Remember where they are and keep them safe...

There are a number of documents that you will need to have as you begin to live more independently.

Birth Certificate

You need your birth certificate as proof of identity and you will need it to get other documents such as a passport.

We may have a copy of your birth certificate that we are keeping safe for you. If this is not available it is really important that you make sure your social worker helps you to get a copy. You should be given a copy of your birth certificate when you need it.

If you need to get your own copy later you will need to know your place of birth and your parents' names. You can contact the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the county where you were born or it may be possible to do this online.

National Insurance Number

Your National Insurance should look something like this: AB 123456 B

Most young people receive their National Insurance (NI) number automatically when they are about 16. If you don't have one, talk to your social worker and ask them to apply on your behalf. It should take about 6 weeks.


You don't have to have a passport but it is an extremely useful document to have.

It isn't just about going on foreign holidays. A passport is accepted by lots of companies and organisations as a way of proving who you are and your entitlement to work. It makes a lot of sense for you to get this document before you leave care if you can. This will also mean that you may have help and support to get it.

We can apply for a passport for a young person where they have a parental responsibility otherwise consent would need to be obtained from your parent. This is because all under 18s applying for a passport need someone to give consent.

Anyone who is 16 or over will need to apply for a full adult passport and may need to attend an interview to prove who they are.

If you are over 18 you can apply for your own passport. There is a cost and usually takes about 6 weeks. Go to the passport website for more information.

NHS Medical Card

  • You should already be registered with a doctor and dentist and you will have a NHS number.
  • It's not a problem if you can't find it or have lost your card.
  • An NHS medical card is issued when you first register with a GP. It contains your NHS number and other information such as your name, address, date of birth and details of your GP practice or doctor. If you change your GP you will be asked for your NHS medical card.

Driving Licence

You can apply for your provisional driving licence three months before your 16th birthday, if you recieve the higher rate of the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance.

For all other young people you have to be 17. Ask your social worker about the scheme to help you to pay for your licence or driving lessons. The form below should be completed by your social worker and sent in to the safeguarding unit before you apply for a provisional licence and before you pay for any lessons.

You will need a provisional licence before you can begin to learn to drive. The forms (D1) can be picked up from main post offices or from your local DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) office.

Proof of Identity

To make a claim for benefits you have to show proof of identity as well as having a National Insurance number. The documents listed above can be used as well as things such as your rent card, tenancy agreement and utility bills that are in your name.


If you have qualifications it is important to keep the certificates safe as future employers or educational establishments will need to see them.