Social Security Numbers

Frequently Asked Questions

To apply for a Social Security number for a child under age 12 the following steps are required.

Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (PDF 136 KB) – all questions must be answered and legible.

Provide the following original documents – photocopies are not acceptable. The completed application and documents should be mailed to us.

If you are mailing originals within Norway, please enclose a self-addressed return envelope with NOK 200 in stamps for return of the originals. If you live in Sweden, Denmark or Finland, it may be possible to obtain “No Fee Notarized” copies of U.S passports/Consular Reports of Birth at the U.S. Embassy in your country of residence. This would save you the trouble of mailing original documents to our office in Oslo. Please find more information here. (PDF 186 KB)

  • Proof of the child’s birth:
    Original birth certificate, or original Consular Report of Birth Abroad

    • If the child was born in the U.S. you must also submit proof that you or the child has resided outside of the U.S. for a significant period of time to explain why a Social Security number has not been issued in the past. Proof of foreign residency can be obtained from the Office of Vital Records (Folkeregisteret) specifying all periods of residence in the foreign country. Other documents include medical, school and employment records.
    • If the child was born in the U.S., Form SSA- L706 (PDF 79 KB) must also be completed, signed and submitted along with the application and other documentation. This allows the Social Security Administration to verify the birth record with the custodian of the record.
  • Proof of the child’s U.S. Citizenship:
    Original U.S. passport, original U.S. birth certificate, or original Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Proof of the child’s identity:
    Original U.S. or foreign passport, must be current and signed
  • Proof of the identity of the parent signing the application:
    Original U.S. or foreign passport, must be current and signed

Anyone over the age of 12 must present themselves in person at a U.S. Embassy, Consulate or designated U.S. Military installation.

Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (PDF 136 KB) – all questions must be answered and legible.

Provide the following original documents – photocopies are not acceptable:

  • Proof of birth:
    Original U.S. birth certificate, Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or Original birth certificate other than the documents mentioned above.

    • If you or the child was born in the U.S. you must also submit proof that you or the child has resided outside of the U.S. for a significant period of time to explain why a Social Security number has not been issued in the past. Proof of foreign residency can be obtained from the Office of Vital Records (Folkeregisteret) specifying all periods of residence in the foreign country. Other documents include medical, school and employment records.
    • If you or the child was born in the U.S., Form SSA- L706 (PDF 79 KB) must also be completed, signed and submitted along with the application and other documentation. This allows the Social Security Administration to verify the birth record with the custodian of the record.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship:
    Original U.S. Passport
    Original US birth certificate
    Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    Original Naturalization or Citizenship Certificate
  • Proof of identity:
    Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed
  • Proof of the identity of the parent signing the application, if applicable – a parent can sign the form for a child up to age 18; a child can sign the form above age 12:
    Original Passport, must be current and signed

No. If you have obtained a U.S. visa that allows you to work in the U.S. you must apply in person for a Social Security Card after you enter the U.S. at a local Social Security Office.

You can obtain the address of the nearest Social Security Office at http://socialsecurity.gov under the heading “Find A Social Security Office”.

You will need to complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (PDF 136 KB), and provide the original documents listed above.

You should apply for a replacement card even if you cannot recall your Social Security Number. Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (PDF 136 KB) – all questions must be answered and legible.

Provide an original identity document – a photocopy is not acceptable. The completed application and identity document should be mailed to us.

Suitable proof of identity documents:

  • Original U.S Passport, must be current and signed;
  • Original Permanent Resident Alien card, must be current;
  • Original U.S. state driver’s license, must be current;
  • Original Foreign Passport is acceptable, but must be accompanied by proof of U.S. citizenship such as a Naturalization certificate or U.S. birth certificate

If the replacement card is for a child, we need to see proof of identity for both the child and the parent who signs the form.

If you are mailing originals within Norway, please enclose a self-addressed return envelope with NOK 200 in stamps for return of the originals. If you live in Sweden, Denmark or Finland, it may be possible to obtain “No Fee Notarized” copies of U.S passports/Consular Reports of Birth at the U.S. Embassy in your country of residence. This would save you the trouble of mailing original documents to our office in Oslo. Please find more information here. (PDF 186 KB)

Effective August 1, 2014 the Social Security Administration stopped providing Social Security Number printouts or verifications. The Federal Benefits Unit is unable to provide you with a printout or verification of an SSN.

Effective June 24, 2013 the Social Security Administration updated the regulations concerning Social Security Number verification. A replacement Social Security Number card, and/or a Verification printout will not be issued to non-U.S. citizens or residents who have no current need for a Social Security Number.

If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien (“Green Card” holder) and you need to verify the details shown on your Social Security Number record, you must apply directly to the Social Security Administration for a printout of your Social Security Number record (known as a Numident). These applications can take up to 30 days or more to process and are processed on a first come basis regardless of the mailing method used.

Send a written request to verify the details held in your Numident, with the following information: your name, date of birth, parents’ names, the citizenship or legal resident status you held when your Social Security Number was assigned, and the date your citizenship or legal resident status changed. Send your request to:

Social Security Administration
OEO DERO (FOIA Workgroup)
PO Box 33022
Baltimore MD 21290-3022

If you wish to use Express Mail/Courier, send your request to:

Social Security Administration
OEO DERO (FOIA Workgroup)
300 N. Greene Street
Baltimore MD 21290-0300

To change your name on your Social Security records the following steps are required;

  1. Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (PDF 136 KB) – all questions must be answered and legible.
  2. Provide the following original documents – photocopies are not acceptable. The completed application and documents should be mailed to us.
    • Proof of the name change, showing old and new name:
      Original marriage or divorce decree.
    • Proof of identity in New Name, as required: Original current U.S. or foreign passport, must be signed.

It may be possible to obtain “No Fee Notarized” copies of U.S. passports/Consular Reports of Birth at the U.S. Embassy in your country of residence. This would save you the trouble of mailing original documents to our office in Oslo. Please find more information here. (PDF 186 KB)

The processing time for non-U.S. born applicants is approximately 3 months. The card will be mailed directly from the U.S. to the address given in the application.

For U.S. born applicants who have never had a SSN, processing time may be up to six months as the applicant’s birth must be verified by Social Security Administration with the custodian of the record in the state where the applicant was born.