PPS Numbers: A Guide for Irish Directors

New regulations came into effect on June 11th, 2023. They impact company directors in Ireland. Directors must now provide their Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers. This is required when filing certain forms with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). The aim is to verify identities. This confirms that the director is a real person. We will explore PPS number in this blog post. We will discuss their significance and their role in verification.

  1. Understanding PPS Numbers
  2. Locating Your PPS Number
  3. The Role of PPS Numbers in Public Services
  4. New Requirement for Company Directors
  5. Ensuring Data Security
  6. Verification of Identity
  7. Directors without PPS Numbers

Understanding PPS Numbers

A PPS number is a unique reference number. It is used in Ireland to access various services. These include social welfare benefits, public services, and information. The number consists of seven numbers and one or two letters. You will have a Personal Public Service number if you meet certain criteria. These include being born in Ireland after 1971 or starting work in Ireland after 1979. It also includes receiving a social welfare payment or participating in the Drugs Payment Scheme. Non-resident individuals interacting with certain Irish Government organizations may also have PPS numbers.

Locating Your PPS Number

Your PPS number can be found on various official documents. These include your Public Services Card and Social Services Card. It can also be found on your Drugs Payment Scheme Card, Medical Card, and GP visit card. Other places include your European Health Insurance Card, Tax Assessment, or PAYE Notice of Tax Credits. If you can’t locate your number, you can contact your Intreo Centre. You can also contact your local Social Welfare Branch Office. Staff members will assist you in retrieving your number.

The Role of PPS Numbers in Public Services

Your PPS number is required for specific public services. However, only authorized entities can request it. The Companies Registration Office (CRO) is one such authorized organization.

New Requirement for Company Directors

The Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Act 2021 has a new mandate. Company directors must include their PPS numbers in certain filings. These include applications for company incorporation, annual returns, and notices of change of directors or secretaries. Failure to comply is a category 4 offense.

Ensuring Data Security

The CRO validates PPS numbers upon submission. The system then stores them securely in an irreversible hashed/encrypted format, ensuring no one can access the number. No CRO member or third party can access it. Hashing, an encryption technique, further protects the data. This is important in the event of a data breach. The CRO uses a complex mathematical function to generate a unique, longer number. No one can reverse this number to obtain the original PPS number.

Verification of Identity

The CRO verifies the submitted name, date of birth, and PPS number. The CRO compares them with the Department of Social Protection’s number database.” The forename and surname entered in the CRO forms must match the associated name in the database. This ensures successful verification. This process confirms the identity of each beneficial owner. It confirms their status as a natural person. It also reduces the likelihood of duplicate entries.

Directors without PPS Numbers

If a company director does not possess an Irish Personal Public Service number, they must apply for a Verified Identity Number (VIN). Directors use a Form VIF – Declaration as to Verification of Identity for this process. After processing the VIN application, the authorities issue an Identified Person Number (IPN). You can use this for future filings.


The introduction of mandatory PPS numbers for company directors filing specific forms with the CRO emphasizes the importance of identity verification. Only natural persons receive authorization to act as directors. The secure storage and encryption of Personal Public Service numbers, along with the verification process, contribute to maintaining data privacy. They also reduce the risk of fraudulent activity. By adhering to these requirements, directors can comply with the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Act 2021. They can contribute to a transparent and trustworthy business environment in Ireland.

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