Personal Public Service Number (often abbreviated to PPS or PPSN) is a unique personal identification number that is used when dealing with public bodies in Ireland. It allows you to use a range of public services, such as:
- social welfare services
- public medical services
- driving license application
- civil registration services, e.g. marriage
Public Services Card (PSC) is used to confirm your identity and makes it easier to use a range of public services in Ireland. Thanks to PSC you don’t have to give the same information to multiple organisations.
How to apply for a PPS Number / Personal Services Card
To book an appointment you will need to create a Basic MyGovID account. MyGovID is a single login for government services in Ireland. You can find out more about MyGovID account here.
Basic MyGovID account allows you to to book an appointment via https://services.mywelfare.ie/. It is required that you attend this appointment in person. It is no longer possible to apply for a PPS without prior online booking.
Public Services Card can be requested during your PPS appointment. Be ready to have your picture taken at the appointment for that purpose.
In order to apply for a PPS you need to provide the following documents:
- photo identification - Passport or National ID card
- proof of address
- reason for applying - e.g. letter from employer, driving license application, registration to use medical services
MyWelfare website also recommends bringing your Irish mobile phone. It is quite likely that some verification messages will have to be sent to you via SMS. It takes 3 - 5 working days for the PSC card to be posted to you.
PPS vs. job search
As a job seeker it is useful to know that you don’t need a PPS number to apply for work. In fact, looking for work is not considered to be a sufficient reason to apply for a PPS. A PPS number is required for taxation purposes but only once you begin employment. A letter from your employer is a standard document that can be used when applying for a PPS.