The main applicant for the EHIC must be ordinarily resident in the UK, and of British, other EU/EEA or Swiss nationality, to be eligible for the card. Providing a National Insurance (NI) or NHS number, for example, helps to prove that applicants are entitled to hold an EHIC.
Residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not eligible for an EHIC.
If you are living in another EEA country and you receive a UK State Pension, or any other benefit that can be paid to you when you move abroad (exportable benefit), you may be entitled to a UK-issued EHIC. For more information, read our page on EHIC for pensioners and early retirees.
You can apply online for an EHIC, which is free of charge. You can also apply by phoning the automated service on 0300 3301350, or you can download the EHIC application form (PDF, 122kb) and return it to the NHS Business Services Authority (see address below).
Every family member requires an EHIC. If you are the main applicant, you can apply for yourself, or on behalf of your partner and any dependent children that are in full-time education and under the age of 19. If you already have an EHIC, you must enter your own details first and apply for any additional cards when prompted.
If you are under the age of 16, a parent or guardian will need to apply for you. Boarding school teaching staff can apply on behalf of any children in their care.
Each person you apply for will need to give their:
- full name
- date of birth
- NI or NHS number (CHI number in Scotland, or Health and Care Number in Northern Ireland)
However, temporary NI numbers are not valid. A temporary NI number uses the prefix "TN", the person's date of birth and "M" or "F" to denote gender (for example, TN131160M). These are no longer accepted and cannot be used to apply for an EHIC.
Your card will normally arrive within seven days if you apply using the official process.
If you are the main applicant, but your nationality is not one of those mentioned above, you will have to provide evidence that you are eligible. You will need to complete an EHIC application form (PDF, 122kb), attach a copy of your visa or Home Office letter and post it to:
NHS Business Services Authority
European Health Insurance Card
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne