eighth through eleventh digits, signifies place of birth on Korean citizens' cards. In the registration numbers of foreign residents these number indicate which agency issued the registration number.[1]

  • n, the 12th digit, is a sequential number used to differentiate those of the same sex born on the same day in the same location.
  • c, the 13th digit, is a check digit, used to verify that the number has been transcribed correctly. It is generated from the rest of the digits using the following algorithm (digits lettered a through m in order):
m = [11 − {(2a + 3b + 4c + 5d + 6e + 7f + 8g + 9h + 2i + 3j + 4k + 5l) mod 11}] mod 10

Online use[edit]

Many South Korean websites require users to submit a valid resident registration number to create an account. This practice ties each registered account to a unique online identity, rather than allowing anonymous registration. Since only a few large websites allow alternate means of identification (such as an alien registration number or passport number) foreigners are unable to use most South Korean websites.

The principal means of validating a resident registration number is to use an algorithm to check the last digit against what it should be based upon the rest of the digits entered (i.e. checksum verification) which only ensures it is a valid number, but does not authenticate the user.

On 26 July 2011 a hacking incident of SK Communications (owner of NateOn, South Korea's most popular messenger) took place, during which about 70% of all Korean citizens' numbers were hacked.[2] As a result, all South Korean websites were obliged to delete and are no longer allowed to use the number except for payments. The RRN has since replaced the number with identification SMS (via phone owners' information), public key certificate (requiring a visit to a bank, since PKC is stored in user's PC or personal device unlike other countries), and i-PIN, Internet Personal Identification Number, which may be obtained via registration of RRN with a governmental site.[citation needed]

Fraud[edit]

Since many South Korean websites require a valid resident registration number (RRN) in order to create an account, this presents many opportunities for identity theft and other types of fraud. For example, it was found that former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun's resident registration number was used to gain access to hundreds of pornographic websites as well as entertainment and gaming websites.[3]

Identity theft and other fraud is difficult to defeat in Korea, because each person's resident registration number is unchangeable, unlike like other nation's identification numbers which can be changed if they are compromised (such as the United States' SSN). Complaints about identity theft led the South Korean government to implement stiff penalties for using someone else's resident registration number. Offenders may serve three years in jail or pay a 10,000,000 fine.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "외국인등록번호". 2016-03-22. 
  2. ^ Lee, D. "Millions hit in South Korean hack". BBC News (Technology). Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "President, PM Fall Victim to Online ID Theft". Digital Chosunilbo. 2006-06-27. Archived from the original on 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  4. ^ "Resident Registration Act". Global Legal Information Network. 2001-01-26.