Resources for New Moms

Getting Baby's Social Security Number

When you have a baby, one of the things that should be on your “to do” list is to get your newborn a Social Security number. The easiest time to do this is when you give information for your child’s birth certificate while you’re still at the hospital.  

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

You’ll receive the baby’s Social Security card in the mail a couple of months after birth. 

Why should I get a Social Security number for my child?  

You need a Social Security number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return.  

Your child may also need a number if you plan to:  

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


If the option to apply is not offered at the hospital where your baby is born, you can apply for a number at a Social Security office. There may be delays while your child’s birth certificate is verified. 

 How do I apply at a Social Security office? 

If you wait to apply for your child’s number, you must:  

  • Complete an application for a Social Security card.
  • Show original documents proving your child’s:
    •  U.S. citizenship 
    • Age 
    • Identity 
  • Show documents proving your identity and your relationship to the child.