Social Security Number


What is SSN?

SSN stands for Social Security Number. SSN is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents.

What is SSN for?

You need a Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services.

How many SSN should I have?

You only need one SSN which is valid for life. So you only need to apply once.

When can I apply for SSN?

Newborns can get SSN, even before they leave hospitals after birth.

How to get SSN?

It is free. You only need to provide the required documents; fill out and print an application; and bring your application and the required documents to the Social Security Office in your area.

What documents are required to get SSN?

You must provide evidence of U.S. citizenship (U.S. birth certificate or U.S. Passport); evidence of age (birth certificate), evidence of identity (U.S. Passport, U.S. driver’s license, or School ID card). You must provide at least two separate documents, and both must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency.

What application do I need to apply for SSN?

You need to download and fill in Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card) from

How to complete the SS-5 application form?

First you need to print the form using only 8 ½’ x 11′ (or A4 8.25′ x 11.7′) paper. Then get a black or blue inked pen. Read page 3 of the application form for more detail of how to complete the application form. Skip voluntary questions (number 6 and 7) if you are not sure. Please read carefully explanation number 17 before you sign the application form. Keep in mind that your signature must remain the same for life.

Where to submit the SS-5 application form?

Bring the signed application form together with the required documents to your local Social Security office

Anyone age 12 or older requesting an original Social Security number must appear in person for an interview (You may be asked about the schools you attended just to prove that you were never assigned a Social Security number before)

Should I carry my SSN card with me?

No, keep your SSN card in a secure location and only take it with you when you must show the card; e.g., to obtain a new job, or to open a new bank account. Be careful in giving out your Social Security number to others, particularly during phone interview, mail, or email.

Do I need to write my SSN in all my job application?

Only if the employer or the online application form request it.

For assistance call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213

[1] Official Social Security Website
[2] Wikipedia