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Your National Insurance Number

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 4 Aug 2018 | 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]
Grace - Your Question:
My purse has been stolen. In it amongst all the rest is a piece of paper with my N.I. number. Can this be used for anything? I am retired btw.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. National Insurance (NI) numbers can be used to claim benefits and tax credits, and/or can be accepted by employers to prove the right to work legally in the UK. It is always best to report it stolen as a preventative measure.
AboutIdentityTheft - 7-Aug-18 @ 12:37 PM
My purse has been stolen. In it amongst all the rest is a piece of paper with my N.I. number.Can this be used for anything?I am retired btw.
Grace - 4-Aug-18 @ 9:34 AM
Wendy- Your Question:
What step do I can I take? Someone is using my National insurance number and name to work elsewhere

Our Response:
The Action Fraud link here should tell you all you need to know.
AboutIdentityTheft - 28-Jun-18 @ 12:29 PM
What step do I can I take? Someone is using my National insurance number and name to work elsewhere
Wendy - 28-Jun-18 @ 2:39 AM
ricky - Your Question:
I need to know my insurance number

Our Response:
Please see the link here , which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutIdentityTheft - 25-Jun-18 @ 12:20 PM
I need to know my insurance number
ricky - 24-Jun-18 @ 9:25 PM
@Nugget - yep, you cannot breathe these days without everyone knowing. :(
Carlee - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:21 PM
I am trying to renew my car insurance and for the first time ever, I am being asked provide my driving licence number and my National insurance number.I am very security conscious and am reluctant to give these details. Having googled this, it seems that this is required for them to check up to date details on your driving licence from the gov.uk website.However, as far as I understand it, the way this should work is that the person looking for insurance should input these details on line and the system then provides a time limited access code which the person gives to the insurance company for them to check for themselves.This then obviates the need to disclose all these details. It seems that insurance companies are not being transparent in asking for these details.The other thing is, who decided that the NI number should be used in trying to verify DVLA information?Does this mean that the DVLA and various government departments share all your data?Big brother truly abounds!!
Nugget - 8-Apr-18 @ 7:20 PM
I have found out today that my old employer is paying someone in my name using my national insurance number what should I do
Babe - 9-Mar-18 @ 9:13 PM
Hello, Someone stole my wallet and I hade inside all my documents, included my National insurance number. I have a copy of it, but there is something worse I have to do, maybe if they sell it to some one? Thank you
Dorin - 9-Mar-18 @ 11:00 AM
Floren - Your Question:
I'm self employed and work with a taxi company. The company asked some of the drivers for their N.I without specific reason. Could it be something illegal?

Our Response:
If you wish to know why your employer asked for the NI numbers, you would have to approach your employer directly to ask.
AboutIdentityTheft - 20-Feb-18 @ 3:29 PM
I'm self employed and work with a taxi company. The company asked some of the drivers for their N.I without specific reason. Could it be something illegal?
Floren - 16-Feb-18 @ 8:39 PM
Cosmi950000 - Your Question:
My insurance number was stolen what should I do?

Our Response:
Please see the Action Fraud link here, which should tell you all you need to know.
AboutIdentityTheft - 12-Feb-18 @ 10:03 AM
My insurance number was stolen what should I do?
Cosmi950000 - 11-Feb-18 @ 2:45 AM
Sahil - Your Question:
Hi Someone is using my NI number for last 2 years I send a letter to hmrc told them it’s fruad I didn’t work in this company but still they are using my NI what should I do

Our Response:
You can see more via the Action Fraud link here , which should help answer your question.
AboutIdentityTheft - 9-Feb-18 @ 12:01 PM
Hi Someone is using my NI number for last 2 years I send a letter to hmrc told them it’s fruad I didn’t work in this companybut still they are using my NI what should I do
Sahil - 8-Feb-18 @ 6:36 PM
Hello, my ex employer used my nin even l'm not been working foto him for over 1 year, my income get higher, l had to pay back benefits and pay tax
Noemino - 2-Feb-18 @ 7:04 AM
Would my employer of the last 14 years have changed my address with hmrc when I told them if my change of address? That’s to only thing I might have done wrong, possibly not changing my parents address to my first home address (same town)
Skypeller - 1-Feb-18 @ 4:13 AM
I got told when trying to hire a car last year that my NI number didn’t add up to my name. I shrugged it off and over Xmas holidays remembered to get it checked, upon calling NI helpline I was told the number I had on my NI card doesn’t tie up with my name I’ve lived in uk since birth, am in my 30s and the cards never left my parents house!! I’m going through a very slow process to sort this mess out with NI as I’ve paid tens of thousand into NI since I was 17! I’m worried NI won’t sort it or will just stop trying to sort it out. Nothing can be done over the phone it’s all via mail!
Skypeller - 1-Feb-18 @ 4:10 AM
Lou - Your Question:
Hi I have change my surname and was wondering how to let ni know about it do I write email ECT

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here.
AboutIdentityTheft - 21-Dec-17 @ 3:33 PM
@Kat - you would be unlucky for it to a) be noticed and b) fall into the wrong hands. So, the chances are that nothing will happen.
JackG - 21-Dec-17 @ 2:09 PM
Hi I have change my surname and was wondering how to let ni know about it do I write email ECT
Lou - 21-Dec-17 @ 12:03 PM
I lost my payslip outside work. It has my name, address and NI number on it. Could a fraudster do anything with the details or would they need more information.
Kat - 21-Dec-17 @ 8:18 AM
@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
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