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How to Get A New Social Security Number

Social Security Card


Most people have the same social security number for their entire life. What do people do when they are not so fortunate and have to secure a new social security number?

As unfair as it may be, there are times when it becomes necessary for individuals to secure a new social security number. Situations such as harassment, domestic violence, irresolvable identity theft or life endangering circumstances may force an individual to have to change their social security number.

The Social Security Administration will not indiscriminately issue new social security numbers. There must be documented proof of harassment, abuse or life-endangering situation before the Social Security Administration will consider issuing a new number. To obtain a new social security number, it is best to be prepared with the proper forms and documentation.

Below are the steps and documents required for obtaining a new social security number:

  1. Obtain and complete Form SS-5: Form as SS-5 is entitled Social Security Administration Application for Social Security card. Applicants may download the form from the Social Security Administration website or, if Internet access is a problem, call the local Social Security office (1-800-772-1213) and request the form.
  1. Write a compelling statement of explanation: The statement of explanation must describe to the Social Security Administration the reason for the new social security number request. As mentioned before, new numbers are not easy to obtain. If, for example, an individual is requesting a new number because of domestic abuse, they should be sure to include copies of the police report, medical files detailing the extent of injuries as a result of the abuse, court petitions, orders of protections, statements from friends, family and co-workers.
  1. Bring the appropriate documents*: Individuals will need to bring a current social security card, proof of US citizenship or immigrant status and proof of age. For individuals who have had to undergo a name change, bring proof of legal name and identity. US citizens may provide an employee or school ID card or marriage certificate. Non-US citizens will need either a work permit car, I- 94 with an unexpired foreign passport or Form I551 with a visa.
  1. Prove guardianship: In order to change a child’s social security number, it is imperative to have proof that the change request is coming from the child’s legal representative. The Social Security Administration is aware of the rise in kidnapping crimes. They are doing their part to avoid aiding or abetting kidnappers; therefore proper guardianship must be established.
  1. Visit the nearest local Social Security Administration office. After all of the documents are complied and Form SS-5 is completed, individuals requesting a new social security number must go to the local Social Security Administration office. New social security numbers cannot be issued through the mail or online. This is one time where a face-to-face meeting is necessary.

*All documents must either be originals or certified copies.


About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a wife, mother, freelance writer and owner of Tidbits and Stuff.

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