After you have a baby, one of the first things you should do is to get your newborn a Social Security number. In this post, we will walk you through the two ways you can apply for a Social Security card for a newborn, and what documents you will need to provide when you apply.
In addition, we will explain how long it takes to receive a new card for your child.
Finally, if you have adopted a child (domestically or a foreign adoption), we will explain what you need to do to get a Social Security number for your adopted child.
Why Get a Social Security Number for Your Child?
You may be wondering why you need a Social Security number for your child in the first place.
Well, here’s the simple answer. While it is not legally required, it is an important legal number to have on hand.
First, if you want to claim your child on your federal income tax, you’ll need to provide their Social Security number.
Second, you will need a social security number if you want to establish one of the following for your child:
- open a bank account for your child
- get medical coverage for your child
- apply for government services for your child
- buy savings bonds for your child.
How to Apply for a Social Security Card for a Newborn
There are two ways to apply for a Social Security number for a newborn.
Option 1 – When you apply for your baby’s birth certificate
The easiest way to apply for a social security card for your newborn is at the time when you complete information for your child’s birth certificate.
Just check the box on the birth certificate worksheet.
The state agency that issues birth certificates will share your child’s information with Social Security.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will then mail the Social Security card to you.
When will I get my Child’s Social Security Card?
After you have completed the form for your child’s birth certificate, you should receive the new social security card in about six to eight weeks.
If you do not get the card within eight weeks, call the Social Security Administration at ait 1-800-772-1213.
Option 2 – Apply at any Social Security office
If you delivered your baby at home, or you already left the hospital and did not apply for a security card for your newborn, there is another option.
You can apply for a social security card at a Social Security office. Here’s how:
Step 1: Complete a Birth Registration Form
First, you will have to complete Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card).
You will be required to provide both parents’ Social Security numbers on the form.
The form is available online.
You can download and complete Form SS-5 from the SSA Web site before you go to the Social Security office.
Here’s what the form looks like:
Documents you will need
You will have to prove your baby’s age, identity, and citizenship status.
There are several ways to do this.
First, you can use your child’s birth certificate.
Another document you can use is your child’s hospital birth record or other medical records.
Next, you will have to prove your own identity.
Hee, your driver’s license or passport are both acceptable.
Step 2: Visit the Social Security Office
The next step of the process is to submit the documents to your nearest Social Security office.
Alternatively, you can send a completed Form SS-5 along with your identification documents to your local Social Security office by mail.
However, you’ll have to send originals or certified copies of all identification documents.
For this reason, most people apply in person.
Step 3: Wait for Your Child’s Social Security Card
On average, it takes about four to five weeks from the time you apply in the hospital until you receive your child’s Social Security card in the mail.
However, If you have not received the card within six weeks, please visit your local Social Security office.
The Social Security Administration will not discuss any issue regarding your child’s Social Security number over the phone.
Obtaining a Social Security number for an adopted child
If you have adopted a child, there is a different process for applying for a Social Security number for your child.
First, if the child you are adopting is a United States citizen, your child probably has a Social Security number already.
However, if you’re adopting domestically and your child doesn’t have one, here what you can do now.
You can obtain an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) with the IRS.
An ATIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service as a temporary taxpayer identification number for the child in domestic adoption.
It issued where the adopting parents do not have and/or are unable to obtain the child’s Social Security Number (SSN).
The ATIN is to be used by the adopting taxpayers on their Federal Income Tax return to identify the child while final domestic adoption is pending.
How to Apply for Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
To apply for an ATIN, complete IRS Form W-7A (Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions).
Click here to apply for an ATIN.
The ATIN will be valid for only two years, at which point you can extend it if your child’s adoption still isn’t final.
However, once the adoption is final, you must stop using the ATIN and get a Social Security number for your child following the process described above.
Social Security Number Foreign Adoptions
If you’re adopting a child from another country, you’ll have to wait until the adoption is final.
Once the adoption is final and your child has entered the United States, you can apply for a Social Security number using the process above.
Social Security Card for Newborn Summary
We hope this post on How to apply for a Social Security Card for Newborn was helpful.
If you have further questions about your Social Security card or benefits in general, please let us know in the comments section below.