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How to Fill out the Form SS-5


Navigating government forms can be complex, but SSN Simple is here to make it easier. Follow our comprehensive guide to accurately fill out Form SS-5, the application for a Social Security card.

What is a Form SS-5?

Understanding the Application for a Social Security Card

Form SS-5 is the official form provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) used for applying for a new Social Security card, replacing a lost or damaged card, updating personal details on a current card, or correcting existing information.

Your Social Security card is more than just a piece of paper—it is the key to accessing a multitude of services and rights in the United States, such as:

  • Employment verification and taxation

  • Access to medical services

  • Opening and managing personal bank accounts

  • Qualifying for Social Security retirement and disability benefits

Eligibility and Documentation

Form SS-5 can be used by U.S.-born citizens, naturalized citizens, and eligible noncitizens who have authorization to work from the Department of Homeland Security. When submitting Form SS-5, it is crucial to include the required original or certified documents to verify your identity, age, citizenship, or lawful immigration status.

Convenience and Efficiency

By accurately completing Form SS-5 and providing the necessary documentation, you enable the SSA to process your request swiftly and without delay, ensuring that you can continue with your daily life with minimal disruption.

Whether you're applying for the first time or dealing with changes in your life that require an update to your card, Form SS-5 is your starting point towards securing your official Social Security documentation.

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When Do You Need a Form SS-5?

The Form SS-5 is an essential document for various pivotal moments in your life when you need to establish or update your Social Security records. Here are some key instances when you'll need to fill out this form:

First-Time Social Security Card Application

  • Newborns: If you are a parent applying for your child's first Social Security card.

  • New Citizens: If you've recently become a U.S. citizen and need to obtain a Social Security card.

  • Work Authorization: For non-citizens who have been authorized to work in the U.S. and require a Social Security number.

Replacement of Lost, Damaged, or Stolen Cards

  • Misplaced Cards: If your Social Security card has been lost or misplaced.

  • Stolen Identity: In unfortunate instances of theft where your Social Security card might be compromised.

  • Wear and Tear: If your card has become illegible due to damage over time.

Name Changes and Corrections

  • Marriage or Divorce: If you've changed your name due to marriage or divorce.

  • Legal Name Change: Following a court-ordered name change.

  • Corrections: If there is a need to correct your name or other details due to errors on your original card.

Updating Information

  • Change in Immigration Status: If your immigration status has changed and it affects your eligibility for a Social Security number.

  • Adoption: When an adoption necessitates a new or updated Social Security card for the child.

Dependent and Family Changes

  • New Family Members: Applying for a card for a newly adopted child or after the birth of a child.

  • Caretaking Responsibilities: When you're responsible for a dependent adult and need to manage their Social Security matters.


Section 1: Personal Information

  • Name Fields: Enter your full legal name as it should appear on your Social Security card. This includes your current legal name, birth name, and any other names you've used.

Section 2: Identifying Information

  • Social Security Number: If you have a previous SSN, enter it here. If not, leave this blank.

  • Place and Date of Birth: Provide the city and country of your birth and your date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format.

Section 3: Citizenship and Demographics

  • Citizenship Status: Select the category that applies to you.

  • Ethnicity and Race: These are optional fields but providing this information can be beneficial for statistical purposes.

Section 4: Contact Information

  • Mailing Address and Phone Number: Ensure you provide a current address and a phone number where you can be reached during the day.

Section 5: Documentation

  • Documents Provided: List the original or certified documents you're providing to prove identity and citizenship.

Section 6: Sign and Date

  • Signature: Sign the form to affirm that the information provided is true to the best of your knowledge. Include the date and your relation to the applicant if you're not applying for yourself.

Required Documentation for Different Scenarios

First-Time Applicants

Original or certified copy of birth certificate and proof of identity.

Replacement Cards

One document proving your identity.

Name Changes or Corrections

Legal proof of the change, such as a marriage certificate or court order.

Updating Personal Details

Proof of identity and any additional documents that support the change, like naturalization papers for updated citizenship status.

Submitting Your Form SS-5

Once you've filled out Form SS-5 and gathered all necessary documents, review everything thoroughly. Submit the form and documents according to the instructions provided in your SSN Simple application package.

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