If you do not already have a National Insurance number, you only need to apply for one if you live in the UK, have the right to work in the UK and you’re planning to:
You can start work without a National Insurance number if you can prove you have the right to work in the UK.
You do not need a National Insurance number to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
When you may need to apply
Make sure you’re eligible before you apply for a National Insurance number. If you already have one you will not be sent a new one.
If you have lost your National Insurance number you can check how to find a lost National Insurance number.
If you’re a UK resident aged 19 or under
You’ll normally be sent a National Insurance number automatically, in the 3 months before your 16th birthday, if both the following are true:
- you live in the UK
- a parent has filled in a Child Benefit claim form for you
If you are aged 16 to 19 and you did not get one, call HM Revenue and Customs.
If you have a biometric residence permit (BRP)
If you have a biometric residence permit (BRP), you might have a National Insurance number already - it will be printed on the back of your BRP if you do.
If you do not have a National Insurance number, you must apply for one if you plan to work. You can only apply once you’re in the UK.
If you’re applying for benefits or a student loan
You do not need a National Insurance number to apply for benefits or a student loan. You will receive one if your application for benefits or a student loan is successful.
How to apply
You can only apply for a National Insurance number to work in the UK.
You need to prove your identity in order to get a National Insurance number. If you have any of the following documents, you can use them when you apply:
- a passport from any country
- a biometric residence permit (BRP)
You can also use a national identity card from:
- a country in the EU
National Insurance number application line (Northern Ireland)
Telephone: 0800 587 0024
Textphone: 0800 587 0194
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm
Find out about call charges
After you apply
You may need to send documents or attend an appointment to prove your identity.
When you have proven your identity, it can take up to 16 weeks to get your National Insurance number.