If you are a British citizen, an NI number will automatically be issued to you before your 16th birthday. However, if you have moved to the UK you will need to apply for an NI number.
You need to apply for an NI number if:
- You are starting work/looking for work;
- You are setting up as self-employed;
- You want to make voluntary NI contributions and would benefit from them.
You will also need one if you are claiming benefits. If this is the case, you can apply for one via the claims process.
To apply for an NI number, call 0845 600 0643 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm). Jobcentre Plus will check if you need an NI number or if you already have an NI number.
They will then arrange an Evidence of Identity interview. This will involve checking who you are, your eligibility to work in the UK, why you want an NI number and your background and circumstances. You will need to bring along documents to prove your identity. At the end of the interview, you will be asked to sign an NI number form.
Following the interview, you will be contacted and informed as to whether you have been successful or not.
If you have lost your NI number:
Look at your P60, payslip, annual tax return or any other official correspondence from the Revenue. Your NI number should be present on any of this documents.
Remember, your NI number always remains the same throughout your life.
If you cannot find it, contact your local jobcentre or the HMRC NIC office and they will be able to help you on what to do next or your employer can send an NI Number tracing form to HMRC.
If you have lost your NI card:
Inform your Jobcentre immediately. They will tell you to fill out an application form for a replacement. You will only be allowed ONE replacement card.