Social security assistance

Published 11:44 pm Monday, March 20, 2006

By Staff
Special to the Advance
A Social Security card and number are almost essentials for life in 21st century America. That is why Social Security wants to make sure that if you or a family member is applying for a new or a replacement Social Security card that you understand the new rules on what identifying documents you will need to bring with you. Here is some useful information that can make the application process easier and quicker.
If you are applying for a new or replacement Social Security card:
First, all documents that you bring to Social Security to prove your identity, age citizenship or immigration status must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. Social Security cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.
Social Security also has strict requirements on what documents we can accept to prove your citizenship and identity.
Under the new law, only certain documents can be accepted as proof of U. S. citizenship. These include your U. S. birth certificate or U. S. passport, or a Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship. If you are applying for a replacement Social Security card and you are already in our records, Social Security does not need proof of your citizenship or age.
Social Security will ask you to prove your identity by providing an acceptable document that shows your name, identifying information and preferably a recent photograph. Examples of acceptable identity documents include your U. S. driver's license, stat-issued non-driver identification card or U. S. passport.
If you do not have these documents or cannot get a replacement for them within 10 days, we will ask to see other proofs of identity, such as an employee ID card, a school ID card, a health insurance card or an adoption decree.
If you are not a U.S. citizen and are applying for a Social Security card and number, we will need to see your current U. S. immigration documents. Acceptable documents for proof of identity for non-citizens include current U.S. immigration documents from the Department of Homeland Security, such as Form 1-551, 1-94 with an unexpired foreign passport or a work permit card (1-766 or 1-688 B).
If you need to change your name on your Social Security card:
Each year millions of people change their name. Whether due to a marriage, divorce or any other situation, reporting a name change to Social Security helps ensue that you will receive proper credit for your earnings and, one day, the Social Security benefits based on those earnings. If you need to change your name on your Social Security card, you must show proof or hour legal name change. Acceptable documents include a marriage document, a divorce decree stating that you may change your name or a court order of a name change, provided that these documents give identifying information about you, such as your date of birth or age.
If the documents that you provide do not give enough identifying information about you, Social Security will ask that you also provide other documents. You would need two identity documents must have identifying information or a recent photograph.
If you want more information:
To find out more about the rules for getting a Social Security number and card, just visit our website at The website includes all of the information you may need depending upon your personal situation, i.e., needing a replacement card, needing a card because of a change of name, needing a number for a child or a foreign-born adopted child. The website also has valuable information on protecting your Social Security number and on how to report a lost or stolen Social Security card.
If you do not have access to the Internet, you can call our toll-fee number at 1-800-772-1213 ((TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the fact sheet, "New Rules for Getting a Social Security Number and Card".
Randy Wahl
Social Security manager Andalusia office

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox