Frequently Asked Questions
We have put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about your National Insurance number and the services we offer.
Your National Insurance number is unique to you throughout your life but it is not a form of identity. It is made up of 2 letters, 6 numbers and a final letter.
Everyone who wants to work in the UK must have a National Insurance number. To obtain a National Insurance number, you must be 16 or over and resident in Great Britain or Northern Ireland.
You can start work without one but you must then apply immediately. The law requires you to apply for a NI number if you do not already have one and you are working or are intending to work.
The following groups may need to know your National Insurance number:
- employers and pension providers
- local council
- the Student Loans Company
- banks and building societies
Do not give your National Insurance number to anyone who does not need to know it.
If you already have a National Insurance number, you can find it:
- on your payslip
- on your P60
- on letters about your tax, pension or benefits
- in the National Insurance section of your personal tax account
Jobcentre Plus may write to you and ask you to come to an interview where you will be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number.
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
You can apply for a National Insurance number by visiting the gov website.
It usually takes between 2 to 6 weeks to receive your National Insurance number after attending your Evidence of Identity interview.
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.
The cost for a plastic card is £20.
Get your National Insurance number card now