Your Personal Public Service Number (PPS number) is a unique
reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services
and information in Ireland.
Before you can be allocated a PPS number, you must show that you need one
transaction with a specified body. For example, if you are taking up
employment, you need a PPS number to register with the Revenue Commissioners.
However, looking for work is not a transaction with a specified body and employers
should not look for your PPS number when recruiting. An employer should
only seek a PPS number if you are actually taking up employment with the
You can find a list of State agencies that use PPS numbers to identify
individuals on the Department
of Social Protection's website.
A PPS number is always 7 numbers followed by either one or two letters.
The PPS number was known as the Revenue and Social Insurance (RSI) number. If your number is
the same as your spouse's number but your number has a W at the end, you may
need a new PPS number - see 'Phasing out of W
numbers' below for more information.
Using the Personal Public Service Number
You can use your PPS number for:
A PPS number has
already been issued to you if:
- You were born in Ireland in or after 1971
- You started work in Ireland after 1979
- You are getting a social welfare payment
- You are taking part in the Drugs Payment Scheme
PPS numbers are printed on the following documents:
- Public Services Card
- Social Services Card
- Drugs Payment Scheme Card
Health Insurance Card
- P60 (the annual statement of pay, tax and social insurance contributions
from your employer)
- P45 (the statement of tax and pay to date issued by your employer when
you leave employment)
- Tax Assessment
- PAYE Notice of Tax Credits
- Temporary Payment Card
Phasing out of W numbers
Before 2000 when some women got married they had to use the same PPS number
as their husband, but with a W at the end of the number. This W number was
issued by Revenue to identify spouses in a jointly assessed relationship. The W
number was linked to the PPS number of the assessable spouse (which is the term
used in Revenue for the spouse who is charged tax on the income of both
These numbers are being slowly phased out and W numbers have not been issued
If your PPS number is the same as your husband’s PPS number but the last
letter is W, you must get a new PPS number in these circumstances:
- If your spouse is deceased
- If you are divorced or separated
- If you were issued with a Social Insurance number before 1979
If you have a PPS number ending with W and you cannot access the
Local Property Tax online system using this number you may need to request
a new number.
If you were issued a PPS number after 1979 and before you married, the
Department may re-issue you with your original number on request.
If you are changing your W number for a new PPS number you do not need to go
through the same application process as everyone else. To get your new number
or to be re-instated with your old number contact the Client Identity Section
in the Department of Social Protection. The phone number is 1890 927 999 or
(071) 967 2616.
When you get your new number from the Department of Social Protection you
should inform any organisations that may hold your old number. For example,
your employer, your bank, the National Driver Licence Service, the HSE and
Revenue – you can inform Revenue using the Revenue’s online
Jobs and Pension Service or contact your local tax office.
I'm moving to Ireland soon - how do I get a Personal Public Service
You cannot apply for a PPS number before you arrive in
Ireland. You must be living in Ireland to apply for a PPS number.
Before you can be allocated a PPS number, you must show that one
is required for a transaction with a specified body.
You will be asked to produce documentary evidence of identity and residence
in Ireland. Different documentary evidence will be required, depending on your
nationality. A complete
list of documents required as evidence of your identity is available below.
I am not resident in Ireland but I need a PPS number - how do I get it?
In some cases people who are not resident in Ireland may need a PPS number.
For example, someone who is a beneficiary under an Irish will may need to
supply a PPS number before a grant of probate can issue.
The Department of Social Protection's Client Identity Services (CIS) provide
a service for non-resident applicants who cannot attend at a designated PPS
Registration Centre and who need a PPS number. If you want to use this service,
you must show documentary evidence that you need a PPS number for a transaction
with a specified body. You cannot use this exceptional application process if
you are living in or intend to relocate to Ireland for any period of time.
Audits of PPS applications are carried out periodically and you may be asked
for additional information.
If you are living in Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom and are working
in the Republic of Ireland (a frontier worker) you apply for a PPS number in
the normal way at a designated PPS
I need a PPS number for a deceased person - how do I get this?
Occasionally a PPS number may be required for a deceased person, usually
when dealing with grant of probate.
In such cases, you should send a copy of the death certificate and details
about why the PPS number is required to the Department of Social Protection's
Client Identity Services - the address is below.
To get a PPS number, you will need to fill out an application form in the PPS Number centre, provide evidence of your identity, evidence of why you require a PPS Number to be allocated, and also provide proof of your address. You should attend the nearest PPS Number allocation centre to where you live.
Evidence of your identity
|If you are:
||You will need to produce the following as evidence of your
|An Irish citizen born in the Republic of Ireland
- Photographic ID, such as your passport
or driving licence
|An Irish citizen via naturalisation or Foreign Birth Registration
- Your current passport or Certificate of Naturalisation
- Your Foreign Birth Registration certificate and
Irish or UK driving licence or Irish learner driving permit
|An Irish citizen born in Northern Ireland or a UK citizen
- Your birth certificate showing your mother’s birth name or
adoption certificate and current driving
|EU citizens (other than Irish and UK)
||Current passport or national identity card
Evidence of your address
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.
Children born in Ireland are usually given a Personal Public Service Number
(PPS number) when their birth is registered with the General Register Office
(GRO). This means you do not need to apply for a PPS number for an Irish-born
However a PPS number is not automatically allocated if both parents'
addresses are outside of the State. If you need a PPS number in such a case
then you must apply at a PPS number allocation centre.
PPS numbers for children living in, but not born in Ireland, must be applied
for by the parent/guardian. One of the parents/guardians must have a PPS number
for the child to be registered and linked with their data.
The parent, foster parent, guardian, or school representative should attend
with the child, and provide evidence of his/her own identity, the identity of
the child, evidence of the requirement for a PPS number, and evidence of the
relationship between the parent/guardian and the child. Evidence of address
should also be provided. The Department of Social Protection may make further
enquiries where it is considered necessary to confirm the relationship between
the child and the person requesting a PPS number.
A person aged less than 16 years is considered to be a child for PPS number
PPS number fraud control
The Department of Social Protection monitors identity fraud issues, helps to
draw up procedures for processing applications and investigates suspect
documents. Staff in social welfare offices are required to check the
authenticity of supporting documents and refer doubtful cases for checking by
document fraud experts.
How to apply
Only the Department of Social Protection can provide you with a Personal
Public Service Number (PPS number) . You can find a
list of PPS registration centres on the Department of Social Protection's
website. You should attend your nearest PPS registration centre. Please
note that some centres operate an appointment only system. You should contact
the registration centre to check if an appointment is required. A Public
Services Card is usually issued when you are allocated a PPS number. This means
that you will also have your photograph taken when you attend a centre for
registration of a new PPS number. It will take approximately 4-5 days for
notification of your PPS number to arrive after your appointment.
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 PPS online registration centres on welfare.ie.
If you do not know your PPS number, contact your Intreo
centre or social welfare local office and staff there can find your number
If you are unsure as to whether a particular organisation, person or agent
is entitled to request or use your PPS number, you should contact
Client Identity Services in the Department of Social Protection. You can contact
Client Identity Services using the secure online request form or by phone
at 1890 927 999 or (071) 967 2616.
Change of address
If you change your address you should write to the Department of Social
Protection at the address below giving your name, PPS number, old and new
address and evidence of your new address such as a utility bill. The Department
will then update your record.
Client Identity Services
Department of Social Protection
Locall:1890 927 999