Put simply, a PPSN (Personal Public Service Number) is just the Irish version of the United Kingdom’s National Insurance Number (NINo). Your PPS Number is a unique identifier for use in any dealings that you may have with public bodies or persons authorised by those bodies to act on their behalf.
Use of the unique identifier eliminates the possibility of confusing one person with another and makes it possible for public bodies to operate more efficiently and effectively with their customers. For this reason we have a variety of these unique identifiers – IE:
- The UK: National Insurance Number (NINo)
- USA: Social Security Number (SSN)
To find out more about your PPSN in Ireland then please visit the Irish Welfare – PPSN Webpage.
If you are ready to apply for your PPSN then check out How to apply for a PPSN on Welfare.IE and you can also view Where To Apply for a PPSN.
We registered for our PPSN in the Parnell Street Intreo Office. You need to arrive pretty early, and leave plenty of time to register for your PPSN – the queues are pretty long, and you can expect to be waiting in excess of two hours. The best time is obviously to be one of the first ones into the building.
Everywhere in Ireland appears to open at about ten am (10:00). But the queue starts forming at the Dublin Parnell Street Intreo Office as early as SEVEN AM. You have to decide on what time you wish to arrive.
At Parnell Street the process put simple is:
Arrive at the door. There may well be a queue that forms out of the building and around the corner. This is not anything unusual.
You will need to join this queue to get to the PPSN Enquiries Reception. You show the guy (or lady) at the desk your passport, and explain that you need the PPSN so as to work / register for self employment.
The guy will give you a PPSN Application Form to complete, and a ticket number. THERE IS TWO SIDES TO THIS FORM! – MAKE SURE YOU COMPLETE BOTH SIDES, OTHERWISE THE NEXT TICKET WILL BE CALLED AND YOU’LL NEED TO WAIT AGAIN! – Don’t worry, you can expect to wait in the queue for at least an hour – so theres plenty of time to complete the form.
You will notice in the Parnell Street Intreo Office that there are two queues going on:
- PPSN Applications
- PPSN Enquiries
The PPSN Applications queue appears to be for singular / couple applications, whilst the PPSN Enquiries queue appears to be for groups containing children (whether or not this is true, I am not certain, but after four visits to the PPSN office and observation of the calling, it appears to be the case).
When you get to the desk, you can expect the following:
The guy (or gal) behind the desk, will have a little chat with you – getting friendly and all. Just ensure you let them know that you need the PPSN to work / register as self employed.
They will then scan all of your documents. You will need to provide photographic proof of identity (Passport / Driving License ETC) and a right to work / nationality (Therefore Passport is the best) as well as proof of address. This proof of address can be a simple letter from your landlord stating: “I (NAME) certify that (Applicants name) lives at my address (Full Address). Name: (NAME) Signed: (Signature) Date: (DATE).”.
Along with the letter, you will require proof that the person providing certification lives at that address – such as a utility bill, PPSN letter of their own ETC dated within the last three months (although, the newer the better).
They will take your photograph. This photograph will be for your Public Services Card.
They will ask you to write down the answer to two questions on a list (for security purposes). Remember the answers to what you write. Should you contact them over the telephone they will use these answers as identity verification.
Once completed, you will be on your way. You will recieve a letter in the post within about a week, followed by your Personal Public Services card in about three weeks time.
To Register for Tax or Register for Self Employment you will require your PPSN. You can either call the local welfare office the next day (bear in mind the telephone lines are ALWAY VERY BUSY) or take my prefered approach and actually go into a Welfare Office with Photographic Proof of Identification (Such as passport or Driving License).