Apply for a National Insurance Number

If you do not already have a National Insurance number, you only need to apply for one if you are planning to: 

Before you Apply 

Check how to find a lost National Insurance number

If you are a UK Resident Aged 19 or Under 

You will normally be sent a National Insurance number automatically, in the three months before your 16th birthday, if both the following are true: 

  • you live in the UK 

  • a parent has filled in a Child Benefit claim form for you 

If you are aged 16 to 19 and did not get one, call HM Revenue and Customs. 

If You Are Moving to the UK 

You may already have a National Insurance (NI) number which will be printed on the back of your biometric residence permit (BRP). 

If you do not have one, you must apply for a National Insurance number if you plan to work, apply for a student loan or claim benefits. You can only apply once you are in the UK. 

If You Are Applying for Benefits or a Student Loan 

You can apply for a National Insurance number as part of your application for benefits or a student loan. 

You will not need to call the National Insurance number application line. But you might need to attend an interview at Jobcentre Plus (or a processing centre if you are in Northern Ireland). 

How to Apply 

To apply for a National Insurance number you must: 

Call the National Insurance number application line to apply. 

National Insurance number application line (England, Scotland and Wales) 

After you have Applied 

You will get a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) asking you to come to a National Insurance number interview at Jobcentre Plus. 

The letter will also tell you which documents to bring to prove your identity, such as: 

  • passport or identity card 

  • residence permit 

  • birth or adoption certificate 

  • marriage or civil partnership certificate 

  • driving licence 

At the interview, you will be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number. You will also be told how long it’ll take to get your National Insurance number. 

If you change your address before you get your letter, tell DWP by contacting the National Insurance number application line. 

Working Without a National Insurance Number 

You can start work before your National Insurance number arrives if you can prove you can work in the UK. You should tell your employer that you have applied for one, and give it to them when you have it. 

For Further Information