How to Obtain a CIS Card

Written by cecelia owens
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How to Obtain a CIS Card
The CIS applies only to self-employment in construction in Britian. (construction image by Pali A from

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) card is a necessary plastic card that allows you to work legally as a self-employed construction worker in the United Kingdom. The card, which is issued only by the Inland Revenue, displays your name and occupation. The CIS established a set of rules for how payments to subcontractors for construction works must be handled by contractors in the industry, according to the HM Revenue & Customs website. Without your CIS card, you are illegally working, which could result into jail time or criminal fines.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Locate your nearest Inland Revenue office. Access the HM Revenue & Customs website and click on the "Contact US" link. Click the "Find A Tax Office" tab, then the "Tax Offices for the Self-Employed Inquiries" link. Enter your town, postcode or three-digit office code to detect your local Revenue office.

  2. 2

    Go into your local Inland Revenue office. Ask the representative for a CWF1 form, then fill out the form by answering questions pertaining to your self-employment.

  3. 3

    Give the application back to the representative at the Inland Revenue office, and they will send you an application to get your CIS card.

  4. 4

    Fill out the CIS application, then send it back to your local Inland Revenue office. The office will send you a card once they have verified your self-employment. This can take up to one to three months.

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