Social Security Numbers

To obtain a Social Security number for your child under the age of 12, you must complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (download a PDF of SS-5-FS – PDF 56K). You must answer all questions. This is not a fillable form; please write legibly.

All supporting documents submitted with your application must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies.

If you do not wish to mail us your U.S. passport or U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you may obtain certified copies of these documents, free of charge, at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, or at one of the five consular agencies in Spain. You must make a notary appointment with the relevant office to obtain the certified copy. For more information, see our page on notary services. Please note this is only necessary if you are mailing the documents to our office. If you are presenting the documentation in person at our office in Madrid, we will certify the copies ourselves.

Once you have the certified copy, you must mail it to the Federal Benefits Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid along with the completed application form. For more information, see How do I contact the Madrid Federal Benefits Unit?

Required documents:

  1. Proof of the child’s birth
    • Original U.S. birth certificate or original U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • If the child was born in the U.S., Form SSA- L706 (download a PDF of Form SSA-L706 – PDF 292 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.
    • If the child is a U.S. Resident, original foreign birth certificate.
  2. Proof of the child’s U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Resident status
    • Original U.S. birth certificate; or
    • Original U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad; or
    • Original U.S. Passport; or
    • If the child is a U.S. Resident, Permanent Resident Card.
  3. Proof of the child’s identity
    • Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed; or
    • Original Spanish Passport or DNI, must be current; or
    • If the child is a U.S. Resident, Permanent Resident Card.We may accept other documents that show the applicant’s legal name and biographical information, such as a passport or national identity card issued by a third country, so long as the preponderance of evidence can conclude that the individual is who they are presenting themselves as. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit for advice.
  4. Proof of the identity of the parent signing the application
    • Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed; or
    • Original Spanish Passport or DNI, must be current.We may accept other documents that show the applicant’s legal name and biographical information, such as a passport or national identity card issued by a third country, so long as the preponderance of evidence can conclude that the individual is who they are presenting themselves as. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit for advice.

Anyone over the age of 12 must present themselves in person at a Federal Benefits Unit or designated U.S. Military installation.

You must also complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS (download a PDF of SS-5-FS – PDF 56 KB) – all questions must be answered and legible.

You must also provide the following original documents – photocopies are not acceptable.

  1. Proof of birth
    • Original U.S. birth certificate; original U.S. 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., Form SSA- L706 (download a PDF of Form SSA-L706 – PDF 292 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.
  2. Proof of U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Resident status
    • Original U.S. birth certificate; or
    • Original U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad; or
    • Original Naturalization or Citizenship Certificate; or
    • Original U.S. Passport; or
    • Original Permanent Resident Card.
  3. Proof of identity
    • Original U.S. Passport, must be current and signed; or
    • Original Spanish Passport or DNI, must be current; or
    • Original Permanent Resident Card.We may accept other documents that show the applicant’s legal name and biographical information, such as a passport or national identity card issued by a third country, so long as the preponderance of evidence can conclude that the individual is who they are presenting themselves as. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit for advice.
  4. 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 U.S. Passport, must be current and signed; or
    • Original Spanish Passport or DNI, must be current.We may accept other documents that show the applicant’s legal name and biographical information, such as a passport or national identity card issued by a third country, so long as the preponderance of evidence can conclude that the individual is who they are presenting themselves as. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit for advice.
  5. Proof that you or the child has resided outside of the U.S.
    • You must submit documentary proof that you or the child has resided outside of the U.S.  The proof of foreign residency is needed to explain why a Social Security number has not been issued in the past. The proof should cover a significant portion of the entire period of time you or the child has been outside of the U.S. (Click HERE to see list of suggested documentation; other documents may be submitted for consideration.)

If you have obtained a U.S. Visa that allows you to work in the U.S. you must apply for a Social Security Card after you enter the U.S. You may apply at the nearest 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 (download a PDF of SS-5-FS – PDF 56 KB) and provide the original documents listed above.

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 your SSN.

If you are a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, and you need to verify your Social Security number, you should apply for a replacement card. You can 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 (download a PDF of SS-5-FS – PDF 56K). You must answer all questions and write legibly.

Provide supporting documents, as listed below. All supporting documents submitted with your application must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies.

If you do not wish to mail us your U.S. passport or U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you may obtain certified copies of these documents, free of charge, at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, or at one of the five consular agencies in Spain. You must make a notary appointment with the relevant office to obtain the certified copy. For more information, see our page on notary services. Please note this is only necessary if you are mailing the documents to our office. If you are presenting the documentation in person at our office in Madrid, we will certify the copies ourselves.

Once you have the certified copy, you must mail it to the Federal Benefits Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid along with the completed application form. For more information, see How do I contact the Madrid Federal Benefits Unit?

Required documents:

Proof of Identity

  • Original U.S Passport, must be current and signed; or
  • Original Permanent Resident Alien card, must be current; or
  • Original U.S. state driver’s license, must be current; or
  • Original Spanish Passport or DNI, but must be accompanied by proof of U.S. citizenship such as a Naturalization certificate or U.S. birth certificate.We may accept other documents that show the applicant’s legal name and biographical information, such as a passport or national identity card issued by a third country, so long as the preponderance of evidence can conclude that the individual is who they are presenting themselves as. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit for advice.

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 the name on your identity document differs from the name on your last Social Security Number record, see item 6 below for instructions on how to change the name on your record.

If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien, see item 5 below for instructions.

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 a SSN. In addition, a replacement Social Security Number card 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;

Complete an Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5-FS – (download a PDF of SS-5-FS – PDF 56K) – all questions must be answered and legible.

Provide supporting documents, as listed below. All supporting documents submitted with your application must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We cannot accept photocopies.

If you do not wish to mail us your U.S. passport or U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you may obtain certified copies of these documents, free of charge, at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, the U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, or at one of the five consular agencies in Spain. You must make a notary appointment with the relevant office to obtain the certified copy. For more information, see our page on notary services. Please note this is only necessary if you are mailing the documents to our office. If you are presenting the documentation in person at our office in Madrid, we will certify the copies ourselves.

Once you have the certified copy, you must mail it to the Federal Benefits Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid along with the completed application form. For more information, see How do I contact the Madrid Federal Benefits Unit?

Required documents:

  • Proof of the name change
    • Original marriage or divorce decree. If the marriage or divorce certificate is over 2 years old or does not contain biographical data such as a date of birth or age, you must also submit proof of identity in your OLD name. If you have no identification in your old name, you must write a statement as to why you do not have such proof of identity and submit proof of identity in your NEW name.Please note that in Spain, divorce is recorded as a marginal note on the record of the marriage terminated by the divorce.
  • Proof of identity in Old Name, as required
    • Original current or expired U.S. or Spanish Passport, must be signed; or
    • Original driving license; or
    • Original current or expired U.S. military identification.We may accept other documents that show the applicant’s legal name and biographical information, such as a passport or national identity card issued by a third country, so long as the preponderance of evidence can conclude that the individual is who they are presenting themselves as. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit for advice.
  • Proof of identity in New Name, as required
    • Original current U.S. or Spanish Passport, must be signed; or
    • Original driving license; or
    • Original current U.S. military identification.We may accept other documents that show the applicant’s legal name and biographical information, such as a passport or national identity card issued by a third country, so long as the preponderance of evidence can conclude that the individual is who they are presenting themselves as. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit for advice.