PPS numbers for returning Irish emigrants and their families

Introduction

Your Personal Public Service (PPS) number is a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits and public services in Ireland.

You need a PPS number to access public services. For example, you need a PPS number to:

  • Apply for a social welfare payment (including Child Benefit)
  • Apply for a driving licence
  • Register with Revenue (if you are working in Ireland)

A PPS number is always 7 numbers followed by either one or two letters.

You may already have a PPS number so you should check this before applying.

Do I have a PPS number already?

You already have a PPS number if you:

  • Were born in Ireland in or after 1971
  • Started work in Ireland after April 1979
  • Are getting an Irish social welfare payment

How do I find my PPS number?

A PPS number is always 7 numbers followed by either one or two letters.

PPS numbers are printed on the following Irish documents:

If you have lost your PPS number, you can get it from Client Identity Services:

  • By email at cis@welfare.ie
  • By phone at +353 (0) 71 967 2616 or 1890 927 999

Your PPS number may also be on payslips you have received in the past.

How do I apply for a PPS number during COVID-19 restrictions?

If you, your partner or your children do not have a PPS number and you have returned to Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can apply for one by email as part of new special measures during the pandemic.

You must download and fill out the relevant REG1 form and email this to PPSN@welfare.ie with:

  • A scanned image or photograph of your identity document (passport, driving licence, ID card), and
  • Proof of your Irish address (for example, a utility bill or a letter from your landlord)

How do I apply for a PPS number as an adult?

Your PPS number will be allocated during a face-to-face interview when you return to Ireland. However, before you move to Ireland you can book an appointment for a PPS number allocation interview.

You should attend the PPS number allocation centre in the county that you will be living in. You can find a list of PPS number allocation centres by county.

When you apply for a PPS number, you will need to provide:

  • A reason for needing a PPS number – you must show that you need a PPS number for a transaction with a specified body. Only bodies specified in legislation and their agents can use the PPS number.
  • Evidence of your identity – for Irish citizens this is your birth certificate and photo ID (for example, your passport)
  • Evidence of your address – if you are a returning emigrant the Department will accept non-standard proof of address. For example, if you are living temporarily with friends or family, the named bill payer that you are staying with can write on the addressed utility bill confirming your residence at their address.

Read more about applying for a PPS number.

How do I apply for a PPS number for a child who was born abroad?

Your child’s PPS number will be allocated during a face-to-face interview when you return to Ireland. However, you can book an appointment for a PPS number allocation interview before you move to Ireland.

As the parent or guardian of a child, you should attend the PPS number allocation centre with your child, and provide evidence of:

  • Your own identity
  • The identity of the child
  • The requirement for a PPS number
  • The relationship between the parent/guardian and the child.
  • Your address – if you are a returning emigrant, the Department will accept non-standard proof of address if you do not have a bill with a name and address. For example, if you are living temporarily with friends or family, the named bill payer that you are staying with can write on the addressed utility bill confirming your residence at their address.

The DEASP may make further enquiries where it is considered necessary to confirm the relationship between the child and the person requesting a PPS number.

If your child is aged over 16 years, they need to apply for a PPS number as an adult.

Contact details

To find a lost PPS number contact:

Client Identity Services

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Shannon Lodge
Carrick-on-Shannon
Co. Leitrim
N41 KD81

Tel: (071) 967 2616 (If calling from outside Ireland please call +353 71 967 2616)
Locall: 1890 927 999 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)
Page edited: 6 April 2020