Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)

Your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) is a unique reference number that is to be used by you in all dealings with Public Service Agencies, including Revenue.

The PPSN is allocated by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and is essential to register for tax.

More detailed information in relation to PPSN’s, including whether a PPSN has already been issued to you, where you might find your PPSN, how to apply for one if you are moving to Ireland etc is available on the Department of Social Protection External linkwebsite.

Obtaining a PPSN

Individuals who do not hold (and require) a PPSN must first register with the DSP. Information on obtaining a PPSN can be found on the DSP website referred to above.

A list of social welfare local offices where you can register is also available on the Department of Social ProtectionExternal link website.

How do I register for Tax?


Information on starting work as an employee for the first time and what you must do to make sure that your tax is properly dealt with from the start is also available at Starting Work and Tax.

Self-employed / Sole trader

Information on how to register your business for tax as a self-employed person/sole trader is available at Registering for Tax.

PPSN Security

A PPSN is regarded under the Data Protection Acts as personal information. Revenue will not share an individual’s PPSN with any other party unless authorised to do so by legislation.

On the same basis an individual should not give their PPSN to another person unless they are satisfied about the bona fides of the person to whom it is being given.

Information on 'W' format Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSNs)

Historically, on marriage, a wife assumed her husband's tax reference number with the letter ‘W’ appended (for example, if a husband’s tax number was 1234567A, his wife would have been assigned 1234567AW on their marriage). This practice stopped in the 1990s. However, existing ‘W’ numbers in use at that time continue to be used until such time as there is a need to change them or if the person chooses to change it.

A person may need to change their number as a result of a change in life circumstances such as separation or death of a spouse. A person may also need to change it for Local Property Tax (LPT) reasons or for Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT).

Obtaining a new PPSN from DSP to replace a 'W' PPSN

You should contact the DSP's Client Identity Services at the following address:

Client Identity Services
Social Welfare Services Office
Shannon Lodge,
Carrick on Shannon,
Co Leitrim.

Phone (071) 967 2616, or LoCall 1890 927 999

As part of the process, Client Identity Services verifies the identity of the individual, secures their consent to the change, purges the existing number and replaces it with either a new number or one that the individual may have had prior to marriage. In addition, all pre-existing records relating to that individual are transferred over to the new number. Once completed, a letter advising of the new number is issued to the individual at their home address.

Applications and queries to the DSP on this matter should include the following information:

  • 'W' PPSN
  • Birth surname
  • Mother's birth surname
  • Date of birth
  • Pre marriage PPSN, if known.

Once received, the DSP notification of the replacement PPSN should be presented to Revenue to allow the new PPSN to be registered for tax purposes.

Back to Top

Print this page