Apply for a National Insurance number for a looked after child

How to get a National Insurance number for a child who is being looked after by a local authority.

Children who are looked after by local authorities don’t automatically get a National Insurance number.

To get a National Insurance number a social worker for a looked after child has to apply to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on the child’s behalf.

There may be 3 steps to get a number:

1. Register a request with HMRC

A social worker should apply for the National Insurance number after a child is 15 years and 9 months old by writing a letter to HMRC using their local authority’s official letter-headed paper. The letter should say the social worker wishes to apply for a National Insurance number for a looked after child.

The letter must include:

  • the child’s full name
  • any previous names the child has used
  • the child’s date of birth
  • the date the child went into care
  • the child’s current address
  • the contact details of the social worker who has written the letter

If the child is a British citizen, the letter should also include:

  • any previous addresses (such as their parent’s old address or the child’s last address before they were taken into care)
  • a photocopy of either:
    • the child’s birth certificate
    • their Care Order
    • the ID page of the child’s passport

If the child is an unaccompanied minor and supported by the Home Office, photocopies of the child’s Home Office documents should also be included.

The letter and photocopies of any documents should be posted or faxed to:

National Insurance contributions and Employers Office
HM Revenue and Customs

Fax: 0191 213 1262

A separate letter should be written for each National Insurance number application that is made.

2. Complete a CA3530 application form

If more information is needed HMRC will issue a CA3530 ‘Application for a National Insurance number for a child looked after by a local authority’ form to the social worker to confirm the details required.

The form should be completed and posted back to HMRC within 1 month. If it is not returned within a month, another request to register letter will have to be sent to HMRC.

3. HMRC issue a National Insurance number

Once HMRC has received the required information they will send a letter to the child confirming their National Insurance number.

Published 18 August 2014