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A Personal Public Service (PPS) Number is a unique reference number that is required to access public services and social welfare benefits in Ireland. For example, you need a PPS Number to:

  • Apply for a social welfare payment
  • Apply for or exchange a driving licence
  • Register with Revenue (begin employment)
  • Access medical services
  • Register for school or college

Applying for a PPS Number as an Adult

First, check if you have a PPS Number—if you lived and worked in Ireland previously, you may have already have one. You can find your PPS Number on previous Irish payslips or other official documents issued in Ireland. If you do not remember your PPS Number or have lost it, you can contact Client Identity Services via email at or by phone at +353 (0)71 967 2616 from abroad or 081 892 7999 from within the Republic of Ireland.

If you do not have a PPS Number, you will need to apply for one on your return. In most cases you can only apply once you are back in Ireland, however there are some exceptions to this (e.g. if you are purchasing property in Ireland from abroad). To be assigned a PPS Number, you must provide evidence of why you need one.

You can apply online for a PPS number using To do so, you must first create a basic MyGovID account by following the instructions here. You will need to upload copies of documents with your application indicating:

  1. Proof of identity: acceptable forms of identity vary by where you were born – check here to find documents applicable to your situation
  2. Reason for needing a PPS number
  3. Proof of address: for a list of acceptable documents, check The document must show your name and address, and must not be older than three months. For returning emigrants, the Department of Social Protection may accept non-standard proof of address. For example, if you are living temporarily with family or friends, the named bill payer may write and sign an addressed utility bill confirming your residence at their address.

Applying for a PPS Number for a Child Born Abroad

To apply for a PPS number on behalf of your child, you must fill out a REG1M form once you are back in Ireland. You will need to provide evidence of the following:

  1. Parent/guardian’s identity
  2. Child’s identity
  3. Reason for needing a PPS number
  4. Relationship between the parent/guardian and the child
  5. Address

Page last updated on 12 September, 2023

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