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Your National Insurance Number

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 30 Nov 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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[Add a Comment]
@Blacksheep - sounds like someone has made a rookie error!
ChloeMJ - 30-Nov-17 @ 3:54 PM
My employer has just changed to sending out our wage slips by email. They have, however, used everyone's NI number as their passwords on the emails. Surely this is at the very least foolish, and at worst, against Data Protection?
Blacksheep - 30-Nov-17 @ 11:04 AM
I tried to apply for NI number, but been told that someone had applied for it using my personal details. How can I report this fraud?
Aa - 20-Nov-17 @ 10:04 AM
Gsetoarngneard - Your Question:
I got a weird text message from my sister asking for my national insurance number what should I do? At the moment I'm not telling her.

Our Response:
I think you need to ask your sister what she could possibly want your NI number for and of course, you are absolutely under no obligation to give it to her.
AboutIdentityTheft - 17-Oct-17 @ 9:59 AM
I got a weird text message from my sister asking for my national insurance number what should I do? At the moment I'm not telling her.
Gsetoarngneard - 16-Oct-17 @ 7:33 AM
I could not remember if I had applied once for National Insurance Number and I recently submitted application for replacement, what could be a penalty on me, please can anybody advise me? If I have not applied and have submitted application for replacement, what could be the punishment?
Ade - 15-Oct-17 @ 1:20 AM
@Razz - employment agencies generally need this information, so I think it's OK.
Johjo - 9-Oct-17 @ 11:33 AM
Hi, I was contacted by a recruitment company and they requested copies of my national insurance number and passport for future job applications, so I can register with them, this is what they said. I mention that this info is not for a current job application, interview or direct served to a employer, not yet. What should I do, I am legally required to give them this information?
Razz - 8-Oct-17 @ 12:40 AM
I have seen several people on this thread ask about supplying their NI number to insurance companies. You have answered that yes this is sometimes required to check for speeding fines etc. WHY? Insurance companies often ask for your driving licence number (it helps identify you) and the reg number and possibly the VIN of your vehicle. The DVLA deal with motoring matters and the insurance companies will check with them using driver and vehicle details. HMRC and Benefits people will require your NI number for income tax, pension and benefits matters. Do not confuse the two
PaultheNewt - 1-Oct-17 @ 11:16 PM
@Saz - you can give your passport for ID purposes. Sometimes landlords will ask for NI numbers so thatcan apply for an attachment of earnings order through court -if the tenant leaves a pile of debt behind.
Cal89 - 26-Sep-17 @ 12:36 PM
Hi My landlord keeps asking me for my National insurance number and has said they need it for Identification purposes, I don't think I should give it to them as anyone in that company can have access to it. I can't understand why they can't Identify me by my address. Am I obligated to give it to them. I always thought it was for tax and national insurance purposes only? Dose anyone have any advice for me please. Thank you.
Saz - 25-Sep-17 @ 8:21 PM
Rae - Your Question:
Hi there I have just discovered that a family member has been using my ni number whilst I have been abroad. I have been away for 10 years and Am not sure what the best thing to do is.

Our Response:
Please see Action Fraud link here . You can report fraud or cyber crime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using our online fraud reporting tool.  You can also report and get advice about fraud or cyber crime by calling 0300 123 2040.
AboutIdentityTheft - 31-Aug-17 @ 9:54 AM
Hi there I have just discovered that a family member has been using my ni number whilst i have been abroad.I have been away for 10 years and Am not sure what the best thing to do is.
Rae - 30-Aug-17 @ 7:07 AM
I would always urge anyone now to report lost NI number. As I lost my card about 20years ago. And have had issues with someone else using it. Obviously resulted in TAX issues but not only that but also received court letters for fines. Then it stopped for a number of years and has again re started with exactly the same court letters HMRC saying I'm owe tax But it is now again being investigated!! It is becoming a joke it's been a nightmare.
Jake584 - 11-Aug-17 @ 4:42 PM
omg - Your Question:
Hi I was out on a night out and lost my purse with my national insurance card ,bank card,provisional driving licence inside and I don't knw whether I need to ring hmrc please help

Our Response:
If you have lost your NI number you should contact HM Revenue and Customs. If you are concerned that you could become vulnerable to identity fraud, you might wish to contact CIFAS, the UK's Fraud Prevention Service, to apply for protective registration. Once you have registered, CIFAS members will carry out extra checks whenever anyone applies for a financial service using your address.
AboutIdentityTheft - 1-Aug-17 @ 11:53 AM
Hi I was out on a night out and lost my purse with my national insurance card ,bank card,provisional driving licence inside and I don't knw whether I need to ring hmrc please help
omg - 31-Jul-17 @ 11:59 AM
My employed has accidentally published my name, national insurance number and date of birth online in a public domain. Am I at rush if identity theft?
Sam - 29-Jul-17 @ 2:00 AM
Bevie - Your Question:
Hi there, my new bf wanted to put me on his car insurance. In order to process the quote he said he needed my NI no, I didn't give it to him and said I didn't want to go on his insurance, as I was very wary and didn't believe my NI had anything to do with car insurance, am I being over paranoid or was I right in not disclosing such personal info?

Our Response:
Car insurance companies may ask for your NI number to access the information through the gov.uk website using an individual's licence number, national insurance number and postcode. This is to clamp down on fraud, so companies to check speeding endorsements and other details, please see link here.
AboutIdentityTheft - 25-Jul-17 @ 2:31 PM
Hi there, my new bf wanted to put me on his car insurance. In order to process the quote he said he needed my NI no, I didn't give it to him and said I didn't want to go on his insurance, as I was very wary and didn't believe my NI had anything to do with car insurance, am I being over paranoid or was I right in not disclosing such personal info?
Bevie - 24-Jul-17 @ 11:05 PM
mima - Your Question:
I applied for my NI number when iwas 18, I got the letter a few weeks later but sudenly I had to travel abroad and I left my letter in england thinking I would come back soon, unfortunately I could not come back and was abcent for over 3 years. Im confused on what to do, I cant find my NI number and I want to apply for a job. Im more afraid if somebody has stole my identity. I cant remember my last adress and I have no letters or proof of where I lived and would like advice on what to do. All I have is my passport to prove my name. I need some advice on what to do quickly. thankyou.

Our Response:
You would have to contact HMRC directly via the link here .
AboutIdentityTheft - 10-Jul-17 @ 2:09 PM
I applied for my NI number when iwas 18, i got the letter a few weeks later but sudenly i had to travel abroad and i left my letter in england thinking i would come back soon, unfortunately i could not come back and was abcent for over 3 years . Im confused on what to do, i cant find my NI number and i want to apply for a job. Im more afraid if somebody has stole my identity. I cant remember my last adress and i have no letters or proof of where i lived and would like advice on what to do. All i have is my passport to prove my name. i need some advice on what to do quickly. thankyou.
mima - 8-Jul-17 @ 12:06 PM
Kwig - Your Question:
Think my NI number has been stolen who can I contact to prevent anything being created in my name for a few months or so ?

Our Response:
You can contact Action Fraud via the link here.
AboutIdentityTheft - 7-Jul-17 @ 11:00 AM
Think my NI number has been stolen who can I contact to prevent anything being created in my name for a few months or so ?
Kwig - 6-Jul-17 @ 5:36 PM
Slim - Your Question:
Hi there,I clicked on a link on Saturday just gone that was supposed to be from the DVLA and asked for all sorts of personal information including my national insurance number could you please tell me what I should do about my n.i.n,thanks Joe.

Our Response:
You may wish to contact DVLA directly to ensure the call is legitimate, please see link here.
AboutIdentityTheft - 16-May-17 @ 12:52 PM
Hi there,I clicked on a link on Saturday just gone that was supposed to be from the DVLA and asked for all sorts of personal information including my national insurance number could you please tell me what I should do about my n.i.n,thanks Joe.
Slim - 15-May-17 @ 9:45 PM
ivan - Your Question:
Good day I am ivan dirda and I would like to cancel the insuran number because I leave to go to the Czech rebublikky I come back to the house spjet and so I want to cancel the thank you may adres

Our Response:
You would have to contact NI via the link here. You cannot cancel anything via this site as we are not part of HMRC.
AboutIdentityTheft - 5-May-17 @ 2:28 PM
Good day I am ivan dirda and I would like to cancel the insuran number because I leave to go to the Czech rebublikky I come back to the house spjet and so I want to cancel the thank you may adres
ivan - 4-May-17 @ 11:27 PM
I work in the travel and tourism industry and over recent months Welcome Break Services have been asking all Tour Managers and Coach Drivers to give / write down their NI Number when we check in.Can somebody at the Gov.uk please tell me if this is legal, as we are not happy about this and I believe it is not legally allowed.I was told never to give out my NI number or to write it down in a public place.Can this be clarified please.Thank you.
Emjay - 1-May-17 @ 9:39 AM
Can someone give me advise for what to do if my national insurance card has been stolen. I know the number but the card is missing. It was in my wallet but I was robbed today. Shall I get another number or not.
H - 22-Apr-17 @ 11:30 PM
I have received a hand delivered letter on 19/04/2017 claiming to be from HMRC Stating i owe just under 5 thousand pounds. I knew straight away it was fake and tried reporting it to HMRC They told me to send letter in and they will try to look into it. I have also contacted the police who told me to contact ActionFraud. They have given me someone else to contact on Monday. I am very worried about this letter as it was not only hand delivered it also contains my correct NI Number. How can someone get it and what can they do with it? Also i just keep getting passed around, who do i need to contact? Thank you
Staffie - 22-Apr-17 @ 1:29 PM
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