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Your National Insurance Number

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 19 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
National Insurance Number National

During our lives we are required to carry passports, driving licences, National Health Cards and other documentation that is designed to prove our identity to those in positions of authority. But nothing quite characterises this trend more than your National Insurance Card.

What is the National Insurance Number?

The National Insurance number that each of us receives after our sixteenth birthday is designed to be used as a means of making National Insurance contributions to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Each of us when we start working are obliged to pay National Insurance and Tax in order to fund our state pensions when we reach retirement age and the use of a National Insurance number on all documentation and employer payrolls is the most efficient way of doing this.

When Do I Receive My National Insurance Number?

After you have turned sixteen the process of sending you your National Insurance number is automatic. The new style plastic cards are sent to you via the postal system and you should keep this card safe at all times. If possible memorise your National Insurance number for use on application forms, bank applications and so on.

Be aware that the National Insurance number is not a means of identification but if it falls into the wrong hands it can be used as a means of counting towards proof of identification. It can also be used if someone living in the country illegally wishes to work.

Most recruitment agencies will ask you to provide them with proof of your National Insurance number before they allow you to commence working for them.

What Happens if I Lose My National Insurance Card?

You may apply to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for a replacement card but you can only do this once. If you have lost your card and feel that your National Insurance number may be being used for purposes other than it was designed then you should contact them immediately and report your suspicions.

Should I Report Changes in My Circumstances.

Yes if you marry or divorce or change your current home address you must inform Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of these changes. Failure to do so can result in problems paying your National Insurance and likewise claiming state pension as and when you are entitled to. You should keep them up to date with any change in circumstance or address so that they can keep their records up to date also – this also helps reduce the risk of identity theft.

Protecting Your National Insurance Number

As we have already mentioned if at all possible it is worth memorising your National Insurance number for use on important documentation. If you can do this then you should keep your National Insurance number in a safe place – preferably in a safe or fire proof filing cabinet. Do not carry the National Insurance card with you if there is no requirement to do so and never pass it to any organisation for proof of identification because – as we have already mentioned – the National Insurance card is not designed to be proof of identification on its own.

For more information you should contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – your local office will be listed in Yellow Pages – or visit their website at www.hmrc.gov.uk.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Shree - Your Question:
Hi, I have just got my NI number in a post. The letter contains my name as Mrs Bhagyavi Barthkumar Patel instead of Mrs Bhagyavi Parthkumar Patel. Although I have mentioned my middle name as Parthkumar Patel. Now, what can I do?

Our Response:
You would have to get in touch with the National Insurance offices directly - there should be a telephone number on the correspondence you have received.
AboutIdentityTheft - 20-Feb-17 @ 12:24 PM
Hi, I have just got my NI number in a post. The letter contains my name as Mrs Bhagyavi Barthkumar Patel instead of Mrs Bhagyavi Parthkumar Patel. Although I have mentioned my middle name as Parthkumar Patel. Now, what can I do?
Shree - 19-Feb-17 @ 5:48 PM
Hi. Can a national insurance card be used to find someone's bank details out ? I currently filled some details regarding a tax rebate and gave them my name and address and also my NI number so I'm not worried in case they can find out my bank details too ?
Louise - 11-Jan-17 @ 8:09 PM
My employer had a data breach of my NI number and it took them over two months to inform me of the breach. This seems too long. Are there any time requirements of informing victims in such circumstances ?
PRA - 23-Dec-16 @ 8:31 AM
I received a P800 form telling me that I had underpaid tax by £400 because I had two jobs at the one time and wasn't being taxed properly on the second job. I have not had two jobs at the one time and the second company I have never even heard of!!! Has someone used my NIN to secure employment? I informed HMRC straight away and it's currently 'under investigation' and when I called them earlier I was told that this 'company' hasn't replied to HMRC in 6 months to confirm that I have never worked for them?! Why would it take a legitimate company 6 months to tell them that they have no record of me working there? What should I do? Pay the tax just now and reclaim later when this mess is sorted or let this progress with interest being added to this amount owed? Please help I'm completely in the dark here.
BD - 22-Dec-16 @ 8:53 PM
I was waiting on a letter from HMRC - my new tax code. It always has a note of my FULL national insurance number, FULL name (including my middle name but thankfully not my date of birth. They say they sent it on 23/11/16 and as it's not here yet, it's lost in the post. I've had lost important mail go missing about August 2016. I'm very concerned that I'm at risk of identity fraud.
A.K - 20-Dec-16 @ 3:54 PM
Hi I had my national insurance card pinched from my ex mum 8yr ago and today I've only just found out, can they use it to get a loan from the job centre? For example a budgeting loan? Really worried. Thank you.
Le - 8-Dec-16 @ 2:41 PM
Vhp - Your Question:
My ex employer has been using my NI without me knowing and I have been paying tax every month and few weeks back I received a letter saying I have to pay £700 tax to HM. Like seriously how can I pay that much as I don't work full time and my yearly income is less than £10,000. I'm not interested to pay the £700. Someone tell me what to do

Our Response:
You would need to sort this out with your employer and your HMRC tax office directly. If this is your only employment, and you are not otherwise self-employed then you should not be paying tax if you earn less than £10,000. You may also wish to check your tax code which in 2016-17 is 1100L (2015/16 – 1060L), as it represents £11,000 of tax-free income.
AboutIdentityTheft - 8-Dec-16 @ 2:11 PM
Hi I currently get child tax credits an have been since my so was born in 2012 but it recently stopped and when I checked the gov gateway tax credits it's someone else's name etc, iv had my NI number since I was 16, NI have changed all the details back but I'm having trouble with tax credits getting them to sort it is a nightmare does anyone know who I can contact about this as I don't know if it's fraud or anything as they have my NI number on someone else's tax credits account ??
Jo - 8-Dec-16 @ 1:02 PM
My ex employer has been using my NI without me knowing and i have been paying tax every month and few weeks back I received a letter saying i have to pay £700 tax to HM. Like seriously how can I pay that much as I don't work full time and my yearly income is less than £10,000. I'm not interested to pay the £700. Someone tell me what to do
Vhp - 8-Dec-16 @ 12:31 PM
I foolishly believed my no ex that he was putting my name on the farm buiness for a farm he had ust bought in Huntly and as part of it I had to fill out a section with my name and NI number on. This was only done in the last month, since then we have split up so I called the SGRIPD office to have my name taken off but it seems he must have filled out another form and only put his name on it. He denies he has the form with my name on it and that they must have shredded it in Invenurie but I am worried now about its whereabouts and who might get hold of it. I know I was too trustingand already feel Ive been duped so go easy on me please. Thank you
Idiot - 2-Dec-16 @ 3:21 PM
Hi! Had literally left a rucksack in my car outside my house for a few minutes. In those few minutes the rucksack was gone. The car was broken into but had no damage. It appears there is a device that can open Ford Focus cars easily....anyway... In the bag was my mother's bank statements, her bank cards, her National Insurance number on various letters and what she gets, council tax letters,Bank cards and my drivers license. Is there anything I can do to protect my mum and myself now? I have reported the bank cards and statements to the bank and the police.
Dee - 1-Dec-16 @ 12:05 AM
C7are - Your Question:
Hi can the council come to your home on a Sunday saying they need your national insurance number.

Our Response:
It is unlikley anyone from the council would need to request this. If you are at all suspicious (which you have good reason to be) then you may wish to contact Action Fraud here to speak to someone who will be able to clarify your question.
AboutIdentityTheft - 7-Nov-16 @ 11:02 AM
Hi can the council come to your home on a Sunday saying they need your national insurance number...
C7are - 6-Nov-16 @ 4:04 PM
Coops - Your Question:
I have been asked to provide my national insurance number to an insurance claim company after a road accident. Should I give it to them. They say they can't progress the claim without it as it is only to check to see if I've already made a v Liam against this accident

Our Response:
Car insurance companies can ask for National Insurance numbers in order to check/verify your licence details. Please see link here which should explain all you need to know.
AboutIdentityTheft - 31-Oct-16 @ 11:41 AM
I have been asked to provide my national insurance number to an insurance claim company after a road accident. Should I give it to them. They say they can't progress the claim without it as it is only to check to see if I've already made a v Liam against this accident
Coops - 30-Oct-16 @ 2:21 PM
Apparently I worked for a company and was "paid" a salary. Apparently, I also paid income tax of £20 for the 1 week that I apparently worked for this company and received a tax refund of £20. No I did not work for this company and have not done so ever nor have I ever received a salary from them or any tax refunds with regards to this salary. But HMRC can confirm my National Insurance number was used in 2015 for employment purposes. It certainly wasn't used by me and I did NOT work for this company. Does this sound like FRAUD and/ or IDENTITY THEFT ??!!!
Abs - 28-Oct-16 @ 3:47 PM
Eddi - Your Question:
I have given through the phone my details together with my IN number to help me apply for a CPCS card.I think this is a fraud can you please tell me how to prevent any person fom using my NI number.Please this is urgent.

Our Response:
If you think the company may be fraudulent, you would have to contact Action Fraud here. However, it is standard procedure to when applying for a CPCS card to ask for your name, date of birth and National Insurance number.
AboutIdentityTheft - 25-Oct-16 @ 12:12 PM
Someone who commits compensation scams & benefit fraud has got my NI No. DoB, full name & the city I live in. He knows a lot of personal details about my life, bank details, finances, people in it etc... Should I be worried about fraud? He will use any means to get money or disrupt someone's life of he can't get want he wants. I have called up HMRC & the person I spoke to was very dismissive. Please advise.
DWill - 24-Oct-16 @ 3:00 PM
I have given through the phone my details together with my IN number to help me apply for a CPCS card.I think this is a fraud can you please tell me how to prevent any person fom using my NI number.Please this is urgent.
Eddi - 24-Oct-16 @ 1:31 PM
I was called a couple of days ago by someone claiming to be from the Dept of Work and Pensions.He said they had received a letter to me returned as undeliverable, and wanted to check my address and NI number so they could resend it.As I can remember my NI Number I gave this quickly before I realised that this was probably a scam.Initially I wasn't too concerned as the NI number is printed on so many documents these days it's almost "public knowledge" but I'm increasingly concerned that the caller will use it for identity theft. Is this possible, and if so is there anything I can do to try to prevent it?
Toby - 22-Oct-16 @ 3:55 PM
I ve been asked by compensation claim people for my NI no do they need it or shall I not bother
Lgibbo - 20-Oct-16 @ 7:35 PM
Hi! I was getting a quote forcar insurance with acorn insurance company. They asked me for NIN. Is it a genuine company or can they be fraud and use my NIN for something dodgy? You can never be too careful about NIN, you know. Thank you
Doherty-t - 12-Oct-16 @ 5:41 PM
i have been working since leaving school in 2006,my first job with the local council and then on to other jobs always using the ni number assigned to me,i have just been informed i am not using the right number although i have for ten years and that im not who i say i am,has anyone else experienced this?
dan - 11-Oct-16 @ 8:30 AM
Please answer this earlier query. I'm in the same situation! "I have just been asked to providemy NI number, Name, Dob To stand as a guarantor for a student whowants to rent a room...Are these information relevant or it it an identity risk to provide such information?" Goji - 26-Sep-16 @ 11:49 AM
Shia - 7-Oct-16 @ 1:33 PM
I always wonder what someone/anyone can find about me from my NI No. DOB? Address? Place of Work? Etc etc? Or is it just that I am registered to pay Tax and NI?
svc1406 - 5-Oct-16 @ 6:23 PM
I have just been asked to providemy NI number, Name, Dob To stand as a guarantor for a student whowants to rent a room...Are these information relevant or it it an identity risk to provide such information?
Goji - 26-Sep-16 @ 11:49 AM
Hannah - Your Question:
I'm 21 yrs old and I applied for a no fee GCSE course in a college. On the enrolment form they were asking for NI but I left it blank. Now the college is telling I can't enrol without writing my NI on the form. Should I be worried & do they have the right to ask for NI for a free GCSE course?

Our Response:
Yes, if a college requests your NI number this is OK and it will be used for administration purposes and kept confidential. A certified college is unlikely to steal your identity.
AboutIdentityTheft - 20-Sep-16 @ 12:27 PM
I'm 21 yrs old and I applied for a no fee GCSE course in a college. On the enrolment form they were asking for NI but I left it blank. Now the college is telling I can't enrol without writing my NI on the form. Should I be worried & do they have the right to ask for NI for a free GCSE course?
Hannah - 19-Sep-16 @ 3:03 PM
Hi I just had a contractor round to fix a boiler he'd installed. When contacting the company about the warranty he asked if I had a bill with my address on and I grabbed the first thing I could find. I just realised that paper had my national insurance number on it. He took a photo of it (and asked me if he could). Should I be concerned that he has this information (name, address, NI number) and if so who do i contact about this? The links above seem to focus on phishing and online scams, which this doesnt really qualify as. Thanks D
Danny - 16-Sep-16 @ 4:21 PM
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Latest Comments
  • AboutIdentityTheft
    Re: Your National Insurance Number
    Shree - Your Question:Hi, I have just got my NI number in a post. The letter contains my name as Mrs Bhagyavi Barthkumar Patel…
    20 February 2017
  • Shree
    Re: Your National Insurance Number
    Hi, I have just got my NI number in a post. The letter contains my name as Mrs Bhagyavi Barthkumar Patel instead of Mrs Bhagyavi…
    19 February 2017
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  • Louise
    Re: Your National Insurance Number
    Hi. Can a national insurance card be used to find someone's bank details out ? I currently filled some details regarding a tax…
    11 January 2017
  • PRA
    Re: Your National Insurance Number
    My employer had a data breach of my NI number and it took them over two months to inform me of the breach. This seems too long.…
    23 December 2016
  • A.K
    Re: Your National Insurance Number
    I was waiting on a letter from HMRC - my new tax code. It always has a note of my FULL national insurance number, FULL name…
    20 December 2016
  • AboutIdentityTheft
    Re: Your National Insurance Number
    Vhp - Your Question:My ex employer has been using my NI without me knowing and I have been paying tax every month and few weeks…
    8 December 2016
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