How To Get A National Insurance Number

If you want to work or claim benefits in the UK then you will need to have a National Insurance number (NINO).

Most people receive their National Insurance number automatically just before their 16th birthday.  However, if you don’t have a National Insurance number, you may need to get one.  Our guide explains what your National Insurance number is, when you should receive one automatically and how to get a National Insurance number if you don’t have one.

What is a National Insurance number?

Your National Insurance number is a number that is unique to you.  It is used to keep track of your benefits and any national insurance contributions that you pay. The number is made up of two letters, six numbers and one letter – for example PF832459B.

If you start a job or you claim a benefit or tax credits, you’ll need to supply your National Insurance number. If you think you have a National Insurance number, but you are not sure what it is, you may find it on your payslip, benefits letter or your P60 form.

You can ask for help in finding your number from your nearest benefits office or HM Revenue and Customs (National Insurance Contributions Office). You can also ring the National Insurance Registrations Helpline on 0845 915 7006.

Getting a National Insurance Number automatically

If you’re under 16, living in the UK and your parent gets Child Benefit for you, you will automatically be registered for National Insurance.  You’ll get your National Insurance number through the post just before your 16th birthday. If you don’t get your number automatically, you can contact the National Insurance Registrations Helpline on 0845 915 7006 for advice.

While you don’t have a legal right to a National Insurance number, you are legally obliged to apply for one if you start work, or if you (or your partner) claim benefit.

How to get a National Insurance Number if you don’t have one

If you do not have a National Insurance number and you need one, you should telephone the National Employment NINO application number on 0845 600 0643 to arrange an interview at a local office.

The meeting will look to establish your identity and you will need to prove who you are. You can do this by taking along original copies of your birth certificate, driving licence or national identity card and letters from the Home Office.

At the meeting, you will also be expected to provide evidence to prove you have a right to work in the UK. If you don’t have the right to work in the UK, you won’t be entitled to a National Insurance number.

What if you have lost your National Insurance number?

If you can’t find your National Insurance number, you should contact HM Revenue and Customs.  Remember that you may find it on your payslip, tax forms or on your benefits or tax credits award letter.

You may also have a National Insurance Card with your number, but as from 2010, replacement National Insurance cards will no longer be issued.


  1. Ethnya says:

    I am away to turn 17 and still don’t have an NI number, who can I contact?

  2. Hamid2 says:

    Why NIÑO keep passport after interview and give receipt

  3. Jade perry says:

    I have lost my job because national insurance did not send put my number.

  4. Fatimah says:

    I was born in london but moved to dubai but i want to come back to the london to study in university can i still get a national insurance number and i do have a british passprt

  5. Esther says:

    I’m 14 and hoping to apply for some jobs.
    On the WHSmith website, it says they can employ 13-16 year olds, but everyone needs a national insurance number. Since I am under 16, do I actually need one anyway?

  6. ann says:

    im 16 and i havent got a national insurance number why?

  7. Courteney says:

    I have been held back a year at school, my birthday is in March and I turn 16, do I still get my Nat insurance number?

  8. Izaz Ur Rahman says:

    Hi there,

    I got my N.I Number in November 2011 but I didn’t received my N.I Card, I just want to know that how I can get my N.I Card?


  9. brendan duffy says:

    I have worked at the same company for 10 years, need my national insurance number,but on my pay slips it only gives nx 50 *** missing letters or numbers not sure which?i dont know how i can resolve this matter,as my hr cant help.

  10. chloe says:

    ive lost my national insurance number. how do i find out what it is?

  11. Lewis dow says:

    I am 16and have not got my yet .was sent to old address which was not forwarded to me .local tax office in Dundee say they can’t help .ineed it as ihave a part time job I don’t want to loose

  12. Derick says:

    Hey just wondering my friend whose from russia keeps asking me that does a national insurance number prove uk citizenship he’s 16 and has lived here for 5 years or somewhat and has/got a NI number a few days before his b-day, now he’s got a job interview but has his british passport at his mum’s house as they don’t live together (and she lives in Bradford i think) will he have any problems? Oh and his interview is in like 1 day of me writing this, thanks in advance.

  13. shayesteh says:

    I have family renuion visa and I applyed 1.5 month ago for my NINO but I did not get it long does it takes?

  14. peter kelly says:

    My girlfriend is Swedish and is coming to live in the UK so how do I get her a national insurance number so she can work

  15. Carolina says:

    Good afternoon,

    I was working in London from 2009 to 2010.
    Last year I claimed my taxes back. But I am thinking in coming back to work in UK.
    I would like to know if there is any problem to work there again and if I would have the same insurance number, because I sent all my documents and my insurance numer card to get my taxes back.

    Thank you.

  16. dodo sandor says:

    hi i would like to now hove can i get the natinal insuranse nr ? i’m duble citicen Romanian and Hungarian.i have a letter from Hungarian ambasy thet confirms im a hungarian citicen,but is writ in hungarian .must be translated? many thanks.

  17. Shea D says:

    I am 16 in less than a month and i havent yet recieved my national insurance number, what should i do ? and what address does it go to

  18. simon says:

    can i apply for a british passport if i have a uk national insurance number card

  19. Shaney Ledger says:

    Hiya, I am 16 and haven’t yet got my national insurance number? What do I do?

  20. Joe says:

    I had a national insurance card but lost it (I know stupid of me) and I need the number to apply for a job how do I get it?

  21. N.N says:

    I turned 16 in May but I still haven’t received my national insurance card. why?

  22. frank says:

    can i claim a pension if live overseas

  23. Tee says:

    I’am 16 and I still haven’t had my national insurance number, Why is it taking so long?

  24. Philip Jonathon Lock says:

    I was born in the UK and have a British passport,but my parents emigrated to the USA when I was 8yrs old.I have always worked in America or abroad. I am now 55 years old and currently working in Egypt. I am considering returning to the UK :soI would like to know whether I have a National Insurance number or how I must go about getting one when I come to the UK

  25. Joey says:

    I’m coming up to my 16th birthday. Will I get a card with my National Insurance Number on like the one my parents have?

    • NickP says:

      Joey – thanks for your question. You should receive your National Insurance number any time now. However, NI Number cards were stopped in 2010 and so you won’t get a card. Make sure you keep the letter containing your NI number safe for future reference.

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