The Personal Public Service Number is the individual’s unique reference number for all dealings with Government Departments and public bodies. Section 262 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005 provides the legislative basis for the PPS Number. Only Government Departments or public bodies authorised in legislation (or their agents) can use the PPS Number as a personal identifier. A body or agency authorised to use the PPS Number is known as a ‘specified body’.
A PPS Number is automatically issued in the case of children born in Ireland. In other cases application must be made in person at one of the Department's network of Local Offices. PPS Numbers are issued following a controlled allocation procedure, involving a personal attendance at the office, the completion of a written application form, the submission of appropriate identity documents and the proving of identity.
Statistics in relation to PPS Number allocations in terms of a customer’s declared nationality are compiled by the Department on a monthly basis. These figures are published on the Department’s website and can be found at http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Personal-Public-Service-Number-Statistics-on-Numbers-Issued.aspx.
The domicile status of the applicant is not a criterion which is captured as part of the PPS Number application process. While an applicant does supply evidence of address at the time of application, this may not necessarily reflect their domicile status. It should also be noted that the address recorded as part of the application process is reflective of the place of residence of the applicant at that point in time. Therefore address data captured when allocating a PPS Number may not reflect a person’s current address.