Important documents and accessing information for care leavers

You will need documents to prove who you are and to access educational courses, employment, social benefits or to open a bank account.

The Care Leavers' Service (CLS) will help you to get the important documents or photo identification you need, such as a passport and birth certificate. The CLS will fund three forms of identification, most commonly this will be birth certificate, passport and driving licence. To request this funding or for more support, please speak to your Personal Adviser (PA).

it is your responsibility to look after and keep documents safe, the CLS will not repurchase documents if you lose them so you will need to fund any replacements. If you agree, the CLS can keep copies of your important documents safely on your record. Below is a list explaining some of the important documents you might need.

You also have a right to see the information we hold about you, including the records written about you when you were in care. This is called a Subject Access Request. If you would like to make a Subject Access Request, your PA will help you complete the necessary forms. Our expectation is that the Looked After Children's teams will have provided you with a later life letter that explains your care journey.

National insurance (N.I) number

At 15 years and 9 months, your social worker should apply for your national insurance number (N.I Number). Your PA will ensure that you have this. You need this number, if you wish to work, so you must keep it safe. For young people seeking asylum you will be eligible for a National Insurance number once your status is determined or once you've received eligible status. The confirmation to remain in the UK will be printed on the back of your Biometric Residence Card. The website has more information about your national insurance number.


Your PA will support you with an application for your first passport, and the CLS will cover the cost of applying for and purchasing this. There is an expectation that young people under 18 years old would have a passport in transferring to the CLS. Your passport is your main source of I.D. and can be used to open a bank account, or travel. If you lose this, you will have to fund a new one and they are expensive, so please keep it in a safe place! You can find out more information and apply for a passport on the website.

Provisional driving licence

This provides you with a form of photo I.D., like a passport. If you want to learn to drive, you will need a driving licence. Please remember that if you move address, you must update the DVLA! You can find more information and apply for your provisional driving licence on the website.

Birth certificate

If you do not have a birth certificate, your PA can support you to apply for one. This can be used, alongside photo I.D. to open a bank account. You may also need it if you intend to get married. More information about birth certificates can be found on the website.

British citizenship

This gives you the right to live and work in the UK permanently. You need British Citizenship before you can apply for a UK passport. If you are entitled to apply for British citizenship, your PA will support you to do this. More information about British citizenship can be found on the website.

Biometric residence permit (often called a biometric card)

If you are an unaccompanied asylum-seeking young person, you will not be able to apply for a passport, but can apply for a biometric residence permit which will provide you with a source of I.D. The CLS will pay for you to apply for this. The website has more information about biometric residence permits.

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