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HMRC internal manual

Construction Industry Scheme Reform Manual

Register and maintain subcontractor: the registration process: identity checks

CISR42600 Action guide contents


All newly self-employed customers registering for Self Assessment (SA) only, or SA and CIS, must establish their identity before their registration can be processed. The proper way to do this is for the person to provide a verifiable National Insurance Number (NINO).


You should therefore ask all customers registering for SA, or SA and CIS, to supply a NINO. Any customer without a NINO should be advised to apply for one by telephoning the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0845 600 0643. As part of this process, they will be asked to attend an Evidence of Identity interview, and once the customer has their NINO, the SA/CIS registration process can proceed as normal.

However, you should be aware that not every customer will need a NINO because, in a very few cases, they do not have to pay UK National Insurance. Therefore, if anyone seeking registration for SA and CIS, tells you that they are not liable for National Insurance in the UK, you should allow them to use the alternative process set out below.

Alternative process for customers claiming not to be liable for UK National Insurance

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) CISR42160(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Customers from the Isle of Man

Residents of the Isle of Man should have been issued with NINOs commencing with the letters ‘MA’. These NINOs are valid in the UK and NIM39620 refers.

Identity checks

Any applicant without a UK NINO and who has to undertake an HMRC identity check should also be asked to produce evidence with their CIS application to show that they pass the ‘business test’ (see CISR45000) and also that they have sufficient turnover to pass the turnover test, (see CISR44000). The application form should then be endorsed to show that evidence to pass these two tests has been seen by HMRC.

To carry out the identity check the applicant should be asked to present their passport together with one other document showing their address. A list of acceptable identifying documents can be found at CISR42160.

Identifying documents

For the purposes of registration you must be satisfied that the person making the application is who they purport to be from the identifying documents presented to you.

Remember, you should not, under any circumstances, become involved in any issues surrounding

  • nationality
  • right of entry to the UK, or
  • right to work in the UK.

We have no authority to ask questions about these matters which are for the Home Office to determine.