The Social Security Administration issues cards to beneficiaries who receive pensions, retirement benefits, and assistance. If you are applying for this card for the first time or requesting a replacement of your existing card, you need to use Social Security Form SS-5, Application for Social Security Card.
The applicant must complete the form and attach several documents proving her U.S. citizenship. The paperwork must then be mailed or delivered to a Social Security office. A person may request a replacement card for some reasons: name change due to marriage or divorce, application for a child, deterioration of the previous card, and more.
Interested parties should use this form under the following conditions:
- Applying for a social security card
- Obtain a duplicate card with the same name and number.
- Requesting an exact card with corrections: change of name and the same number
- Modification of information on the record other than the name
- You have a card, but it is damaged for use
- Correction of clerical errors: misspelling of words or incorrect information
- Have a child and want one to apply for child’s benefits
- You are a caregiver for an older adult and need the card to use for the dependent’s benefits
The Social Security card application is free. To make any of the above requests, you must present the necessary documents to prove you are a citizen.
What documents do you need for SS?
The form must be accompanied by documents that vary depending on the type of card to be applied for and who the interested party is. Here below, we will explain what the requirements are:
Documents vary depending on the type of card you are applying for. Here are the documents you need:
- To apply for a new card without a Social Security number, you must submit two documents proving: age, identity, U.S. citizenship or legal status as an immigrant
- For a duplicate card, the same number, the same name and a document that proves your identity
- You need the same number document proving the name correction for a corrected card. You need one or more documents where the old name is registered in the Social Security record and other documents that verify your new identity
Documents proving your age
You must attach a document that proves your age. Among them can be:
- Birth certificate, preferably
- Hospital record
- Religious record specifying your age
- Adoption record showing the date of birth taken from the birth certificate
Documents that prove your identity
These documents validate who you are and if you are the person on the Social Security record. This document must be recent, issued by a government agency and have a photograph. Non-photo documents with sufficient information are also acceptable.
Birth certificates, hospital records or social security cards are not valid for this requirement. However, I can validate the following documents:
- Driver’s license
- Marriage or divorce record
- Military record
- Health insurance card
If you act on behalf of someone else, i.e., you have a power of attorney to apply for someone else’s card, you must also add the same documents to prove your identity.
Documents to verify the identity of infants or young children are:
- Daycare or school record
- Medical records
- Religious record
Documents proving your citizenship
The applicant should submit as many documents as possible to prove that they were born in the United States. If you are a U.S. citizen born outside the United States, you must submit a U.S. consular report of birth, a U.S. passport, citizenship certificate, or naturalization.
If you are a legal resident alien, you must submit current documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security that record your immigration status. You may submit Form I -551, I -94 and I -766.
Important information about the documents
- All documents must be originals or certified copies of the same. At the end of the process, social security returns them
- Photocopies or notarized copies are not accepted
- If you do not have all the necessary documents to comply with the process, the process will not proceed
How do I fill out the form?
The Social Security Form SS-5 is easy to complete because almost all sections are self-explanatory. It comprises a sheet where you fill in names, date and place of birth, information about your parents, marital status, age, etc.
The document has 17 sections, and you can download one at this link. If you do not know how to fill it out, here are the instructions:
- Box one: Name printed on the card.
- Box two: Mailing and residence address where you specify the city, state and zip code.
- Box three: Citizenship. Check the box that corresponds to your status in the United States.
- Box four: Indicate whether you are male or female.
- Box five: Enter your date of birth.
- Box six: Describe your place of birth.
- Box seven: Mother’s maiden name, only when applying for a child under 18 years of age
- Box eight: Mother’s Social Security number
- Box nine: Father’s maiden name, only when applying for a child under 18 years of age
- Box ten: Father’s Social Security Number
- Box eleven: Indicate whether or not you have a Social Security Number
- Box twelve: If you checked “yes” in the previous box, enter the Social Security Number.
- Box thirteen: Indicate the date of birth only if it is different from the date you entered in box six.
- Box fourteen: Date of the day you are filling in the form.
- Box fifteen: Telephone number, including area code
- Box sixteen: Signature
- Box seventeen: If this card is for someone other than the applicant, you must indicate your relationship with the beneficiary.
Form SS-5 is enclosed with the documents previously posted and is mailed or sent in-person to your local Social Security office. If you do not know where your office is located, you can look it up on the list of U.S. Government agencies or call 1-800-772-1213 for the address. This cannot be done online or by phone.