When you arrive in Ireland, obtaining a Personal Public Service (PPS) number should be one of your first priorities. A PPS number is a unique reference number that allows you to undertake work in Ireland and avail of government benefits and programs. It always starts with the digit ‘7’ and covers services such as public health care, housing grants, and driving licence applications. You may also need a PPS number when enrolling your children into a new school.
Why do I need a PPS number in Ireland?
One point that many people don’t realize about PPS numbers is that, unless you are an Irish citizen, you are required to have a specific need for a PPS number in order to be eligible to apply for one. This need may come in the form of an offer of employment or if you are looking for a school to enrol your children in. You cannot apply for a PPS number without proof of necessity.
Where do I get my PPS number in Ireland?
To get your number, find your local PPS Number allocation centre and note that some centres will only accept registrants who book an appointment online in advance. They will take your photo when you apply, so don’t say we didn’t warn you!
What Documents Do I Need in Order to Obtain a PPS Number?
This question is very much dependent on where you are moving to Ireland from. For instance, if you are a citizen of an EEA country or Switzerland, then a current valid passport or National Identity Card will suffice.
However, if you are a non-EEA, non-Swiss national, then you will need a current valid passport or in-date 1951 Travel Document, as well as proof of address in Ireland; i.e. a document that includes both your name and address. This could take the form of:
- A household utility bill;
- An official letter/document;
- A financial statement;
- Property lease or tenancy agreement; or
- Confirmation of address by a third party such as a hotel/hostel administrator or manager, school principal/administrator, or accommodation/property owner.
Once you have successfully submitted your application, your PPS number will be printed onto your Public Services Card and mailed to you in the post to the address you provided.
Who will require my PPS number?
It is important to keep your PPS number private, to avoid potential identity scams. The bodies entitled that may ask for your PPS number are:
- All Social Welfare Services
- Bodies responsible for administering the Free Travel Pass scheme
- Schools, in particular staff responsible for enrolment and Pupil ID
- Public Health services, including Medical Card and Drug Payment Schemes
- Child Immunisation Programmes
- Revenue Schemes – including Taxation and Mortgage Interest Relief
- Housing Grant officers
- Driver Theory Testing and Driver Licences staff
- Civil Registration Service – all Birth, Death, Marriage & Civil Partnership transactions
- Your employer, for the purpose of advising Revenue and Department of Social Protection of your tax deductions and contributions.
If you think that a person asking for your PPS Number shouldn’t be doing do so, do not give them your number until you have contacted Client Identity Services of the Department of Social Protection, Social Wefare Services, Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim (Telephone 01-7043281) for advice. It is also possible to email Client Identity Services at [email protected]. It is vital that you never give your PPS number to parties that you are unsure about.
Won’t someone please think of the children?
If you are moving to Ireland with children of a school-going age then you need to take action on securing a place for them in a school. In general, you can expect that most schools will require you to present a birth certificate and passport for your child. Some may also ask for a Personal Public Service (PPS) number in order to register your child as a pupil.
Aside from school enrollment, you will also need a PPS number for your child or children in order to receive child benefit on their behalf. In addition, a PPS number is generally needed if you wish to enroll them in a creche, and to obtain the ‘under 6s GP visit card’. However, it is crucial to remember that you will need to be in Ireland before you can get the PPS number, but if you’d like to view the application form and get your documents organised in advance, then you can view it on the Irish welfare website and download the CB1 form before you arrive.