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What is a National Insurance Number (NIN)?

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In order for the Government to keep track of everyone’s personal tax status, each of us are allocated a unique identity at birth, even before we are christened or named by our parents!

This number will be needed for a wide variety of purposes throughout our life in order to be able to work, earn or register for a variety of services. It is what gives us traceability and the ability of others to check we are who we say we are.

This unique government identity is known as ‘NIN’. This stands for ‘National Insurance Number’ it is a nine-digit reference made up of letters and numbers in the format: AA 12 34 56 A.

Whilst many in the older generation will be able to rattle their NIN off as if it were their birthday, younger people are not always aware of what theirs is, or the significance of it.

If you don’t know yours, this vital reference can be found on a; National Insurance Card, which you receive in the post from HMRC just before your 16th birthday if the following apply to you: you live in the United Kingdom or your parents or guardians are getting Child Benefit for you

You will also see your NIN on letters from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), in documents sent to by HM Revenue & Customs or possibly on your pay slips.

If you need one Jobcentre Plus will send you an application form. They may also ask you to go to an ‘evidence of identity interview’ to confirm your identity. Call them on the Jobcentre Plus application line Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm: 0845 600 0643

You will need to take the following with you as proof of who you are and take as many 'identity documents' - originals, not photocopies - as you can:

  • valid passport (UK or foreign)
  • national identity card (UK or foreign)
  • residence permit or residence card including biometric immigration residency documents
  • full birth or adoption certificate
  • full marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • driving licence (UK or foreign)

 

Other Keywords: NINO; NIC; NIN

 

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