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Social Security Numbers
 
Updated 05 August 2014

1.  How do I apply for a Social Security number for my child under the age of 12?

To apply for a Social Security number for a child under age 12 the following steps are required.

Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (click HERE to download a PDF of SS-5-FS - PDF, 56kb) - all questions must be answered and legible.

Provide the following original documents - photocopies are not acceptable. The completed application and documents should be mailed to us.

  1. Proof of the child's birth

    • Original U.S. birth certificate, or Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • If the child was born in the U.S. you must also submit proof that you or the child has resided outside of the U.S. for a significant period of time to explain why a Social Security number has not been issued in the past. Proof of foreign residency can include medical, school and employment records.
    • If the child was born in the U.S., Form SSA- L706 (click HERE to download a PDF of Form SSA-L706 - PDF, 292kb) must also be completed, signed and submitted along with the application and other documentation. This allows the Social Security Administration to verify the birth record with the custodian of the record.
  2. Proof of the child's U.S. Citizenship

    • Original U.S. birth certificate, or
    • Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  3. Proof of the child's identity

    • Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed
    • Original United Kingdom Passport, must be current and signed
  4. Proof of the identity of the parent signing the application

    • Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed
    • Original United Kingdom Passport, must be current and signed

     

2. How do I apply for a Social Security number for myself OR my child over the age of 12?

Anyone over the age of 12 must present themselves in person at a U.S. Embassy, Consulate or designated U.S. Military installation.  To arrange a visit to your local Embassy or Consulate please see their respective websites at www.usembassy.gov or for the United Kingdom please use these 3 links:

Applicants from Brussels can book an appointment using this link.


You must also complete an Application for a Social Security Card
, Form SS-5-FS (click HERE to download a PDF of SS-5-FS - PDF, 56kb) - all questions must be answered and legible.

You must also provide the following original documents - photocopies are not acceptable.

  1. Proof of birth

    • Original U.S. birth certificate, Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or Original birth certificate other than the documents mentioned above.
    • If you or the child was born in the U.S. you must also submit proof that you or the child has resided outside of the U.S. for a significant period of time to explain why a Social Security number has not been issued in the past. (Click HERE to see list of documentation).
    • If you or the child was born in the U.S., Form SSA- L706 (click HERE to download a PDF of Form SSA-L706 - PDF, 292kb) must also be completed, signed and submitted along with the application and other documentation. This allows the Social Security Administration to verify the birth record with the custodian of the record.
  2. Proof of U.S. Citizenship

    • Original US birth certificate
    • Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • Original Naturalization or Citizenship Certificate
  3. Proof of identity

    • Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed
    • Original United Kingdom Passport, must be current and signed
  4. Proof of the identity of the parent signing the application, if applicable - a parent can sign the form for a child up to age 18; a child can sign the form above age 12.

    • Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed
    • Original United Kingdom Passport, must be current and signed

     

3.   I have obtained a U.S. Visa that allows me to work in the U.S. Can I apply for a Social Security Card before I travel to the U.S.?

If you have obtained a U.S. Visa that allows you to work in the U.S. you must apply for a Social Security Card after you enter the U.S. You may apply at the nearest Social Security Office. You can obtain the address of the nearest Social Security Office at http://socialsecurity.gov under the heading "Find A Social Security Office". You will need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (click HERE to download a PDF of SS-5-FS - PDF, 56kb) and provide the original documents listed above.

4.  I have lost or misplaced my (or my child’s) Social Security Card.   I am (or my child is) a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien.   How can I find out my Social Security Number?   How do I replace the card?

You should apply for a replacement card even if you cannot recall your Social Security Number.  Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (click HERE to download a PDF of SS-5-FS - PDF, 56kb) - all questions must be answered and legible.  Effective August 1, 2014 the Social Security Administration stopped providing Social Security Number printouts or verifications.   The Federal Benefits Unit is unable to provide you with a printout or verification of an SSN.   If you need proof of your (or your child’s) SSN, you should apply for a replacement card.

Provide an original identity document – a photocopy is not acceptable. The completed application and identity document should be mailed to us.

    Suitable proof of identity documents:

  • Original U.S Passport, must be current and signed;
  • Original Permanent Resident Alien card, must be current;
  • Original U.S. state driver’s license, must be current;
  • Original U.K. Passport or driver’s license are acceptable, but must be accompanied by proof of U.S. citizenship such as a Naturalization certificate or U.S. birth certificate

   
 If the replacement card is for a child, we need to see proof of identity for both the child and the parent who signs the form.  

SSN needed for U.S. PASSPORT application:  If you cannot recall your (or your child’s) Social Security Number and need it for a U.S. Passport application you should apply for a replacement SSN card, per instructions above.    Please expect to wait at least one month for the replacement card application to be processed and the card mailed from the U.S.     Note:  this process cannot be expedited.  
 
If the name on your identity document differs from the name on your last Social Security Number record, see item 6. below for instructions on how to change the name on your record.
 
If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien, see item 5. below for instructions.

 

5.  I have lost or misplaced my (or my child’s) Social Security Number.   I am (or my child is) NOT a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien.   How can I find out my Social Security number?

Effective August 1, 2014 the Social Security Administration stopped providing Social Security Number printouts or verifications.   The Federal Benefits Unit is unable to provide you with a printout or verification of an SSN.

If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien (“Green Card” holder) and you need to verify the details shown on your Social Security Number record, you must apply directly to the Social Security Administration for a printout of your Social Security Number record (known as a Numident).    These applications can take up to 60 days or more to process and are processed on a first come basis regardless of the mailing method used.

Send a written request to verify the details held in your Numident, with the following information: your name, date of birth, parents’ names, the citizenship or legal resident status you held when your Social Security Number was assigned, and the date your citizenship or legal resident status changed.    Send your request to:

Social Security Administration
OEO DERO (FOIA Workgroup)
PO Box 33022
Baltimore MD 21290-3022

If you wish to use Express Mail/Courier, send your request to:

Social Security Administration
OEO DERO (FOIA Workgroup)
300 N. Greene Street
Baltimore MD 21290-0300

 

6.  I have married or divorced and need to change my name on my Social Security records, how do I do that?

To change your name on your Social Security records the following steps are required;

  1. Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS - (click HERE to download a PDF of SS-5-FS - PDF, 56kb) - all questions must be answered and legible.
  2. Provide the following original documents - photocopies are not acceptable. The completed application and documents should be mailed to us (see: How do I contact the London Federal Benefits Unit?)
    • Proof of the name change
      • Original marriage or divorce decree
        If the marriage or divorce certificate is over 2 years old or does not contain biographical data such as a date of birth or age, you must also submit proof of identity in your OLD name. If you have no identification in your old name, you must write a statement as to why you do not have such proof of identity and submit proof of identity in your NEW name.
    • Proof of identity in Old Name, as required
      • Original current or expired U.S. or UK passport, must be signed
      • Original driving license
      • Original current or expired U.S. military identification
    • Proof of identity in New Name, as required
      • Original current U.S. or UK passport, must be signed
      • Original driving license
      • Original current U.S. military identification

SSN Printouts & Verifications

  • SSA logo Effective August 1st, 2014 the Social Security Administration stopped providing Social Security Number (SSN) printouts or verifications.  The Social Security card is the only legal proof of an SSN.