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 as an adult?

Your PPS number will be allocated when you return to Ireland. 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 when you return to Ireland. You need to fill out form REG1M (pdf). As the parent or guardian of a child, you should 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 DSP 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, 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 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: 24 December 2020