a lost national insurance number letter containing an example of a HMRC national insurance number

Find Your Lost National Insurance Number

When looking for a lost National Insurance Number, there are 3 available options: phone, online application, and postal application. The best method for you will depend on your circumstances, so we suggest considering all three options, as some are faster and cheaper than others.

Option 1: You can retrieve your lost National Insurance Number by calling HMRC. During the phone call, you will need to answer the security questions they ask. If successful, your number will be sent to you by post within three weeks. The phone number to call is 0300 200 3500. If you are outside of the UK, please dial +441912037010.

Option 2: If you have a Government Gateway account, you can sign in and immediately print out your National Insurance Number. If you don’t have an account, you can apply for one. This method is the quickest, but may not always be possible, so you might need to explore the alternative options.

Option 3: If for any reason you are unable to request your National Insurance Number using the methods mentioned above, we highly recommend completing form CA5403. This form can be found on the official HMRC website and can be conveniently filled out online and printed. Once you have completed the form, please send it to the designated address provided.

National Insurance Number Contributions and employers office, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AN

If you require your CA5403 form to be in Welsh then you will need to call 0300 200 1900 and ask for form CA5403W.

Is there a way to fast track my application?

No, there is absolutely no way you can fast track your application. No amount of money would be able to speed up the process. The quickest way is to sign into your online government gateway account and print it straight out. Otherwise its a waiting game of 3-7 weeks. Applications are free unless you use a third party website.

Will my lost National Insurance Number stay the same when I request a new one?

Yes, your National Insurance Number will never change. Your number is unique to you and won’t be cancelled, even if it is inactive or you leave the country for a period of time.

Will the HMRC be able to tell me my National Insurance Number over the phone or e-mail?

No. The HMRC helpline will only be able to send you your lost National Insurance Number via post for security reasons. They are unable to pass your number over the phone or e-mail.

What security questions will I be asked when I phone the HMRC?

The HMRC will ask a series of security questions in order to discuss your application. These questions may be asked in any order. You will be asked to confirm your full name (you must include any middles names or any other names you may not usually use), date of birth, full UK address including postcode, UK contact telephone number (if you have one) and nationality.

How do I get a Government Gateway account?

You will need to register for an account online at the Gov.uk site. In order to register you must have an active e-mail account in which you are able to access. You will receive an e-mail confirming your account has been fully registered once you have followed all the necessary steps.

Why didn’t I get sent a National Insurance Number when I was 16?

If you have reached 16 years of age and not received a confirmation letter this may be due to a few reasons. You or your parent/guardian may have not informed the relevant government bodies of any address changes. This is the most common reason for not receiving a confirmation letter. If you are not living in the United Kingdom at the time of your 16th birthday, you will not receive a confirmation letter of your national insurance number. Letters are sent via standard Royal mail post, which unfortunately on some occasions is known for letter loss at busy periods such as Christmas holidays.

If you have not attended a UK school or your parents have not claimed any form of benefits relating to yourself you may not be registered on any government system. This being the case you would not receive a National Insurance Number when you reach 16. You will need to contact the HMRC using 1 of the above 3 methods to get your National Insurance Number.

What happens if the HMRC never issued me a National Insurance Number?

If you have contacted the relevant departments and they have confirmed you have not been issued a national insurance number, you will need to go through the process of applying for one. When you apply for a new National Insurance number, you will be asked to confirm that you have never been issued a national insurance number previously. Please make sure they understand you have already tried the lost National Insurance Number helpline. Otherwise they will send you around in circles. Please check your payslip or sign into your Government Gateway to see if your National Insurance Number is located there.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below, our admin team or our community will be able to help. Please let us know if any of the above information has any inaccuracies by sending an email to admin@nationalinsurancenumber.org.

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