Social Security Number

Your first and continuous link with Social Security is your nine-digit Social Security Number. It helps us to maintain an accurate record of your wages or self-employment earnings that are covered under the Social Security Act, and to monitor your record once you start getting Social Security benefits.

Why do I need one?

You need a Social Security number to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. But you don't often need to show your Social Security card. Do not carry your card with you. Keep it in a safe place with your other important papers.

How to Get a New or Replacement Card


All documents submitted must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

Get a certified copy of a document showing a birth, marriage or divorce that took place in the U.S.


If you are filing an application on behalf of someone else, you also must show us evidence of your relationship to, or responsibility for, the person for whom you are filing. You must also show us proof of your identity.

Free Social Security Services

Some businesses advertise that they can provide name changes or Social Security cards for a fee. These services are provided free by Social Security, so do not pay for something that is free. Social Security is the best place to get information about Social Security.