PPS Number (Personal Public Service Number)

By Byra Gan / February 26, 2020
PPS Number

PPS Number is useful for a number of reasons whether you are planning to move to Ireland or have already been on the island for some time. This article aims to give you everything there is to know about the PPS number, including whether you need it, how to apply, what to do if you forgot your number, and various other frequently asked questions.

Questions Answered In This Article

  • What is a PPSN? Do you need one?
  • How and when to apply for PPSN?
  • Can anyone request my PPSN?
  • Do children need PPSN?
  • How long does it take?
  • What to do If you forgot/lost your PPSN?
  • Do you need a PPSN to apply for jobs in Ireland?
  • If you are relocating to Ireland, should you register for your PPSN yourself or your company takes care of it for you?
  • How to change your address, gender, or name associated with your PPSN?
  • Can you get a PPSN on a spouse visa or when you have no job?
  • Is a PPS number the same as a PPSN?
  • Do you need INIS (previously known as GNIB) before applying for a PPSN?
  • How much do you have to pay for a PPSN? Can undocumented migrants apply for PPSN?

If you still have unanswered questions at the end of this article, comment below for more information.

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What is a PPS number? Do you need one?

PPS Number (also known as PPSN) stands for Personal Public Service Number. It is a unique set of numbers that are given to residents in Ireland for various government services. You will need it for:

  • Accessing government services (health, benefit, social welfare, free travel pass etc.)
  • Working both full-time and part-time
  • Getting a driver’s license
  • Renting a property (excluding sharing in a family home)
  • Buying a property
  • Owning a company share
  • Revenue schemes, such as mortgage interest relief
  • The HSE’s Civil Registration Service – all Birth, Death, Marriage & Civil Partnership transactions
  • Enrolling your children into a new school

On the other hand, you do not need PPSN to open a bank account, to live or study in Ireland.

How and when to apply for a PPS number?

To apply for a PPS number, you will need to arrange a face-to-face interview on MyWelfare.ie. The interview should be booked in the PPS Number Allocation Centre in the county that you intend to live in. Mind that if you were born or started working in Ireland after 1971, you’re likely to have already your PPS number. Otherwise, you will need to prepare the following documents:

Proof of IdentityCurrent passport, Certificate of naturalisation, Birth certificate or National Identity Card (EU national) or 1951 Convention Travel Document (Non-EU national)
Proof of Address
  • Utility bills,
  • Financial documents,
  • Official/School letter,
  • Accommodation Manager or Owner letter
  • Tenancy/Lease agreement

Documents should not be older than 3 months.

Proof of Why You Need PPSN
  • If you are not in Ireland while applying for PPSN, you need to show your approval for an Irish visa as well as your company job offer.
  • For those who need a PPSN for work, you need to provide a letter of employment.
  • Other reasons include wanting to receive medical treatment, other government services or apply for a driving license.

While the evidence need not be physical, your application will go much smoother if you have supporting documents on why you need PPSN.

Can anyone request my PPSN?

No. In fact, once you are issued a PPSN, it is important to keep it private in order to avoid any situation where the possibility of scamming could be involved. Contact Client Identity Services at the Department of Social Protection for advice both via phone or email: 01-7043281 or at  cis@welfare.ie if you want to confirm that the organisation requesting your PPS number is legitimate and if you suspect that you may be the victim of identity theft.

Do children need PPSN?

Yes, anyone hoping to get avail of Irish government services needs PPSN. For children born in Ireland, a PPS number is generally given to them once their birth certificate has been produced and registered at the General Register Office (GRO). However, if birth is not registered within three months, the parent or guardian must make an application for their child.

PPS numbers for children living in, but not born in Ireland, must be applied for by the parent or guardian. One of the parents or guardians must have a PPS number for the child to be registered and provide evidence of:

  • his or her own identity
  • the identity of the child
  • the requirement for a PPS number
  • the relationship between the parent or guardian and the child
  • Evidence of address

How long does it take to get a PPSN?

You can find interview slots usually within 4-5 working days. Then if you applied for Public Services Card (PSC), you will receive the card within 2 weeks.

What to do If you forgot/lost your PPS number?

Check any cards and documents you might have received from government bodies. You can find your PPS number printed on your:

You may also contact your local Intreo to ask for your PPS number.

Do you need a PPS number to apply for jobs in Ireland?

You do not need a PPS number to apply for jobs. However, if you haven’t gotten your PPS number and you haven’t registered your job on Revenue.ie after joining the company, you will have to pay emergency tax on your income.

If you are relocating to Ireland, should you register for your PPSN yourself or your company takes care of it for you?

You have to apply and attend the appointment yourself. The company may help you with your tax registration but not PPSN registration.

How to change your address, gender, or name associated with your PPSN?

Contact DEASP (Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection) with all your supporting documents.

Can you get a PPS number on a spouse visa or when you have no job?

Yes, you can get a PPS number as long as you have the right to stay in Ireland and have a legitimate reason to require one.

Is a PPS number the same as a PPSN?

Yes, PPSN is the same as PPS number, where ‘N’ simply stands for the word ‘number’.

Do you need INIS (previously known as GNIB) before applying for a PPSN?

No, it is possible to get your PPSN before INIS. INIS is not in the list of required documents to apply for PPSN.

How much do you have to pay for a PPSN?

It is free of charge.

Can undocumented migrants apply for PPSN?

It is within the legal rights of anyone living in Ireland to receive PPS number, including undocumented people. You only need proof of identification. However, having a PPS number doesn’t guarantee illegal immigrants to access government services.

About the author

Byra Gan

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