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What is my PPS Number? (PPSN)

A Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) is your unique reference number for all your dealings with the Public Service e.g. applying to the tax office for a tax credits certificate, applying to the Department of Social Protection for a Social Welfare payment scheme, etc.

Examples of occasions where a PPS number is required include:

  • For tax purposes when employed
  • Applying for welfare benefits
  • Free travel pass
  • Public health services
  • Driving test and driving license
  • Pupil ID
  • Applying for housing grants

A PPSN is always in one of two formats – It consists of a seven-digit number followed by either one or two letters.

How do I get my PPS number?

There is a good chance you have already been issued with a PPSN if any of the following criteria apply to you:

  • You are receiving any form of state benefit
  • You started work in Ireland after 1979
  • You were born in Ireland from 1971 onwards
  • You are registered with the Drugs Payment Scheme

If any of these apply to you, then there has already been a PPSN issued. You will be able to find your PPSN printed on relevant documentation that includes –  medical card, tax assessment or other PAYE documentation, Drugs Payment Scheme Card, or other documentation from social services or the health service.

If none of these apply, and you believe that you should have a PPSN, then contact your local Intreo Branch Office.

I haven’t got a PPS number, what do I do?

Most Irish residents will already have their PPSN number, and it should just be a case of contacting the correct authority to find out what it is.

However, if you have just moved to Ireland, or are planning to, then you will need to apply for a number to be allocated. In these instances, the first thing that you will need to prove is that a PPSN is actually required for a transaction with a relevant body. For instance, you don’t need a PPSN to look for work in Ireland, but you will need one as soon as you are employed. In this case, you will be able to apply for a PPSN on the grounds it is needed for transactions with the Revenue Office.

When applying for a PPSN, you will need to supply proof of ID and your address, as well as evidence of why you need a PPSN. The ID evidence you need to supply varies depending on circumstances. The table below lists the criteria.

Status Evidence Required
Irish citizen born in the country Birth certificate and passport or driving license or other photographic ID
Naturalised Irish Citizen Passport or Certificate of Naturalisation – Alternatively, your Foreign Birth Registration and Irish or UK Driving License
A UK citizen or an Irish citizen born in Northern Ireland Passport or birth certificate (must show your mother’s birth name) and passport
EU citizens Passport or National ID card
Non-EU citizens Passport

Proof of address can be provided by supplying any of the following documents that have been issued within the past three months and show your full name.

  • Lease or rental agreement
  • Bank statement or other financial statements
  • Utility bill
  • Official document
  • Confirmation of address provided by a relevant third party (property owner, school principal etc.)

The Department of Social Protection has responsibility for issuing all Personal Public Service Numbers (PPS No.). Application for a PPSN can be done online on the website. If you are applying for a PPSN from outside Ireland, then the procedure is different. Full details can be found on the Irish Government website.

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