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What is a National Insurance number?
Everyone who wants to work in the UK must have a National Insurance number (NINo). You should be sent a National Insurance number automatically just before your 16th birthday if you live in the UK. If you don’t receive one you may have to apply for a National Insurance Number.
To obtain a NINo, you must be 16 or over and resident in the UK. Your NINo is unique to you throughout your life, but it is not a form of identity. It is made up of two letters, six numbers and a final letter, in the format 'AB 12 34 56 C'.
You can start work without a NINo, but you must then apply for one immediately. The law requires you to apply for a NINo if you do not already have one and you are working or are intending to work. Visit the GOV.UK website for full details of how to get a NINo.
You'll be registered automatically and sent a NINo just before your 16th birthday if you live in the UK and your parents or guardians are getting Child Benefit for you.