Within the United States, a Social Security card is an essential document that identifies people as citizens, be the temporary or permanent, of the country. The document is generally first issued when an American child is born, but is issued to new citizens upon their naturalization and to temporary workers upon approval of a work visa.
Your Social Security card features a 9 digit number which is used to identify you within the US government, but that number alone does not function as sufficient proof of identity. A physical Social Security card is needed to do many things, and in order to obtain an initial Social Security card or copy of a lost or destroyed card, applicants must be prepared with several alternate proofs of their identity.
Using US Identification Card As Evidence of Identity for Social Security Card
When applying to receive a first time card or replace a Social Security card that has been lost, stolen or destroyed, the Social Security Administration will require you to provide proof of your identity through other government-issued documents. It is essential that a Social Security card not be obtained or distributed fraudulently, so the SSA must thoroughly vet every request for accuracy.
One of the documents that the SSA will request as a condition of your application is a copy of your drivers license or state identification card. This is a card that is used to identify citizens on both a federal and state level. Identification cards and drivers licenses are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles in each state. In order to obtain state identification or a drivers license, applicants are generally required to provide proof of their identity via their Social Security card.
This can pose a complex issue to first time Social Security card applicants who will need to use their identification to obtain a SS card, but can’t do so without said card. Fortunately, the Departments of Motor Vehicles in most states have accommodated to this particular bureaucratic quirk by allowing applicants to provide a letter of ineligibility for a Social Security card offered by the SSA. If an ineligibility letter is used to obtain a license or identification before official citizenship is granted, it can make the process of identifying yourself to the Social Security Administration much easier.
How to Obtain US Identification Card As Evidence of Identity for Social Security Card
The exact requirements for obtaining a state identification card or drivers license from the Department of Motor Vehicles can vary from state to state. The easiest one of these cards to obtain is a state identification card, as it requires neither written nor physical knowledge of driving and a vehicle is not required. At the bare minimum, most states require presentation of your Social Security card and proof of residency in the form of utility bills or other important identifying pieces of mail. Only in Indiana will some DMVs allow those seeking IDs or licenses to use a W2 as proof of their existing Social Security number in lieu of an actual card.
If you do not have a copy of your Social Security card and do not have state identification or a driver’s license, don’t worry – there’s still hope. The Social Security Administration acknowledges that vital records can go missing or be destroyed. Additionally, a percentage of applicants exists who may have been denied the personal liberties or knowledge needed to obtain identification for themselves. When an applicant can’t provide a state ID or drivers license within 10 days, the SSA is also willing to accept identification cards from a job, school, non-Medicare health insurance program or a US military identification. The document must not be expired, must contain age or birth date information and should, if possible, have a recent clear photograph.
Replacing Your Social Security Card Online
When a new or replacement Social Security card is needed, citizens have the option to head down to their local Social Security Administration office and file in person. This can be an unnecessary hassle, as offices are often overcrowded due to the volume of far more complex cases the SSA handles daily. When you file on our site, we’ll walk you through the full application process and all essential documents to ensure you’ll be fully prepared for a successful application, all in the comfort of your own home.