The Public Services Card (PSC) helps you to access a range of public
services easily. Your identity is fully authenticated when it is issued so you
do not have to give the same information to multiple organisations. It was
first introduced in 2012 and was initially rolled out to people getting social
welfare payments. It is now being rolled out to other public services.
A Public Services Card is usually issued when you are allocated a PPS number. If you apply for,
or are currently getting a social welfare payment (including Child Benefit) you
will be asked to register for your Public Services Card. All
first-time passport applicants aged 18 and above who are resident in Ireland
need to have a Public Services Card. This new requirement also applies to a
small number of adult passport applicants whose last passport was issued before
1 January 2005 and has since been reported lost, stolen or damaged. From 19
September 2016 all applicants for a certificate
of naturalisation aged 18 or over who are resident in the State must have a
Public Services Card.
If you don’t yet have a Public Services Card you can make an appointment
to get one either by using
MyWelfare.ie or by calling into your local Intreo Centre or social welfare
local office (see below).
What information does this card display?
The front of the card holds a person’s name, photograph and signature,
along with the card expiry date. The back of the card holds the person’s PPS
number and a card number. It also holds a magnetic stripe to enable social
welfare payments such as pensions to be collected at post offices
If the person holding the card is entitled to free
travel the card will also display this information in the top left-hand
corner. If FT-P is written on the card the holder is personally entitled to
free travel. If FT+S is written on the card the holder can travel with their
spouse, partner or cohabitant. If FT+C is written on the card the holder can
have a companion (over 16) travel with them for free (because they are unable
to travel alone for medical reasons).
Registering for a Public Services Card
Face-to-face registration for a Public Services Card is called SAFE
(Standard Authentication Framework Environment) registration.
The Department of Social Protection will send you a letter with your SAFE
registration appointment. SAFE registration takes about 15 minutes to complete
and usually takes place in your local
social welfare office or Intreo centre. It is important that you attend for
your appointment. It will help to avoid any potential difficulty with access to
social welfare payments in the future. During this appointment your photograph
will be taken and your signature recorded for your new Public Services Card,
which will be posted to your home address. You will also be asked for the
answers to some security questions.
You must bring certain documents with you to your appointment to prove your
identity and address. You should also bring the letter you got confirming your
appointment and, if you have one, your phone. If you currently have a Social
Services Card (a swipe card used to collect social welfare payments), bring
that with you too.
You must prove your identify to receive a social welfare payment or benefit.
If you comply with the SAFE registration process when requested you are
considered to have authenticated your identity. If you do not comply with the
SAFE registration process your social welfare payments (including Child
Benefit) and/or your social welfare entitlements (such as Free Travel) may be
Documents to bring to your SAFE registration appointment
1.Evidence of identity:
|Irish citizens born in the Republic of Ireland
||Current Irish passport or current Irish or UK driving licence or
Irish learner driver permit. If you are adopted, please bring your
adoption certificate with you.
|Irish citizens via naturalisation or Foreign Birth Registration
||Current Irish passport or Certificate of Naturalisation or Foreign
Birth Registration certificate and Irish or UK driving licence or Irish
learner driver permit.
|Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland and UK citizens
||Current passport, or your birth or adoption certificate and current
|EU citizens (other than Irish and UK)
||Current passport or national identity card
||Current passport or 1951 travel document
For Irish citizens born in the Republic of Ireland, birth details can be
verified online in most cases with the General Register Office. However, in
some cases, it is not possible to locate the birth registration, so the person
will need to return with a copy of his/her birth certificate.
If you wish to get a copy of your Irish birth certificate for SAFE
registration purposes, you can get it from the Registrar
at a reduced rate when you show your SAFE invitation letter.
The Department does not have access to the adoption register, so adopted
people should bring their adoption certificate with them when attending their
2. Evidence of address (applies to everyone, whether an Irish, EU or
You need to show evidence of your address. You can use any of the following
documents to do this (it must show your name and address):
- A household utility bill
- An official letter/document
- A financial statement
- Property lease or tenancy agreement
- Confirmation of address by a third party such as a school
principal/administrator, accommodation/property owner*or manager.
*If you are staying with friends or relatives an original household bill
plus a note from the bill holder confirming your residency at the bill address
is acceptable. This note can be written on the bill itself.
3. Additional helpful documents
If you have any of the items listed below, you should bring them along with
you as they may also help to confirm your identity. If you do not have any of
these, you should bring other documents or forms of photo ID instead*.
- Irish Free Travel Pass
- Medical card issued under the General Medical Service
- European health insurance card
- Credit/debit card
- Student card
*The following items are not acceptable as proof of identity for the purpose
of SAFE registration: Baptismal certificate, work ID card, Garda form ML-10,
Garda age card, photocopied certificates or documents and expired documents
Lost or damaged Public Services Cards
If your Public Services Card is lost, stolen or damaged, you should
immediately contact the Public Services Card Helpdesk at 1890 837000.
Where to apply
Department of Social Protection customers may be invited to attend for
Public Services Card registration.
You can also contact your local Social Welfare office or Intreo centre to
arrange an appointment or make an appointment online.
If you want to get a PPS number or to be registered for a Public Services
Card, you can now make an
appointment online at MyWelfare.ie.
You will first need to register with the site. To do this you need a mobile
phone number and two email addresses (a main address and an alternate address).
When you have made your appointment, print the notification and bring it to
your appointment along with the required documents (listed in the
can access a list of Public Service Card registration centres on welfare.ie.
If you have general questions about the card or the registration process you
can use the
Department of Social Protection’s online query form or contact:
Client Identity Services
Department of Social Protection
Locall:1890 927 999