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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

What is the Government Gateway?

Government Gateway is an online process that checks your identity when you sign up to government services and gives you a user ID. Find out how it works and what to do if you lose your password or user ID.

Online services that use Government Gateway

The following government services use Government Gateway:

  • apply for your first (provisional) driving licence
  • replace your driving licence
  • change your address on your driving licence
  • renew the photo on your driving licence
  • exchange your paper licence for a photocard licence
  • renew your driving licence at 70
  • Self Assessment Online (tax returns)
  • State Pension Forecast
  • claim State Pension Online
  • Money Claim Online (small claims court)

How the registration process works

To register, either:

  • you will be given a user ID as you sign up for a service, eg for a driving licence
  • the service will ask you to register on the Government Gateway site first, eg to claim your pension

When you register you will:

  • give personal details like your National Insurance number so government can check you are who you say
  • create a password
  • set up memorable information, eg a date, for your account (Self Assessment Online uses your unique taxpayer reference number instead)

You will then see a user ID on your screen. Government Gateway also sends this user ID to you in the post.

To use the service, log in and enter your user ID and password. You can use the same user ID and password for services run by the same department, eg for all driving licence services.

User IDs

Write down your user ID and the service it is for. You will need both pieces of information to get help for any problems with your account, eg if you forget your password.

You can have more than one user ID.

You may not be able to use the same user ID for all the services that use Government Gateway.

If you can't use your existing user ID, get a new one by registering with the service you want to use.

Activation codes

Some services have a higher level of security.

When you sign up, you may have to wait for an activation code in the post for these services:

  • Self Assessment Online run by HM Revenue and Customs
  • State Pension Forecast run by The Pension Service
  • claim State Pension Online run by The Pension Service

It usually takes from three to seven days for the code to arrive.

Once you get your activation code, you have 28 days to return to the service and log in with your user ID and password. The service will then ask for the code.

If you don't use the code within this time, you will have to sign up to the service again to get a new code.

Forgotten passwords or user IDs

You will need to:

  • return to the service you want, eg 'log in'
  • select the link called 'forgotten password' or 'forgotten user ID'
  • enter other information the service asks for, eg your memorable information or your unique taxpayer reference number

Your user ID or new password can be sent by email or post. If you can't remember the email address you used to sign up for the service, get it sent by post.

Forgotten password and user ID

If you have forgotten both your password and user ID for a driving licence service, you will need to register for the service again.

If you have forgotten both your password and user ID for one of the other services, contact the helpdesk for that service:

  • for pension services email
  • for Money Claim Online email
  • for Self Assessment call 0845 60 55 999

Each helpdesk only deals with problems for its service.

If you can't remember which service you signed up for, get a new user ID by registering for the service again.

Additional links

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