Apply for a National Insurance number

If you do not already have a National Insurance number, you only need to apply for one if you’re planning to:

You cannot currently apply for a National Insurance number because of coronavirus (COVID-19). You can start work without one if you can prove you can work in the UK. You can also still apply for benefits or a student loan.

Before you apply

Check how to find a lost National Insurance number.

If you’re a UK resident aged 19 or under

You’ll normally be sent a National Insurance number automatically, in the 3 months before your 16th birthday, if both the following are true:

  • you live in the UK
  • a parent has filled in a Child Benefit claim form for you

If you’re aged 16 to 19 and did not get one, call HM Revenue and Customs.

If you’re moving to the UK

If you have a biometric residence permit (BRP), you might have a National Insurance number already - it will be printed on the back of your BRP if you do.

If you do not have a National Insurance number, you must apply for one if you plan to work, apply for a student loan or claim benefits. You can only apply once you’re in the UK.

If you’re applying for benefits or a student loan

You can apply for a National Insurance number as part of your application for benefits or a student loan.

How to apply

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) you cannot currently apply for a National Insurance number.

After you’ve applied

You’ll get a letter asking you to come to a National Insurance number interview at Jobcentre Plus (or a processing centre if you’re in Northern Ireland).

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

At the interview, you’ll be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number. You’ll also be told how long it’ll take to get your National Insurance number.