When do I apply for a National Insurance Number?
No one has a right to a National Insurance number but there are circumstances when you are legally obliged to apply for one and to register for National Insurance purposes.
Conditions for applying for a National Insurance number
If you do not already have a National Insurance number you must apply for one as soon as you start work or you (or in some cases, your partner) claims benefit.
You must be 16 or over and resident in the UK.
If you satisfy all the above conditions except for being resident in the UK, and you still want to apply for a National Insurance number, you must be liable to pay NICs or want to pay voluntary NICs and would benefit from doing so. You will need to contact the Centre for Non-Residents.
Providing you satisfy these conditions, you should contact your nearest DWP office or Social Security office in Northern Ireland and ask for an appointment to be interviewed for a National Insurance number.
At the interview you will need to be
able to prove your identity.
You can find out information about the types of documents you should provide to help establish your identity in leaflet GL25 available from any DWP office or Social Security office in Northern Ireland.
What if I have already been given a National Insurance number but I cannot remember what it is?
If you think you already have a National Insurance number but cannot remember it, see if you can find it on any official papers you may have at home. Look on any of the following:
An end of year statement of tax and NICs paid (P60)
Payslip, recent or old
Annual tax return
Sub contractor’s tax certificate (CIS6)
Employer’s wage records.
Your National Insurance number will not change. Even if for example, you go abroad, marry or change your name, your National Insurance number will stay the same.
If you still cannot find your National Insurance number, ask at your nearest DWP office, Social Security office in Northern Ireland or Inland Revenue office and they will tell you what to do.