How to get your National Insurance Number?

Before you get your National Insurance Number in the United Kingdom, it is better to know what it is all about.

What is a National Insurance Number?

This is your own individual Personal Account Number. It is given distinctly to a person and it is retained by that person throughout his or her lifetime or residency in the United Kingdom. This number ensures that the contributions of National Insurance and the taxes that are paid by people are recorded properly against each person’s name. The National Insurance Number also serves as reference information when you have to communicate with the Department of Work and Pensions and HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs).

This Number is made up of alpha-numeric details. It involves letters and numbers and it will never change, once it has been assigned. You will be able to find this National Insurance Number on your P60, on your work pay-slip, and on all letters concerning your pension, tax or benefits. You will also find this number in the national Insurance section of your own personal tax account.

Who has to pay National Insurance?

You have to pay National Insurance contributions when you are employed in the United Kingdom and you have to be above sixteen years of age. This is subject to your income and earnings being above a certain stipulated amount.

It applies to

  • An employee who is earning more than £162 a week.
  • A self-employed person who is making a profit of more than £6,205 a year.

Why is it important?

You have to make National Insurance contributions in order to qualify for fixed benefits and also to get your State Pension. You require a National Insurance Number before you begin to pay National Insurance contributions. When you start earning between £116 and £162 every week, your contributions have to be treated as a sum that is being paid to protect your individual records of National Insurance.

It is principally to make sure that your National Insurance contributions and your taxes are being correctly recorded against your name and your account.

How do you apply for a National Insurance Number?

You can apply for your National Insurance either by phone or visit the website of National Insurance and fill out a form, onlineThe telephone number lines are 0800 141 2075 and the Text phone number is 0800 141 2438. You can apply between Mondays and Fridays between 8 am and 6 pm.

Concerning your interview, Jobcentre Plus will write to you and ask you to attend an interview. In this interview, you will be asked about your occupational circumstances and the reason for applying for a National Insurance Number. You will also be told about what documents you need to bring to the interview to have your identity verified. The documents generally required are your passport or an identity card for all residents in the United Kingdom, a residence permit, a birth or an adoption certificate, a marriage or a civil partnership certificate, or a driving license.

Once the interview is successfully completed, you will be told about how long it will take to get your National Insurance Number. You will generally get it in anywhere from a couple of weeks to six weeks. The number would resemble something such as AB123456C. Should you move residence or are staying at a place other than what is listed on your passport identity document, you have to keep the Department for Work and Pensions informed.


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