Request a Social Security Number for the First Time

What is a Social Security Number?

A Social Security number (SSN) is a unique identifier issued by the Social Security Administration. You need an SSN to work, and it’s used to determine your eligibility for Social Security benefits and certain government services.

Why might you need one?

Many financial institutions, such as banks and credit companies, also ask for your number when you open an account. If you are a noncitizen living in the United States, you may also need an SSN.

Request a Social Security Number for the first time

Click the Start below and we’ll tell you the best way to apply and documents you will need.


Tips for a successful application

All documents submitted must be either originals or certified copies by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. You will need proof of U.S. citizenship and proof of identity to get a Social Security Card.

Please do not mail original primary documents that should be kept secure in your possession, such as driver’s licenses, passports, or immigration documents. Please call or visit your local Social Security office if you have questions.

Social Security Number Services are Always Free

Some businesses offer Social Security name changes or cards for a fee. Social Security provides those services and more for free. Social Security is the best place to get information about Social Security.

Assisting someone else

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