General, Social Security Number and Card

How To Get Your New Baby’s Social Security Number

December 9, 2021 • By

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Last Updated: December 9, 2021

father holding a newborn baby smiling with the motherWelcoming a baby to your family is an exciting time. Doing paperwork – even for something as important as a Social Security number for your newborn – is probably one of the last things you want to do. We’ve made it easy. If your child is born in a hospital, the most convenient way to apply for a Social Security number is at that hospital before you leave.

When you give information for your child’s birth certificate at the hospital, you’ll be asked whether you want to apply for a Social Security number for your child. If you answer “yes,” you will be asked to provide both parents’ Social Security numbers. Even if you don’t know both parents’ Social Security numbers, you can still apply for a number for your child.

There are many reasons why your child should have a Social Security number. You need a Social Security number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return. You may also need a number for your child if you plan to do the following for your child:

  • Open a bank account.
  • Buy savings bonds.
  • Get medical coverage.
  • Apply for government services.

You can find more information by reading our publication, Social Security Numbers for Children.

Please share this information with people who are having a baby. Applying for a Social Security number at the hospital will save them time and let them focus on their new bundle of joy.

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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Mel S.

    Do I have to bring my newborn to apply for a social security card (in person)? OR can he stay home while I turn in all the needed paperwork?
    Thank you.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mel. Thanks for visiting our blog. Your newborn does not have to accompany you to apply for a Social Security card. Keep in mind the Enumeration at Birth (EAB) program offers new parents at a hospital, birthing center, or using a licensed midwife the option to request a Social Security number (SSN) during the birth registration process. If you did not use this process, please check out our publication, Social Security Numbers for Children, for more information on how to apply for an original Social Security card for your child. We hope this helps. 

  2. Bessy M.

    Necesito ayuda aplicar para la tarjeta de mi hijo que nacio en las carolinas, y nunca me llego su numero socio antes de mudarme en Nashville. Porfavor no se que hacer no tengo visa, solo tengo mi acta nacimiento de Honduras. Eh tratado de aplicar y dicen que necesito visa.

  3. Jack J.


    My son was born abroad. Can I apply for the social security card abroad at the embassy? Please advise.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jack. Thanks for your question. Since you are living outside of the U.S., please contact your local  Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

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