How to Apply for a Social Security Card in 2024 – Required Documents and Eligibility

By Ehsteem Arif

Published on:

Joe Biden

If you’re an American who pays taxes, you’re probably familiar with the Social Security Card. This card, which includes your unique Social Security Number (SSN), is essential for various purposes, including paying taxes and receiving social security benefits.

Applying for this card can be done online through the Social Security Administration (SSA) portal or in person. This article details the necessary documents for obtaining or replacing a Social Security Card.


Application Process

Applying for a Social Security Card involves proving your identity, age, and U.S. citizenship. The application can be submitted online or in person, but you must present original documents; photocopies are not accepted. Once your application is approved, you will receive your card by mail or in person.

Required Documents

When applying for an original Social Security Card, you must provide at least two documents. These documents are categorized to confirm your age, identity, and U.S. citizenship. If you need to replace a lost or damaged card, additional documents might be required. Here’s a detailed list of the necessary documents:


Proof of Age

  1. Birth Certificate: The primary document used to verify your age.
  2. Religious Record: A record made before you turned five showing your birth date.
  3. U.S. Hospital Record: An official document from the hospital where you were born.
  4. U.S. Passport: Valid proof of your age if other documents are unavailable.

Proof of Identity

  1. U.S. Driver’s License: A valid, unexpired license.
  2. Non-Driver Identity Card: Issued by the state for identification purposes.
  3. U.S. Passport: A valid, unexpired passport can serve as proof of identity.

If you cannot provide these documents, the SSA may accept other forms of identification such as:

  1. Employee ID Card: Issued by your employer.
  2. School ID Card: If you are a student.
  3. Health Insurance ID Card: Issued by your health insurance provider.
  4. U.S. Military ID Card: For current or former military personnel.
  5. Letter from a Doctor: Confirming your identity.

Proof of U.S. Citizenship

  1. U.S. Birth Certificate: The most common document used to prove citizenship.
  2. U.S. Passport: A valid passport serves as proof of citizenship.

Proof of Immigration Status

Non-citizens must provide documents proving their immigration status, such as:

  1. Form I-94: Arrival and departure record.
  2. I-766 EAD: Employment Authorization Document, commonly known as a work permit.
  3. Form I-551: Permanent Resident Card, commonly known as a Green Card, along with an unexpired foreign passport.

Protecting Your Social Security Card

It’s crucial to protect your Social Security Card and number. You don’t need to carry the card with you all the time, but you should remember your SSN. If your card is lost or damaged, you must replace it by following the same application process and providing the necessary documents.

Applying for a Social Security Card requires careful preparation and the right documents to prove your age, identity, and citizenship. By ensuring you have the original documents ready, you can streamline the application process and avoid delays. Whether you’re applying for the first time or replacing a lost card, understanding these requirements is essential.



What documents do I need to prove my identity?

A U.S. driver’s license, state-issued non-driver ID, or a U.S. passport.

How do I prove my U.S. citizenship?

A U.S. birth certificate or a valid U.S. passport.


Can I apply for a Social Security Card online?

Yes, you can apply online through the SSA portal.

What should I do if I lose my Social Security Card?

You need to apply for a replacement by providing the necessary documents.


Is a photocopy of my birth certificate acceptable?

No, you must provide the original document or a certified copy.


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Ehsteem Arif

A tax law expert with a knack for breaking down complex regulations into digestible insights. Ehsteem's articles on the tax news blog offer invaluable guidance to readers navigating changes in tax legislation.

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