A national insurance number (NINO) is a number unique to you which is used to keep track of your national insurance contributions and the benefits which you are paid. The number is made up of two letters, six numbers and one letter, for example, AB 123456 C. You must not let anyone else use your number.
You don’t have a legal right to a national insurance number, but you are legally obliged to apply for one if you start work, or if you (or your partner) claim benefit.
If you start work or set up as self-employed you must apply for a National Insurance number if you do not have one.
Your National Insurance number is your own personal account number. It is unique to you and you keep the same one all your life. It makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and tax you pay are properly recorded against your name, and you pay the correct amount of tax. It also acts as a reference number when communicating with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
By using our Fast Track service, it can take just a few weeks rather than several months to get hold of your National Insurance number, meaning you can start work and pay the correct amount of tax quicker. Not having a National Insurance number can be costly as your employer may put you on an ’emergency tax’ rate, so its best to get a number as soon as possible.
Your interview will usually take place between 3 and 14 days of your application, depending on location and availability
You should then receive your number 2 to 4 weeks after the interview
You will receive an Application Pack by post usually within 10 to 14 days of your online application
Once you have completed the Application Pack and sent it back, you should then receive your number 2 to 4 weeks later
If your visa was issued in the UK, you will need to attend an interview instead of completing an Application Pack
You will be expected to provide evidence to prove you have a right to work in the UK. If you don’t have the right to work in the UK, you won’t be entitled to a National Insurance number.
You will not be issued with a number until your interviewing office is satisfied that you have proved your identity. Some people may have problems because they do not have the documents usually accepted as evidence.
At your ‘Evidence Of Identity’ interview, you will be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number.
Bring as many ‘identity documents’ (originals, not photocopies) as you can to your interview. Examples of documents which count are::
- valid passport (UK or foreign)
- national identity card (UK or foreign)
- residence permit or residence card including biometric immigration residency documents
- full birth or adoption certificate
- full marriage or civil partnership certificate
- driving licence (UK or foreign)
- proof of UK address (temporary or permanent address)
If you don’t have any of these – or other – identity documents you still must go to the interview. The information you are able to provide might be enough to prove your identity.
The quickest way to apply for your National Insurance number is through our standard ‘Fast Track’ service, which we don’t charge a premium for. We process ALL applications within 1 working day, and will process within a few hours if we are able to do so.
If your application has already been processed, no refund will be able to be given. If you application hasn’t been processed when you inform us you wish to cancel, a £10 administration fee will apply, and you will be refunded any excess funds via Authorize.net