Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, is a legal form from the Social Security Administration (SSA) that U.S. citizens and foreign nationals holding a permanent or temporary residence and work permit use to apply for a new or replacement Social Security card.
On your Social Security card is your Social Security Number (SSN), which you will use for legal transactions, from getting Social Security benefits to opening a bank account, getting a job, and receiving medical treatment.
There are specific situations that require an individual to complete Form SS-5. If you fall under one of the following conditions, you must fill out and submit the form to get a Social Security card:
- You are an adult and have never received a Social Security card
- You need to replace a lost, stolen, or heavily damaged, beyond repair Social Security card
- You need to make changes to an existing card due to marriage or divorce or a change in your name under a court order, as well as a clerical error, such as a misspelling of your name or an incorrect birth date
- Your citizenship status has changed from being a legal foreign resident or green card holder to a U.S. citizen
- You want to apply for your child or adopted child’s Social Security card for legal purposes that require him or her to have an SSN, including claiming him or her as a dependent on your tax return and opening a bank account in his or her name
- You have adult dependents, such as your elderly parents, and you want them to receive government benefits
A Public Law limits the replacement of Social Security cards to three per calendar year and 10 in a lifetime. Cards issued to reflect changes to your real name or a work authorization legend do not count. Also, the SSA may grant exceptions to the set limits if you provide evidence from an official source to declare that you need a Social Security card.
You can find a copy of Form SS-5 on the official SSA website, your local Social Security office, or an online database of legal forms.
Form SS-5 is a one-page document that requires your personal information. While the form is easy to understand, you must answer all the required sections carefully. Double-check your information before submitting the form to avoid any delay in your application.
In addition, to avoid any problems, make sure to provide all the needed details, following all instructions. Do not provide any false information. Purposely doing so in any legal document is punishable by law and can lead to penalties and imprisonment.
Section 1: Name
Provide your full legal name that would appear on your Social Security card. If applicable, also provide the name you had before you changed your name or got married or divorced, as this will help the SSA locate your previous records.
Section 2: Social Security Number Assigned
Use this line if you were previously assigned an SSN. Enter the number you have been using as your SSN.
Section 3: Place of Birth
Provide your place of birth, regardless if it is within the U.S. or in a foreign nation. Do not abbreviate.
Section 4: Date of Birth
Provide your date of birth following the format: MM/DD/YYYY.
Section 5: Citizenship
Select one of the options to determine your citizenship. According to the SSA, if you check “Legal Alien Not Allowed to Work” or “Other,” you must provide a document from a U.S. Federal, State, or local government agency that states why you need to have an SSN. You must also meet all the requirements to receive government benefits.
Section 6: Ethnicity
This section inquires whether you are Hispanic or Latino. Providing your ethnicity is voluntary and will be for informational and statistical purposes only. It does not affect SSA’s decision regarding your application.
Section 7: Race
Select one or more options that determine your race. Providing your race is voluntary and will be for information and statistical purposes only. It does not affect SSA’s decision regarding your application.
Section 8: Sex
Select your gender.
Section 9: Parent / Mother’s Name at Her Birth and SSN
Provide the full name of your mother on Section 9A at the time of her birth and her SSN on Section 9B. If the SSN is not known, you may check the “Unknown” box.
Section 10: Parent / Father’s Name and SSN
Provide the full name of your father on Section 10A and his SSN on Section 10B. If the SSN is not known, you may check the “Unknown” box.
Section 11: Previous Social Security Card
Determine if you have filed for or received an SSN before. If yes, answer Sections 12 to 13.<
Section 12: Name on Most Recent Social Security card
Provide your name as shown on your most recent Social Security card.
Section 13: Different Date of Birth
If you previously changed your date of birth on the card due to an error, provide on this section the date before the change. You may leave the section unanswered if your card shows your correct date of birth.
Section 14: Today’s Date
Write the date of your application.
Section 15: Daytime Phone Number
Provide your daytime phone number. The SSA might use this contact you.
Section 16: Mailing Address
Provide your mailing address where you would want to receive your Social Security card. You will receive your card within 7 to 14 days from your application date.
Section 17: Signature
Sign the form accordingly to confirm that all of the details you have provided are accurate and true.
Section 18: Relationship to the Applicant
Specify your relationship to the person in Section 1.
Regardless of the purpose of your application, you must submit supporting documents to prove your identity, including your age and citizenship status. It is advantageous to prepare and have the original copies of the required documents on hand before applying.
The SSA does not accept photocopies and only allows originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. A notarized photocopy of an original document is also not acceptable.
Evidence of Identity
Submit a U.S.-issued document that establishes your identity. It must clearly show your legal name and biographical information, such as your date of birth, age, or parents’ names, and physical information, such as your photograph or physical description, including but not limited to height, eye color, and hair color.
You may submit one of the following documents as proof of your identity:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. driver’s license
- State-issued non-driver identity card
If you are not a U.S. citizen, submit your current U.S. immigration document and foreign passport with biographical information or photograph.
Evidence of Age
The SSA requires that you submit your birth certificate. In some cases, they may accept another document that shows your age. Other documents you may submit include:
- U.S. hospital record of your birth
- Religious record established before age five, showing your age or date of birth
- Final Adoption Decree, showing that the birth information was taken from the original birth certificate
Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
In general, you must submit your U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport. Otherwise, the other documents you may provide include:
- Consular Report of Birth
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
Evidence of Immigration Status
- If you are an immigrant, you must provide a current unexpired document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), showing the status of your residency, such as Form I-551, I-94, or I-766.
- If you are an international student or exchange visitor, you must provide Form I-20, DS-2019, or a letter authorizing employment from your school and employer (F-1) or sponsor (J-1).
If you are not allowed to work in the U.S., the SSA can still issue you a Social Security card only if you need the number for a valid non-work purpose. The card will have a mark that shows you cannot work; thus, the SSA will notify the DHS if you work.
Submission of Form SS-5
First-time applicants above the age of 12 need to visit the nearest Social Security office or center for an interview. You may visit the SSA website to find Social Security offices or Social Security Card Centers near your area.
For tax purposes, almost all U.S. citizens get a Social Security card after birth for parents to claim their child as a dependent; thus, it is uncommon that a person does not have a card. An interview verifies if a citizen has never been issued a card or SSN before.
Applying in person is the fastest way to obtain a Social Security card, but you may also mail your SS-5 form. Just make sure to submit the form together with the required supporting documents.
Requesting a replacement card online through the SSA website is also available but only in some states. This method only allows applicants who are at least 18 years old and not requesting a change of name. You may set up your Social Security account to submit a card replacement request online.
Who uses Form SS-5?
People who want to apply for a Social Security number and card may use Form SS-5. Applicants must be at least 18 years old; otherwise, they must have the permission of their parents or legal guardian, as applicants under 18 years old need parental consent.
Form SS-5 can be filed by U.S. citizens, permanent residents living in the United States and abroad, temporary resident non-citizen with legal permission to work within the country, or applicants for military service.
U.S. citizens who live outside of the territory can also file Form SS-5 if they are not able to visit a Social Security office.
U.S. citizens living in the territory can file Form SS-5 only if they meet one of these conditions:
- They are currently overseas and their passport is stamped with "unexpired foreign country entry"; or
- They have never lived within the U.S.; or
- They cannot complete this task because of a physical or developmental disability.
What is the minimum age to apply for a social security card?
Applicants must be at least 18 years old; otherwise, they must have the permission of their parents or legal guardian.
What are some common reasons for using Form SS-5?
The most frequent reason to file Form SS-5 is to apply for a Social Security number and a card when someone wants to start working in the United States. Applicants may also use this form if they receive benefits from Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, state general assistance programs, need an original or replacement Medicare card, or wish to change their name on Social Security records. This can only be done by filing a new application with correct documents that prove their identity and immigration status. There is usually no charge for filing Form SS-5, but it may be charged under limited circumstances.
Where to get a copy of Form SS-5?
Form SS-5 is the Social Security Administration's form to apply for a Social Security Card. You can get it at your local Social Security Administration office. You could also visit the official Social Security Administration website to download and print a copy that you can fill out manually. There are also other PDF filler websites that have the latest blank copy of Form SS-5 that you can fill out electronically.
Is there a fee to apply for a Social Security card?
Currently, there is no fee to apply for a Social Security card.
Can I submit Form SS-5 online?
No, you cannot submit Form SS-5 online. You need to submit your application in person at a Social Security office. You may locate and visit the nearest Social Security office. The process takes less than 15 minutes and you will receive an immediate decision on your application for a Social Security Card.
Is it safe to give my Social Security number?
Yes, providing your Social Security number is an important part of applying for many government benefits and services. Your Social Security number helps verify who you are and locate accurate records about you. Your social security number will not be misused or shared with other people without your permission unless required by law enforcement agencies, immigration officials, or other federal agencies authorized by law. Additionally, if you receive any correspondence from the Social Security Administration that seems suspicious or even a letter saying "Do Not Reply," you may contact one of the Social Security Administration's representatives at 800-772-1213 as soon as possible before responding. Before giving your Social Security number, ensure the request's legitimacy.
What is the fastest way to get a replacement Social Security card?
You can go to your local Social Security office and submit Form SS-5. You will be able to get it immediately, but you need to ensure that the information on your Form SS-5 is accurate, or else there could be issues later on.
Do Social Security cards expire?
No, Social Security cards do not actually expire. You should not be concerned about your Social Security card expiring. It will be valid for decades to come unless you are changing your name or any information on it.
How do I change or correct my name on my Social Security number card?
To change or correct your name on Form SS-5, you need to visit a Social Security office. Changing names or any information on a Social Security card is not allowed to be done online. You can locate and schedule an appointment at the closest SSA office through their website. The process will probably take less than 15 minutes. Bring your original Social Security card, Form SS-5, and evidence of the name change or correction that you are requesting to show at the SSA office. You should bring photo identification with your new legal name if possible, such as passport, driver's license, and voter registration card.
How do I get a replacement Social Security card?
You can apply for a replacement Social Security card by filling out Form SS-5 and applying at your local Social Security Administration office in person. Bring one document that proves your identity. If you were born outside of the United States, also bring a document to prove your citizenship or lawful, work-authorized status.
Can I use Form SS-5 for a child?
Yes, Form SS-5 is used to apply for Social Security cards for both children and adults.
How many times can I apply for a Social Security card replacement?
You may apply for and receive a Social Security card replacement up to three times per calendar year and 10 in a lifetime. The Social Security Administration may grant exceptions to the limits if you can provide evidence from an official source to establish that you need a Social Security card.
How to protect my Social Security card?
To protect your Social Security card, store it in a safe place and do not let anyone else use it. If you misplace or lose your Social Security number card, there are ways to minimize the damage from identity theft by taking steps as soon as possible. You should report any lost or stolen cards immediately at 800-772-1213. This is the Social Security Administration's Identity Theft Hotline.
Should I always bring my Social Security card with me?
No, you should not always need to bring your Social Security card with you. Always keep it in a safe place and store it where nobody else has access to use or copy it without your permission. You can also opt for the more secure option of protecting your number by having only an online account that you control while securely storing all other personal records. You can update your online account as needed and access it from anywhere that you have an internet connection without the need for a physical Social Security card or number.
What are the benefits of having a Social Security card?
Having a Social Security card is beneficial in many ways. You can use your number to help protect yourself from identity theft and it can be used as proof of eligibility for benefits such as Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, disability insurance, survivor's benefits, retirement or pension plan survivors' benefits, unemployment compensation, child support payments or other government assistance programs that require you to have a valid Social Security Number. It will also lower the risk of being rejected for new jobs because employers typically require an applicant to prove their legal work status within the United States before hiring them. If you are not currently employed but intend on looking into employment opportunities soon then having a Social Security number is very important too since there could be restrictions if you do not yet qualify for a number.
Is having a Social Security number required in the United States?
A Social Security number is required in the United States to work and it can be used as a form of identification. This number will help you by providing access to certain benefits such as retirement, disability insurance, survivors' benefits, or assistance programs that require a valid Social Security Number for eligibility. You may also need one if you intend on applying for new jobs but there are some exceptions where an employer may not have this requirement.
What do I do if my social security card has been lost?
If your Social Security card has been lost then you should report it immediately at 800-772-1213 so that way, no one else uses your information illegally without permission which could lead to identity issues with serious consequences. It is also important to replace your card as soon as you knew you lost it.
Can I get a Social Security card even if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, you can get a Social Security card even if you are not a U.S. citizen but it will depend on your immigration status and the type of work permit that you have obtained in order to be eligible for this form of identification. Generally speaking, all immigrant workers who want to live permanently in the country must apply for a Social Security Number as soon as possible after they arrive, since having one is required for working legally within United States borders or to obtain any kind of benefits from federal programs, such as retirement or disability insurance through Social Security Administration. You should also know that only non-citizens authorized by law to work may use their foreign passport with their valid Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, along with other documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security to prove their work status.
How long does it take to get a Social Security card after applying?
Once you have completed your application and submitted all the necessary requirements to obtain a Social Security Number, it typically takes about two weeks or less for it to be processed into an account. This could vary depending on what type of service is requested as well as other factors that affect how long getting a number might take such as if there are any inconsistencies in your documentation from conflicting information with your documents available at Social Security Administration offices.
What is a Social Security card?
A Social Security card is a form of identification that has been used throughout the United States since it was first introduced as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in 1935. This number can be used as a way to help protect against identity theft and helps provide access to certain benefits such as Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, disability insurance, survivor's benefits, retirement or pension plan survivors' benefits, unemployment compensation, child support payments or other government assistance programs that require you to have a valid Social Security Number. It will also lower the risk of being rejected for new jobs because employers typically require an applicant to prove their legal work status within the United States before hiring them. Additionally, if you are not currently employed but intend on looking into employment opportunities, you can still use your Social Security Number to apply for jobs.
What is a social security number?
A Social Security Number is a nine-digit, unique, and permanent identification number assigned by the federal government to all United States citizens as well as other non-U.S. residents who work within its borders or are planning on doing so in order to pay taxes for their income earned while working here legally. This way it helps individuals accumulate credits towards retirement benefits such as social security benefits that can be used later down the road based upon how much they have paid into these plans before age 65 when most people decide to retire from their jobs permanently since this will no longer be required at that time if you were able to give up your job earlier than planned due to health reasons or another reason why someone may not want to stay employed anymore.
Can I apply for someone else's Social Security number?
In general, you cannot apply for another person's Social Security number since it is strictly used to identify the rightful owner of a particular Social Security Number and how much they have paid into social security plans during their employment. However, if there are extenuating circumstances such as a close family member who passed away recently but had not yet applied for an identification card or other documentation that proves their citizenship status before passing away, then in these cases, relatives would be able to request a replacement Social Security Number instead. In some very rare situations where someone has been reported missing by loved ones after disappearing without warning under mysterious circumstances with no knowledge from those closest to them about what may have happened leading up until now, then Social Security Administration offices can also issue replacement cards if this is the case.
When should I apply for a Social Security card?
If you are currently living in the United States legally, then there are only certain times throughout your life when it would be necessary to apply for a Social Security card. The first time this will typically happen is while attending school and registering with an institution that needs proof of identification before granting admission into their classes or programs. For most people, this means applying for college but others may also include vocational training, guide dog certification programs, and after-school enrichment activities provided by public schools during some periods such as summertime among other things depending on what type of program they wish to enroll in. This can be done at any age but one should keep in mind how long it takes Social Security Administration offices to process new applications so students who need immediate access to these services may want to start this process sooner rather than later.
The second time you will need a Social Security card is whenever your current one has been lost, stolen, or damaged beyond recognition because it may be necessary for proof of identification in certain situations where the ability to prove someone's identity before granting them access to something important such as health care services. Other times when people are required to show their Social Security Number can include applying for new credit cards, qualifying for loans and mortgages among other things so having an up-to-date copy on hand at all times should help avoid any potential delays that could result from not being able to locate records based upon what type of information these companies require specifically. It should also be noted that if you happen to lose your Social Security card multiple times within a short period of time, then it is possible that your application can be suspended until you are able to provide adequate proof of identification so this may not always be the best solution for everyone involved.
Can someone use my Social Security Number with their name?
In general, you cannot give up your job and expect to continue using the same Social Security Number because it is strictly used for identification purposes. However, if there are extenuating circumstances such as a close family member who passed away recently but had not yet applied for an identification card or other documentation that proves their citizenship status before passing away, then in these cases relatives would be able to request a replacement Social Security Number instead. In some very rare situations where someone has been reported missing by loved ones after disappearing without warning under mysterious circumstances with no knowledge from those closest to them about what may have happened leading up until now, then Social Security Administration offices can also issue replacement cards if this is the case.