Social Security Card

Social Security Form SS-5 (Complete Guide 2021)

In order to get a Social Security card for the first time or a replacement card, you have to complete Social Security Form SS-5. In this post, we are going to explain in detail how to complete and submit the form SS-5. Additionally, we will walk you through the critical documents you need to submit along with the form to prove your identity, age, and citizenship status.

Before we get into details about how to fill out form SS-5, we first need to answer the question about whether you can complete the application process online.

To apply for a card for a newborn, see our post on How to Apply for a Social Security Card for a Newborn.

Table of Contents

  • Can I apply for a Social Security Card Online?
  • What Is Social Security Form SS-5?
  • Who Should Fill Out Form SS-5?
  • What does Social Security Form SS-5 look like?
  • How do I get an SS-5 Form?
  • Complete Form SS-5
  • Submit form SS-5 to Social Security
  • How to Get a Replacement Social Security Card Online
  • Summary

Can I apply for a Social Security Card Online?

Whether you can apply for a Social Security card online depends on your current situation.

If you are applying for a Social Security card for the first time, or for a change in your card, you will have to apply by mail or in person at your nearest Social Security office.

However, if you only need a replacement card, you can apply online.

You will need a “my Social Security” account in order to apply for a Social Security card online.

For help in creating a “my Social Security” account, see our post on how to create a my Social Security account.

If you already have a “my Social Security” account, follow the instructions below to get a replacement card or see our post here.

What Is Social Security Form SS-5?

The Social Security Form SS-5 allows you to apply for a new or replacement Social Security card.

There are several reasons why you may need a new or replacement Social Security card. This includes:

  • Applying for a Job
  • Opening a Bank Account
  • You lost your existing card, or it was stolen or damaged

If you need a card for a newborn or adopted child, click here.

Who Should Fill Out Form SS-5?

You should fill out the Form SS-5 if you need one of the following:

  1. An original Social Security card
  2. A Replacement Social Security card (same name and number)
  3. A corrected Social Security card (name change and same number)
  4. A change of information on your record other than your name (no card needed)

In other words, you should fill out the form if one of the following scenarios apply to you:

First, if you’ve never had a Social Security card of your own and are getting it for the first time.

This can be because you never applied for it before and need it now, or your parents never applied on your behalf.

Second, if your Social Security card was lost, stolen, or damaged, and you need a new one issued.

Third, if your name was legally changed because of marriage or other circumstances.

Fourth, if there is a change in your citizenship status changed.

Fifth, if there is an error on your existing Social Security Card.

This could be in the form of a misspelling or incorrect birth date.

Also, if you need a new card because you recently gave birth or adopted a child and want a Social Security card for them.

What does Social Security Form SS-5 look like?

See below for what the Social Security Form SS-5 looks like.

Notice that at the top, it has the words “Application for a Social Security Card”. This is how you know it is the right form.

Here’s what the form looks like:

How do I get an SS-5 Form?

You can download and complete Form SS-5 from the SSA Web site before you go to the Social Security office.

Click here to download Form SS-5.

How to Complete Form SS-5

Once you’ve obtained a copy of the SS-5 form, you will need to complete the form with all relevant information.

The form has 18 sections. Filling them out is fairly easy.

Also, to help you with completing the form, instructions are printed alongside the questions wherever required.

Here are the 18 sections asked in the form you need to complete:

  1. Name (Full name at birth, also enter any other names you are identified by or are printed on the social security card)
  2. Social Security Number (only for people who previously held one, N/A for new applicants)
  3. Place of Birth (City and state/country)
  4. Date of Birth
  5. Citizenship (There are four options which are U.S. Citizen, legal alien allowed to work, legal alien not allowed to work, and other)
  6. Ethnicity
  7. Race (There are seven options)
  8. Sex
  9. Mother’s name and her SSN
  10. Father’s name and his SSN
  11. This section confirms whether you or anyone acting on your behalf has filed or received an SSN before
  12. If that’s the case, the name printed on that SSN
  13. Enter a different DOB if used on an earlier application for a card
  14. Today’s date (date of filing)
  15. Daytime Phone Number
  16. Mailing Address
  17. Signature
  18. Your relationship to the person you’re filing for in Item

Note that other sections of the form are to be left blank and are intended for official purposes by the SSA.

Submit form SS-5 to Social Security

After you have completed the form, follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Gather Documents you will need

In addition to filling out Form SS-5, you will be asked to submit documents to support the information you have provided.

Here are the documents you will need to submit your application for a Social Security card or a replacement.

  • U.S. passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license
  • State-issued ID card

For non-residents, here are the document requirements:

  • A government-issued ID card
  • Form I-551
  • Form I-766
  • I-94 Form
  • Form I-20 (For F-1 students only)

You need originals of all the documents requested. Photocopies and notarized copies are not 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.

Click here to find a Social Security office near you.

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 Social Security Card

On average, it takes about four to five weeks from the time you apply to receive your 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 Social Security number over the phone.

How to Get a Replacement Social Security Card Online

You can get a replacement Social Security card online if you are just replacing an existing card without any change in information.

Change in information is defined as changes to your name, date of birth, place of birth, and/or gender.

You can do this online once you have set up a “my Social Security account” on the Social Security Administration’s website.

However, getting your replacement card online is not available in all states.

Here are the states that DO NOT currently qualify for online card replacement:

  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia

In Alaska, Delaware, and Wisconsin, the online service is available only if you have a driver’s license.

Furthermore, the online service is also not yet available if your driver’s license or identification card was issued by a U.S. territory.

This includes American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Eligibility to Apply for a Replacement Card Online

You can use a my Social Security account to apply for a replacement Social Security card online if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen age 18 or older with a U.S. mailing address (this includes APO, FPO, and DPO addresses);
  • Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card; and
  • Have a driver’s license or state-issued identification card from one of the many participating states or the District of Columbia.

If you meet the criteria outlined above, follow the steps below to apply for your replacement Social Security card online.

Replacement Social Security Card Online Steps

Follow the steps below to get a replacement Social Security card online if you live in a state that is not listed above.

Step 1 – Sign-in to mySocialSecurity Account

Click here to sign in to your mySocial Security account.

If you need help signing in, see our mysocialsecurity login help article. If you do not have a mySocialSecurity account, see our how to create an account post here.

After signing in to your personal mySocial Security account, select the “Replace Documents” link on the upper right-hand side of the screen.

Next, select the “Request a Replacement Card.” link as shown below.

Step 2 – Verify Your Email Address

Next, you have to verify your email address to continue with the process.

To verify your email address, select the location where your driver’s license or identification card was issued.

Then you should answer “Yes” or “No” to the background questions; then, select “Next”.

Step 3 – Verify Your Identity

The next step in the process to getting a replacement social security card is to verify your identity to make sure you are who you say you are.

To do that, enter the information under “Identity Verification” as shown below, including:

  • Your name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Driver’s License, or state-issued identification information
  • Address
  • Phone Number

Step 4 – Request Your Replacement Social Security Card

Once you have successfully verified your identity, you can now request your replacement Social Security card online.

After you are done with this step, click on the “Done” button, as shown below.

Congratulations!!! You have successfully requested a replacement for your Social Security card online.

Social Security Form SS-5 Summary

Here’s the bottom line:

You must fill out Form SS-5 to obtain a Social Security card, whether it be a new card or a replacement card.
You must provide supporting documents that prove your age, identity, and citizenship status, and those must be original or certified by the agency that issued them, not photocopies.
Unless you are applying for a replacement card with no changes, you can only submit your application by mail or in person at a Social Security office.

Change in information is defined as changes to your name, date of birth, place of birth, and/or gender.


If you found this article about Social Security Form SS5 helpful, please help us get the word out by sharing it using the “Share This” button below.

If you have any questions about Social Security, please ask us in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles on:
Third Stimulus Check FAQs
What is the Third Stimulus Check Release Date?
Second Stimulus check for $600: Update
Direct Express Stimulus Check Deposit Date
How to Login my Social Security Account
Direct Express Dispute Resolution Help
2022 Social Security Payment Dates


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