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How do I get a number and card?

To apply for a Social Security number and card:

  • Complete an Application For A Social Security Card (Form SS-5); and
  • Show them original documents or copies certified by the issuing agency proving:
    • U.S. citizenship or immigration status [including Department of Homeland Security (DHS) permission to work in the United States];
    • Age; and
    • Identity.

Then, take or mail your completed application and documents to your local Social Security office.
Citizenship or immigration status: We can accept only certain documents as proof of U.S. citizenship. These include a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. consular report of birth, U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship. If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security will ask to see your current U.S. immigration documents. Acceptable documents include your:

  • Form I-551 (includes machine-readable immigrant visa with your unexpired foreign passport);
  • I-94 with your unexpired foreign passport; or
  • Work permit card from the Department of Homeland Security (I-766 or I-688B).

International students must present further documentation. For more information, see International Students And Social Security Numbers (Publication No. 05-10181).
Age: You must present your birth certificate if you have it or can easily obtain it. If not, they can consider other documents, such as your passport to prove age.
Identity: they can accept only certain documents as proof of identity. An acceptable document must be current (not expired) and show your name, identifying information and preferably a recent photograph. Social Security will ask to see a U.S. driver’s license, state-issued nondriver identification card or U.S. passport as proof of identity. If you do not have the specific documents they ask for, they will ask to see other documents including:

  • Employee ID card;
  • School ID card;
  • Health insurance card (not a Medicare card);
  • U.S. military ID card;
  • Adoption decree;
  • Life insurance policy; or
  • Marriage document (only in
    name change situations).

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. they cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.We may use one document for two purposes. For example, they may use your U.S. passport as proof of both citizenship and identity. Or, they may use your U.S. birth certificate as proof of age and citizenship. However, you must provide at least two separate documents.
they will mail your number and card as soon as they have all of your information and have verified your documents with the issuing offices.


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There are 14 Comments

I don't have my birth certificate and I don't have a passport. will the ss office accept a drivers license and military i.d. instead, when I apply for a new social security card?

You may want to double check with a local SSA office, but you'll probably need to get a copy of your birth certificate.

To prove your age, in general, you must provide your birth certificate. In some situations, The SSA may accept another document that shows your age. Some of the other documents they may accept are:

  • U.S. Hospital record of your birth (created at the time of birth)
  • Religious record established before age five showing your age or date of birth
  • Passport
  • Final Adoption Decree (the adoption decree must show that the birth information was taken from the original birth certificate)

HELLO I was born in Woonsocket Rhode Island. I had a social security number but lost it. Can I retrieve it through this office? I cannot send my original passport for obvious reasons. Plese help me to proceed, many thanks Monique M, Greece

In general, I have not seen reservations used for Social Security offices. Some rural offices have limited hours, so you'll want to be aware of that. Check with your local office for details.

We have adopted 3 children and I need to get new Social Security cards how do I go about that??

To request a number:

Step 1: Gather documents proving your:

  • Child's age
  • Child's Identity
  • U.S. citizenship if you have not established the child's U.S. citizenship with us
  • Immigration status if the child is not a U.S. citizen

Step 2: Gather documents proving your:

  • Identity
  • Custody/responsibility for the child.

Step 3: Complete an Application for a Social Security card.

Step 4: Take or mail the completed application and documents to your local Social Security office or your local Social Security Card Center.

If I go to the SS office will I be able to get my documents back that same day?

The following excerpt is from Form SS-5-FS, "Application for a Social Security Card" :

If you do not want to mail your original documents, take them along with this application to one of the offices listed above. The people there will make certified copies of your original documents and mail them to the Social Security Administration along with this application.

since i was born i was living my entire whole life in another country. so, now that i have already grown up, i want to go back to my country because i deserve it. while i was trying to process my passport they told me that first off all i need to get my social security number. and while im trying to process my social security card they had asking me for the passport or some other usa ID! i have ID cards from the school but those are from the other country i was telling you about. come on... i would like to know if i can process my docs whit those ID cards from the foreign school...
i need some help whit this problem i dont know what to do in this situation and i really want go back to usa...

I'm not a US citizen, I have my I-94 form and would like to get a SSNumber in order to pay taxes if it requered.... What should i do?

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