The PPS number – how (and when) to get one

When you start work in Ireland, you will need a PPS number. This is the number that the State uses to identify you when determining what taxes to deduct from your pay or when it pays any benefits to you, such as Unemployment Benefit.

So, how do you get one?

You will not be able to get a PPS number until you can show that you need one. In other words, you cannot apply for a PPS number until you have been offered a job or when you make a claim to the Social Welfare office, or when you access some health services.

You do not need a PPS number to apply for work in Ireland. If you are an EU citizen, simply state this on any CV or application letter. Irish employers know this entitles you to work here and should not ask you for a PPS number before offering you a job.

If you are not an EU citizen, you may be entitled to work because of the visa you have been issued. In this case you will have got a work permit, from the Garda National Immigration bureau. This too is sufficient evidence that you have the right to work here.

So, when do I apply for a PPS number?

You can apply when you have been offered work

In this case, ask your employer for a letter confirming the job offer.

You can apply when you make an application for a social welfare benefit or if you need it to access some hospital services

In this case, the social welfare or hospital you are dealing with will give you documentation to assist in your application.

When I am ready, how do I apply for a PPS number?

To apply for a PPS number you will need two documents:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Address

Proof of Identity

For EU citizens, a passport or National Identity card will be accepted as a proof of Identity. For non-EU citizens only a passport is acceptable.

Proof of address

As proof of address you will need one of the following:

  • a household utility bill
  • an official letter/document, financial statement, property lease or tenancy agreement from your landlord
  • verifiable employer’s letter (ask your employer to include your address on the letter stating you have been offered work)
  • confirmation of address by a third party such as a school principal/administrator. (If you are a student at the Central School of English we will give you this letter – just ask at reception)

(If you are staying with friends/relatives an original household bill plus a note from the bill holder confirming residency at the bill address is also acceptable. This note can be written on the bill itself.)

You will then need to take both documents to your local Social Welfare office. (You will need to take an appointment. Start by signing up here.) You will receive your PPS number, by post, within a few days


If you want to know more about the PPS number, here is the official information.