WHAT IS NI NUMBER? Your National Insurance number is unique and it stays with you for your lifetime.
It ensures any National Insurance contributions and income tax payments get credited to your record only. Everyone’s NI number is a combination of numbers and letters. You can find it displayed on:
- Employee payslip and end-of-year P60
- Letters about benefits, pension, and tax
- Personal tax account in the National Insurance section
- Government Gateway tax return account
HMRC give a National Insurance number to those who have the right to study or work in the United Kingdom. Those who live in the UK should get their NI number shortly before they turn 16 years old. This is an automatic process as a rule.
Call the National Insurance helpline number if you did not get a one and you are between 16 and 20 years of age. Use the Jobcentre Plus application line to apply for benefits if you did not get a National Insurance number.
Who Can Use Your Unique National Insurance Number?
Several government organisations need to know your unique National Insurance number. It will get used by:
- HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs)
- Electoral Registration Officers (if you apply to register to vote)
- Employer payroll departments
- Financial service providers (if authorised) to help you buy and sell investments (e.g. bonds, shares and derivatives)
- Individual Savings Account provider (after opening an ISA)
- Local councils (if you are claiming Housing Benefit)
- The Department for Work and Pensions (if you claim state benefits) which can include:
- Disability and Carers Service
- Jobcentre Plus
- The Pension Service
- The Student Loan Company if you make an application for student funding
- The Department for Social Development or Northern Ireland Housing Executive in Northern Ireland
Note: Always keep your NI Number safe and secure to help avoid identity fraud. Do not share it with any person or organisation that does not legally require it.
How to Prove National Insurance
Supplying a print National Insurance number from your personal tax account confirms proof. Anyone without a personal tax account should contact HMRC and request a letter of proof.
Applying for National Insurance Number Online
To begin, you must start your application by phone when you apply for a National Insurance number.
Note: Contact your nearest Jobcentre Plus office to apply for benefits with no National Insurance number.
Moving to the UK: NI Number
You need to apply for a National Insurance number if you are moving to the UK. The exception is if you already have a number for NI.
You must have the right to study or work here and be in the United Kingdom before you apply.
If you already have a NI number it should show printed on the reverse side of a biometric residence permit (BRP).
Note: There is no need to apply for a new National Insurance number if you already have it printed on your BRP.
Lost National Insurance Card
What happens if you lose an existing National Insurance number? As a rule you can find it on your wage payslips, pension, or on your P60.
Working Without a National Insurance Number
To start working before you get your NI number, you will need to prove your right to work in the United Kingdom. You must inform your employer that you have applied for it and provide them with your NI number when you get it.
National Insurance Number Interview Questions
In some cases the Jobcentre Plus may ask you to attend a National Insurance number interview. They might ask you about your current circumstances and why you are applying for a NI number.
They will send you a letter requesting your attendance. The letter informs you which documents to bring. You will also need to prove your identity using:
- Your residence permit, driving licence, identity card, or passport.
- Your birth or adoption certificate, marriage papers, or civil partnership certificate.
Note: They will inform you how long it takes to get your National Insurance number at the interview.