PPS Number - Consolidation of Personal Public Service Number Registration Procedures

Print page


1. Introduction

  • 1.1 Background
  • 1.2 Retention of Operational Guidelines
  • 1.3 Operational Guideline Queries
  • 1.4 Notification to Staff

2. Registration Procedures

  • 2.1 Introduction Operational Guidelines
  • 2.2 Local and Branch office registrations
  • 2.3 Scheme Area and attendance at registration centres
  • 2.4 Irish Nationals
  • 2.5 Applications for children
  • 2.6 Applications by unaccompanied minors
  • 2.7 Applications by non residents
  • 2.8 Applications by non resident dependent of EU resident customer
  • 2.9 Existing and Duplicate PPS Nos
  • 2.10 Level W numbers

3. Proof of Identity and Documents Required

  • 3.1 Proof of Identity
  • 3.2 Irish Passport but born abroad
  • 3.3 Unacceptable Documents
  • 3.4 Employment Permits
  • 3.5 Evidence of activity
  • 3.6 Address Documents
  • 3.7 Temporary Addresses and Out of State Addresses
  • 3.8 Citizens of the UK
  • 3.9 Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • 3.10 Document Retention

4. Form REG1 completion

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Language Questionnaire and Interpretation Service
  • 4.3 EU reference numbers
  • 4.4 Child Applications

5. System Update and Customer Notification

  • 5.1 System data input
  • 5.2 ISTS - Client Registration Task
  • 5.3 Customer Notification
  • 5.4 Proof of Address Requests
  • 5.5 Management and Storage of REG1s

6. Identity Management and Control

  • 6.1 General
  • 6.2 Invalid Identity Documents
  • 6.3 Document Referral and Retention
  • 6.4 Role of Social Welfare Inspectors
  • 6.5 Identity Theft
  • 6.6 Applications from Relatives and Friends
  • 6.7 Offences

7. Social Services Cards

  • 7.1 Ordering Cards
  • 7.2 Replacing Cards

8. Data Protection and Third Party Requests

  • 8.1 Data Protection Guidelines
  • 8.2 Third Party Requests
  • 8.3 Parent/Guardian Requests
  • 8.4 Phone Requests
  • 8.5 Persons Resident Abroad

Appendix 1 - 10 Step Guide to PPS Number Registration

Appendix 2 - INFOSYS - Instructions for use of Client Search

Appendix 3 - Level W Numbers

Appendix 4 - European Social Security Numbers/Personal Codes

Appendix 5 - Nationality Codes

Appendix 6 - PPS Registration Centres

Appendix 7 - Retention of Documents Provisions/Receipt for Documents

Appendix 8 - CIS Contact Numbers/Information

Appendix 9 - Proof of Address Requests



The purpose of this document is to give staff in Local/Branch Offices and at designated Registration Centres up to date Guidelines on the Registration Procedures for Personal Public Service Number (PPS No) applications.


These consolidated Guidelines fulfil the need to have all information, procedures and operational instructions instantly available in one place and will ensure uniformity in the registration process across the Department.

1.2 Retention of Operational Guidelines

As these Guidelines are designed to have definitive status the master copy should be retained in a loose leaf binder in each office to facilitate the insertion of additions and amendments. Future Circulars updating these procedures will include reference to particular sections or paragraphs of the Guidelines for ease of association, filing and reference. A similar filing method should be adopted for the Identity Documents Examination Manual.

1.3 Operational Guideline Queries

Staff, who become aware of any anomalies in the Guidelines, or who have any queries relating to them should contact Sean O'Boyle, Extn 41507, Client Identity Section, Carrick on Shannon.

Client Identity Services queries should be directed to CIS Registration or CIS Control as identified in Appendix 8. Queries in relation to the Interpretation Services for PPS No applicants should be directed to Extn 42034, Regional Director's Office.

1.4 Notification to Staff

Managers are requested to bring this Circular to the attention of all staff.

Mary McCabe
Regional Director's Office


2.1 Introduction Operational Guidelines

Most customers will now be aware that the Personal Public Service Number (PPS No) has replaced the Revenue and Social Insurance Number (RSI No) and that the number is now needed for an increasing number of transactions and access to public services e.g. Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Health Services Executive and most public bodies.

Since a customer receives one and only one PPS No during his/her lifetime, it is essential that the registration process is carried out in the correct manner.

The procedures for completing the PPS No registration process are set out in these Guidelines and in the 10 Step Guide at Appendix 1. Adherence to these should ensure that the right number is allocated to the right person, every time.

The Client Search Facility should be used in all instances to confirm that a number does not already exist for the customer. See Appendix 2 for guidelines on the use of the Client Search.

The allocation of a PPS No to a customer does not of itself confer any rights to residency, employment or benefits in Ireland.

2.2 Local/Branch Office Registration

In instances where a Local/Branch Office is no longer registering applications for PPS No's a customer who requires a PPS No for schemes administered in those offices will be advised to attend at the relevant Registration Centre.

2.3 Scheme Areas and attendance at Registration Centres

Where a Scheme Section requires a number for a customer, spouse, partner or child, the customer should be advised to attend the appropriate Local/Branch Office or designated Registration Centre and apply for a PPS No in the normal course. In exceptional circumstances e.g. where the customer is unable to, or prevented from attending due to illness, old age or incapacity, Scheme Sections should exercise care before referring the customer to a Local/Branch Office or Registration Centre for a PPS No. In such cases, the matter should initially be brought to the notice of the line manager and then referred to CIS Registration, for direction. (See Appendix 8)

2.4 Irish Nationals

Most Irish Nationals will already have a PPS No and, in these cases, it should simply be a matter of tracing the number. Irish Nationals born since 1971 should have a PPS/ RSI number unless they are from Northern Ireland or have worked abroad since then. Any customer in insurable employment in Ireland at any time since 1979 should already have a PPS No.

2.5 Applications for Children

PPS No's for Irish born children are allocated on registration of the birth with the General Register Office (GRO).

Child Benefit Section (CB), generally, no longer allocates numbers as part of the child benefit process. PPS Nos for children living in, but not born in Ireland must be applied for by the parent/guardian at the appropriate Local/Branch Office or designated Registration Centre before the application for child benefit can be processed.

2.6 Applications by Unaccompanied Minors

Where an unaccompanied minor (a person under 16 years of age) applies in person for a PPS No and there is no evidence of a relationship to a parent or guardian already in the country, the case should be referred to CIS Registration.

2.7 Applications by Non Residents

CIS Registration provide a Registration Service for non resident applicants who cannot attend at a Local/Branch Office or at a designated PPS Registration Centres and who need a PPS No for a transaction with a specified body.

Personal applications for PPS Nos from persons living in Northern Ireland or Great Britain but working in the 26 counties i.e. frontier workers can have their application for a PPS No processed at the appropriate Local/Branch Office or Registration Centre.

2.8 Applications by Non Resident Dependents of EU Resident Customer

Applications by non resident dependents of an EU resident customer should be referred to CIS Registration.

2.9 Existing and Duplicate PPS Numbers

Where an existing PPS No is traced and where satisfactory proof of identity is provided, the applicant can be advised of the number traced.

Where an existing number is traced for a foreign national who states he/she was never in the country before, CIS Control should be contacted before advising the applicant of the number traced. (See Appendix 8)

In all cases where duplicate numbers are traced CIS Registration should be contacted. (See Appendix 8)

2.10 Level W Numbers

In the past married women used their husband's PPS/ RSI number with the letter W added to indicate "wife". While Level W numbers are no longer allocated, existing numbers are still valid.

The Department's policy is to replace all Level W numbers. Where a customer with a Level W number attends an Office and requests that this number is changed for tax or other purposes, the customer should be facilitated. Where a Level W number is traced in the normal course this should also be changed. The procedures for dealing with Level W numbers are at Appendix 3.


3.1 Proof of Identity

An application for a PPS No should not be registered until the customer's identity has been confirmed. The basic principle of "NO VALID DOCUMENTS - NO NUMBER" should generally apply. Where an application for a PPS No is considered genuine but there is a problem concerning the type and validity of documentation CIS Control may be contacted for advice.

The following table outlines the documents required in support of applications. Where cases are encountered which do not fall within these categories, CIS Registration should be contacted. (See Appendix 8)

Documents Required:


U.K. CITIZENS (may include citizens of Northern Ireland)

EU NATIONALS and Other EEA CITIZENS (includes EU Nationals & citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway plus Switzerland)


PHOTO (Commencement Date to be advised*)

Recent Passport size photograph


Recent Passport size photograph


Recent Passport size photograph


Recent Passport size photograph


Birth Cert/Passport

Birth Certificate


Current Valid Passport or Birth Certificate


Passport or Nationnal Identity Card


Passport or Certificate of Registration with Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform (Immigration card)


Photographic ID

Valid Photographic ID e.g. Current Valid Passport or Driving Licence

Valid Photographic ID e.g.Driving Licence




Evidence of address
(as per 3.6)


Evidence of address
(as per 3.6)


Evidence of address
(as per 3.6)


Evidence of address
(as per 3.6)




If Available
Supporting documentation of either birth, work, unemployment, residency, tax liability or education history

If Available
Supporting documentation of either birth, work, unemployment, residency, tax liability or education history

If Available
Supporting documentation of either birth, work, unemployment, residency, tax liability or education history

* The requirement for customers to provide a passport size photograph is not being applied for the moment.

3.2 Irish Passport but born abroad

An applicant, who presents an Irish passport but was born abroad, will not be able to produce an Irish birth certificate. Applicants should be asked for the birth certificate from their country of birth or the "Certificate of Registration of a Foreign Birth" which is a document issued by Irish Embassies. Where such an applicant has dual citizenship and produces both the Irish and Foreign passports there is no requirement to see a birth certificate. (See "Note" at 5.2 below)

3.3 Documents NOT ACCEPTABLE include;
  • the "old" short form of birth certificate for Irish nationals;
  • employment ID Cards;
  • photocopies of documents;
  • expired documents (but they may be acceptable as secondary ID).
3.4 Employment Permits

Employment Permit status has no bearing on whether a non EEA national (see 3.5) should be allocated a PPS No. An Employment Permit is simply an item of supporting documentation, which certain applicants may have.

3.5 Evidence of Activity

The absence of evidence of work, education or employment history should not, in itself, result in the refusal to allocate a PPS No once the identity document(s) and the Form REG1 are in order.

3.6 Address Documents

The document submitted, as proof of address, must show the customer's name and address and can be any one of the following:

  • a household bill,
  • an official letter/document,
  • financial statement,
  • property lease or tenancy agreement,
  • verifiable * employer's letter,
  • confirmation of address by a third party such as a school principal/administrator, accommodation/property owner**or manager.

* It is not necessary that the employer owns/provides the address accommodation.

** Where an applicant is staying with friends/relatives an original household bill plus a note from the bill holder confirming residency at the bill address is acceptable. This note can be written on the bill itself.

Where a married person cannot produce evidence of address in his/her own name (i.e. has no bills etc. in his/her own name), evidence in the name of the spouse/partner is acceptable unless there is any reason for doubt.

3.7 Temporary Addresses and Out of State Addresses

Applicants coming here from abroad will generally have temporary addresses (e.g. B&B, Hostel etc.) and will therefore not have utility bills but should be able to produce one of the other address items listed.

In certain circumstances an applicant's address may be outside the state, i.e. Northern Ireland or Great Britain (e.g. employees of Ferry companies, Airlines, Travelling Circuses and Funfairs, visiting artists, actors and musicians, persons commuting to work from NI, etc.). Evidence of these addresses is acceptable once the circumstances are known.

3.8 Citizens of the United Kingdom

U.K. citizens travelling between Great Britain/Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland do not require a passport, travel or identity documents. However, they must still produce photographic ID when applying for a PPS No. Employment or education history should be recorded on the Form REG1 and the applicant may have documentation to support this.

3.9 Citizens of The European Economic Area (EEA)

The EEA consists of the European Union along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway plus Switzerland. EEA nationals, excluding those from the U.K. or Ireland, will have a passport or a national ID card. Non EEA nationals must have a current valid passport or Certificate of Registration.

3.10 Document Retention

Under the provisions of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2007 the Department can retain, for checking, documents including a passport, visa, identity card, driving licence, birth certificate or marriage certificate or any other document establishing a person's identity or nationality.

The relevant extract of the Act is attached at Appendix 7. Where documents are held a receipt in accordance with Appendix 7 should be furnished to the customer and the documents should only be returned when s/he calls in person to collect them.


4.1 Introduction

Where all required documents are presented and where no number is traced, Form REG1 should be given to the customer for completion and an examination of the supporting documents should be undertaken. It is important that the Form REG1 is completed as accurately as possible by the customer and checked at the time of application before the customer leaves the office.

The customer must sign Form REG1 and the actual signing of it must be witnessed by the officer taking and registering the application. Where one officer takes the application and another officer registers it, both should sign the Form REG1.

Part 1 of the Form REG1, which contains Public Service Identity Data, is obligatory and must be completed in all cases. As the concept of "Mother's Birth Surname" may not be readily understood by some customers it should, where necessary, be explained to them. (The translated version of the questionnaires in the customer's own language can be used for this purpose).

All entries on the Form REG1 should be clear and legible, entered in their correct place and verified with the supporting documentation. Clear photocopies of all supporting documents should be attached to and filed with the completed Form REG1.

4.2 Language Questionnaire and Interpretation Service

All customers should themselves complete the English (or Irish) version of the Form REG1 but assistance may be given if necessary. To facilitate an understanding of the Form REG1, and as a control measure, the customer should be offered the Language Questionnaire (where available) in his/her own language. This questionnaire should be completed unaided by the applicant at the counter and checked (by the staff member) for inconsistencies against the English translation held in the office.

CIS shared drawer contains various language versions of the Form REG1 and these can be used in substitution for the Language Questionnaire where the questionnaire is not available. Some Forms REG1, which cannot be put in the shared drawer (e.g. Russian, Chinese, Greek, etc.), can be obtained by fax from CIS Control/Registration (See Appendix 8) where required.

Where customers appear to have difficulty understanding/completing the questionnaire or Form REG1 in their own native language, they should be subject to further checking and questioning.

An Interpretation Service is also available by contacting the Regional Director's Office (See Section 1.3)

4.3 EU Reference Numbers

Where a customer has an EU Reference Number (Social Security, Insurance/Registration Number/Personal Code) it should, if possible, be obtained. The number, where obtained, should be recorded on the Form REG1 and entered in the system during the Online Registration task at EU Ref. The Country Code should also be entered. The absence of this number does not in itself prevent the allocation of a PPS No.

4.4 Child Applications - Form REG1

Where a PPS No is required for a child, a Form REG1 must be completed by the parent/guardian, in respect of the child. The parent or guardian's details should be entered on Part 2 at sections 11, 12 and 13. The parent/guardian should provide evidence of his/her own identity, address and evidence of the date of birth of the child, e.g. Birth Certificate ( UK or Northern Ireland only) or child's own passport or child's entry on the parent's passport.

The parent/guardian must indicate the relationship between them and the child. The relationship between the parent/guardian and the child in many cases will be self evident, i.e. same surname for parent and child. Where doubt arises, further inquiries/documentary evidence may be necessary and may require the assistance of the SW Inspector and/or CIS Control.

It is necessary for one of the parents/guardian to have a PPS No in order for the child to be registered and linked with their data. Where none exists, the parent must apply in the normal way. Local arrangements should be put in place to advise a parent of the child's number as letters only issue to individuals over 16 years of age.

Copies of the documents presented should be attached to the Form REG1 and the word CHILD clearly written on the front of the completed form.


5.1 System Data Input

The data input process should only commence when the identity of the customer is satisfactorily determined. Input must never commence pending the supply of any supporting documentation or pending validation of documents sent for further examination. All applications deemed to be in order should be registered, preferably, by close of business on the date of receipt of the application.

On the next working day, all numbers allocated by the system overnight should be reconciled with the corresponding Form REG1 papers. The PPS No should be written on the front of the Form REG1.

In cases where an input error is detected, CIS Registration should be contacted. (See Appendix 8) A number of errors such as mis spellings, transposition of forename/surname etc., may be corrected by means of a phone call or email to CIS Registration. CIS Registration should be advised where an applicant notifies the Office of a change of address.

Staff must not correct an error by re registering the customer. This can produce two records, two PPS Nos and two letters of notification (one for each number). Where notification is received advising that the allocation task of the previous night did not run, staff must not re register the cases unless specifically asked to do so.

5.2 ISTS - Client Registration Task

The Client Registration Task on the ISTS Main Menu is used to allocate a PPS No. Certain fields on the Client Registration Task are mandatory (e.g. First name, Surname, Address, Date of Birth etc.) and details must be entered in these fields. However, other non mandatory details such as Mother's Birth Surname should always be sought from the customer and, where available, should be entered on screen.

The information on Part 1 of the Form REG1 which is the Public Service Identity (PSI) data and is now required by law and must be completed by the applicant in all cases. As a result the entry sequence no longer follows that of the Online Registration Task. The task contains certain mandatory fields and data must be entered in these fields for the task to proceed.

When the nationality code is inserted, staff will be prompted with the country to which the code refers. The similarity of some codes has resulted in applicants being wrongly categorised. Where the nationality shown is incorrect, the nationality field must be amended and the correct code entered. Nationality* as recorded on Central Records System (CRS) is now seen as a reliable indicator of inward migration to this country and has assumed greater significance with the accession of new states to the EU after 01 May 2004. Staff must always be specific when entering nationality codes. (See Appendix 5)

( Note: *In PPS No applications, nationality should be recorded as per country issuing the passport/ID card except where the customer requests that it be recorded as his/her country of birth).

5.3 Customer Notification

Following registration the applicant will be notified of his/her PPS No within five working days, by a letter (CR87c) which is automatically generated to the address given on the Form REG1. Inputting the incorrect name and address will result in non delivery and/or queries. Care should be taken to enter the address completely and accurately with the apartment or house number always included. Letters now issue to all applicants with addresses in the 32 Counties, except deceased persons or where the applicant is under 16 years of age. In the case of customers from Northern Ireland it is necessary, for technical reasons, to enter the country as Ireland and not N.I. or Northern Ireland.

Replacement letters should only be requested from CIS Registration where:

  1. The customer advises that he/she has not received the original letter following a recent PPS No application or never received any notification of his/her number from the Department.
  2. The letter has been received but contains mis-spellings of name(s).
5.4 Proof of Address Requests

The Department cannot provide an address confirmation service and replacement letters of notification do not issue where a customer has already received one. Where the customer persists they should be given a copy of the notice at Appendix 9.

5.5 Management and Storage of Completed Forms REG1:

All Managers must ensure that when a PPS No is allocated to a customer the number is clearly written on the front of the completed Form REG1 form before it is filed away. This is current practice in most offices and should be adopted where not already in place. All completed Forms REG1 should be stored locally, in date order, for at least twelve months to facilitate any follow up control activities. Arrangements should then be made via the Regional Director's Office for long term storage. It is intended that in the future Forms REG1 (and supporting documents) will be scanned and held electronically. The PPS No will then be the key for retrieving such documents.


6.1 General

In general, an application for a PPS No should only be refused if there is evidence of identity (ID) fraud. CIS Control should only be contacted, on a particular case, after the 10 Step Guide to the PPS No registration (see Appendix 1) has been followed.

The detection of identity fraud rarely begins with the passport or ID presented. It is more often the behaviour of the customer and his/her helpers/friends/interpreters. The ID documents presented should be vigorously examined in cases where the customer's behaviour and demeanour is suspicious.

The Form REG1 should be examined for inconsistencies. The documents involved should be checked by reference to the most recent information and to the Identity Documents Examination Manual held locally. Particular attention should be paid to Document Fraud Alerts issued from time to time by CIS Control. These notices will highlight particular suspect document areas and should be kept with the Identity Documents Examination Manual for reference.

6.2 Invalid Identity Documents

A number of national databases of invalid identity documents are available on the Internet. (See Appendix 8) It should be remembered, however, that documents only appear on these sites when they have been reported lost or stolen to the authorities.

The type of immigration stamp on a passport is not a factor in the allocation of a PPS No but the absence of an immigration stamp where one would normally be expected (i.e. on a non EEA passport) prompts a closer examination of the document.

6.3 Document Referral and Retention

Documents furnished in support of PPS No applications are valuable to the customer and great care should be taken with them. They should only be accessible to the person dealing with the case or his/her immediate supervisor and should be held in a locked/secure area if retained overnight.

Where staff are not satisfied that an application is genuine or require assistance, having followed the 10 step guide, should contact CIS Control (See Appendix 8) for direction and advice while the customer is still in the office. In many cases CIS Control may be able to give an opinion on the validity of documents over the phone.

Documents requested for further examination by CIS Control should be sent by registered post, with a covering note explaining the circumstances of the case. The covering note should clearly indicate the office sending the document(s) and should contain a brief description and observations on the case.

N.B. Staff should not contact an Embassy or Foreign Consulate about a document directly, CIS Control will make contact if necessary.

Where documents are sent to CIS Control, the customer should be informed that they will be held pending a decision on the application. A customer who refuses to allow documents to be held for checking should be informed that their application cannot proceed. CIS Control should be informed immediately to allow them take appropriate action.

Where examined documents are being returned to the customer, Form REG1 Documents Receipt (See Appendix 7) should be endorsed by both staff and the customer to confirm that the documents have been returned. Documents found to be false or compromised should not be returned to the customer. The line manager/supervisor should be advised of any suspect documents and further direction and assistance may be sought from CIS Control.

6.4 Role of Social Welfare Inspectors

Social Welfare Inspectors are empowered to investigate and report on any application for a PPS No. Social Welfare Inspectors also have a role in the allocation of PPS Nos for children where enquiries need to be made to establish the relationship between the applicant and the child/children.

6.5 Identity Theft

CIS Control should be contacted for advice and direction where a customer advises that he/she believes that someone else is using their PPS No.

6.6 Applications from Relatives and Friends

It is very important that staff are aware that they should not process applications from relatives and friends but should arrange for another officer to handle the registration.

6.7 Offences

The offences relating to PPS No application documents are listed at Appendix 7.


7.1 Ordering Cards

In general, cards are no longer requested for customers applying for PPS numbers. Notification of a person's number is now by letter (CR87C). However, cards should continue to be ordered where required for customers in claim related cases or where a customer specifically requests one at registration stage.

In the interest of equality all cards will, in future (date to be advised), be posted directly to the customer.

7.2 Replacing Cards

The usual "Online Task" procedures of ordering replacement cards for customers for payment/claim purposes continue to apply. In the case of lost or stolen cards, a Garda Certificate of theft/loss no longer applies. Stolen cards should, however, be reported to CIS Control. Staff should satisfy themselves as to the veracity of the customer's report of the missing card. Where satisfied that the card has been genuinely lost or stolen a new card may be ordered.

Where in the process of requesting a replacement card for a non payment customer, staff are made aware of a change(s) to the customer's record (e.g. new address), CIS Registration should be advised (see Appendix 8). CIS Registration will update the record and send the card directly to the customer.

Where the system record has no date of birth, staff must see the birth certificate or passport and fax a certified copy (i.e. copy endorsed "original seen" with office date stamp) to CIS Registration. Staff may use the forms SWSO1 or SSC2 for replacement cards and to record updated or missing information. Offices are now permitted to order cards above the fourth issue without referring to CIS Registration.


8.1 Data Protection Guidelines

Management and staff should be familiar with the "Data Protection Guidelines" available in the Data Protection Shared Drawer. In general, a customer can be advised of their PPS No following a Client Search on INFOSYS, provided the date of birth and mother's maiden name given by the customer match the system details.

8.2 Third Party Requests

PPS No details may only be given to a third party or spouse/partner in exceptional circumstances. These exceptional circumstances usually occur in cases where a number is required for Social  Welfare or Health Executive Service purposes, by a relative acting on behalf of persons incapacitated through mental or physical illness, and who are unable to attend the office. Where there is any doubt about the authenticity of a request, the third party may be required to obtain authorisation from the customer, granting him/her permission to request a PPS No.

In all instances, staff must be satisfied as to the identity of the third party or spouse/partner requesting PPS No details.

8.3 Parent/Guardian Requests

Where a parent/guardian attends in person and requests a PPS No (generally for health/ education purposes) for their child, (under 16 years) there should be no need to request ID documents for the children once the customer has proven his/her own identity and the children's' details given can be verified on the system. Either parent can request their children's' numbers but care must be taken that a relationship exists between the applicant and the children. In cases of doubt, the children's ID documents should be sought.

8.4 Phone Requests

Customers sometimes phone an Office seeking to trace a PPS No for themselves or their children. The number may be given over the phone where the officer is satisfied as to the bona fide of the caller, i.e. where he/she gives personal information which corresponds to that on the system (e.g. date of birth, mother's birth surname, address. PPS No etc). The customer, however, may be recorded with a former address or under a different surname. In cases of doubt, the customer should be asked to call to the office with proof of identity.

8.5 Persons Resident Abroad

Requests for PPS Nos on behalf of persons who are resident abroad should be referred to CIS Registration, where procedures are in place for dealing with such cases.


10 Step Guide to PPS Number Registration (PDF, 102KB)  




A Client Search should be carried out by entering as few details as possible in the fields at a time. Populating too many fields can make the search unsuccessful.

Following failure to trace a number at the first or second option will require using a number of the alternative field options outlined below.

  • First Name and Date of Birth.
  • Surname and Date of Birth.
  • First Line of Address.
  • Surname/First Name and Mother's Birth Surname.
  • Mother's Birth Surname and Client's Date of Birth.
  • Surname and Street/Road/Town/Townland.
  • Spouse's PPS No (where given).
  • Search using Child Benefit option on INFOSYS.
  • Search using Pensions option on INFOSYS.
  • Reverse the Surname and First Name where names are unfamiliar.

A Mother's Birth Surname shown on INFOSYS can help establish whether the number traced is the correct one. This occurs particularly in cases where more than one customer of the same name and locality is found or where a customer's Name or Date of Birth is slightly different on INFOSYS to that quoted.

It is quite common to trace the correct customer from a former address.

It is sometimes helpful to use the character "*" when searching, particularly in cases where numerous addresses are found. For example, if the first line of the address is quoted as "Meenagusha" but is already held on the Central Index as "Meenaguisha," a search using the full address will be unsuccessful. In this case, a search using "Meen*" will yield a result. The character "*" can also be used for long First Names or Surnames of customers in a similar way.



1. Where a customer presents with a Level W number a search should be made to establish whether the customer had a pre marriage number (designated as PREV under the current number on client search and also found on Alt ID Screen).

2. Where a pre marriage number is traced it should be given to the customer (provided staff are satisfied as to identity). A request should then be sent to CIS Registration to purge the Level W number. CIS Registration will notify the customer of her pre marriage number.

3. Where no pre marriage number is traced an email/fax should be sent to CIS Registration with all the details. CIS Registration will allocate a new number and advise the customer directly.

4. Missing information from the traced Level W record and current address should be obtained and included in the email/fax to CIS Registration who will update the record, reverse purge or allocate a new number where no pre marriage number existed. Form REG1 can be used to capture missing and new details but the Form REG1 should not be sent to CIS Registration.

5. Where the traced Level W record has no date of birth, staff must see the birth certificate and send a certified copy with the purge/request for new number to CIS Registration. CIS Registration will enter the verified DOB and advise the customer of the new or pre marriage number directly.

6. Notification of a new or pre marriage number is issued to the customer from CIS Registration. A Social Services Card can issue where the customer specifically requests one or as a replacement for a card issued under the old Level W number.

7. A new number in a Level W case cannot be requested by entering the details on the Online Registration Task. The task has an automatic search facility which will simply find the Level W number again.




Nationality Codes (PDF, 50KB) 




1. Retention of Documents Provisions

Under the provisions of Section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 as amended by the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2007 the Department may retain documents for checking. These include a passport, visa, identity card, driving licence, birth certificate or marriage certificate or any other document purporting to establish a person's identity or nationality. The document(s) may be held for a reasonable period of time, i.e. not exceeding 21 days.

The customer must be informed that the document(s) will be held pending a decision on the application. A customer who refuses to allow documents to be held for checking should be informed that their application cannot proceed.

The Department is required to issue a receipt for the retained documents to the customer.

2. Legislation Extract:

Section 262(ii) of the SW Consolidation Act 2005 is amended as follows:

By inserting the following after subsection (3):

"(3A) An officer of the Minister may retain any document (including a passport, visa, identity card, driving licence, birth certificate or marriage certificate or any other document establishing a person's nationality or identity), given for any purpose under this Act, for such period as may be reasonable which period shall not in any case exceed 21 days

(3B) Where a document is retained under subsection (3A) a receipt in the prescribed form shall be issued in respect of it to the person concerned."

3. Offences:

Under S32 (b) of the SW Act 2007 it is an offence for a person to make any statement or representation, oral or written, which is false or misleading in the PPS No application process. It is also an offence to give or cause to be given any document or information which is known to be false or misleading.

Under S30 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Act, 2001 a false or altered Identity document is an instrument of fraud. To present such a document to induce another person to accept it as genuine in order to obtain a service (e.g. PPS No, payment etc.) is an offence under s26 & s29 of this Act.




CIS Registration(CISR)

SWSO, Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim

41666   41667   41661   41662
41660   41668   41669   41670
41671   41663   41664   41658
41680   41672   41654   41665
41673   41656

Phone Bank No: 01 7043281
Fax Number: 071 9672554

Enquiries by LOs/BOs & Reg Centres:    SECT_REG2

Social Services Cards requests by LOs/BOs & Reg Centres:    SECT_REG3

CISR provides an advisory service to offices in relation to the PPS No. application process. They also provide a Registration Service in probate cases and for non resident applicants who cannot go to a designated office and who need a PPS No. for a transaction with a specified body while domiciled abroad.

CIS Control (CISC)

SWSO, Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim.

Fax Number: 071 9672550

CISC provides information, advice and training on document examination including Fraud Alerts, Document Manuals and updates. Requests for training should be made through local managers. Queries as to the type of documents which are acceptable as evidence of identity and the validity of documents presented should be directed to CISC

CIS Shared Drawer

Nationality Codes, Language Questionnaires and the REG1 in Irish & other languages available in both

To add the drawer to your file cabinet you should:

  1. Enter the File Cabinet Menu (FC)
  2. Enter the Drawer Management Menu (DRM)
  3. Take the Add a Drawer Option (ADR)
  4. Enter [SHARERS]CISNote: Users will not be able to access the drawer until after their next login.

This folder also contains all the language questionnaires, the Document Examination Manual, links to the various document validation websites etc. You will be able to view details of each document on your screen, and choose which version of the language questionnaire to print. There are "shortcuts" in the folder, which you may drag on to your desktop.









Proof of Address Requests

(Extract below may be printed locally on office headed paper):

Proof of Address Request document (PDF, 28KB)

Last modified:11/10/2012

 Application Forms