Get­ting a PPS Num­ber is one of the first things you will have to do when you arrive in Ire­land. The sooner you apply for it, the easier the trans­ition will be and you will be able to avoid pay­ing more tax on your income than you should. It can seem like a com­plic­ated pro­cess but we’ve some great tips on how to make it as easy as possible.

What is a PPS Number?

A Per­sonal Pub­lic Ser­vice (PPS) num­ber is a unique num­ber that gov­ern­ment bod­ies and oth­ers will use to identify you. You will need this num­ber for tax pur­poses and will need to inform your employer as soon as you get it. Your employer will use your PPS Num­ber for the pur­poses of advising Rev­enue and Depart­ment of Social Pro­tec­tion of your tax deduc­tions and Pay Related Social Insur­ance (PRSI) con­tri­bu­tions. You might also need to use this num­ber when apply­ing for access to other pub­lic ser­vices and when set­ting up a bank account. A PPS Num­ber is sim­ilar to the National Insur­ance Num­ber in the UK, and Social Secur­ity Num­ber in the USA.

How do you get a PPS Number?

You will need to apply for your PPS Num­ber with the Depart­ment of Social Pro­tec­tion. Call in to your local registered PPS Num­ber Regis­tra­tion Centre. The Cork centre is loc­ated at the Social Wel­fare Office, Han­over Quay. There are spe­cific open­ing hours for this ser­vice in Cork so be sure to find out before you go there so you don’t make a wasted jour­ney. It’s also usu­ally a good idea to try and go there early to avoid the queues.

Proof of identity

When you go to get a PPS Num­ber you’ll need to show them proof of iden­tity, usu­ally a valid pass­port or National Iden­tity Card, and evid­ence that you are liv­ing in Ireland.

If you haven’t found a place to live yet but want to get your PPS Num­ber, your employer can make the applic­a­tion on your behalf.

If you are from the United King­dom, European Union or European Eco­nomic Area you’ll need to provide a cur­rent valid pass­port along with another form of pho­to­graphic ID such as a driv­ing licence and evid­ence of your address such as a house­hold bill or a ten­ancy agree­ment in your name.

It’s a good idea to bring along some sup­port­ing doc­u­ments such as your birth cer­ti­fic­ate, employ­ment details and edu­ca­tion his­tory as you may be asked to provide fur­ther inform­a­tion. It doesn’t hurt to bring more than you think might need – you won’t want to queue up there more than you have to!

If you haven’t found a place to live yet but want to get your PPS Num­ber, your employer can make the applic­a­tion on your behalf. Details of the newly alloc­ated PPS Num­ber will issue to the employer once a third party con­sent form has been com­pleted and signed by the indi­vidual who is to apply for the PPS Number.

Can you apply for a PPS Num­ber before you arrive in Ireland?

You can’t usu­ally apply for a PPS Num­ber before you arrive in Ire­land. Nor­mally, you must be liv­ing in Ire­land to apply. How­ever, an employer can make an applic­a­tion on your behalf once you have signed a third party con­sent form.

What does a PPS Num­ber look like?

Your PPS Num­ber will have 9 char­ac­ters: 7 num­bers fol­lowed by two let­ters. It will look some­thing like this: 1234567FA. Don’t worry if you already have an Irish PPS Num­ber and it looks dif­fer­ent,  changes were made in Janu­ary 2013 so that the num­ber now has 9 characters.

Where will you see your PPS Number?

You will find your PPS Num­ber on tax doc­u­ments, let­ters from a social wel­fare or tax office, your payslip and on cards that may be issued to you to avail of social wel­fare and med­ical pay­ment schemes among others.

More inform­a­tion

The Depart­ment of Social Pro­tec­tion web­site provides a list of PPS Num­ber Regis­tra­tion Centres through­out Ire­land. This will help you to find your local centre. If you have a query regard­ing your PPS Num­ber, you should con­tact the Cli­ent Iden­tity Ser­vices at the Depart­ment of Social Protection.