Getting your baby’s birth certificate and Social Security card

by Kaiser Permanente |
Pregnant mother on her couch, looking through a booklet, and using her laptop while working from home.

A birth certificate and Social Security card help prove your baby’s legal identity and age. A Social Security card is needed to enroll your baby in medical coverage.

If you’re having your baby in a hospital, the staff will walk you through the process of getting these important documents.

Getting your baby’s birth certificate

When you’re having a baby, your first thought probably won’t be about paperwork. That’s why the staff will provide you with the documents you need.

You’ll need information about both parents, including:

  • Their full names, and the mother’s maiden name (if applicable)
  • Their Social Security numbers
  • A mailing address or addresses

Parents will also need to provide a driver’s license, passport, or other valid ID.

When you complete the application, you can also apply for a Social Security number. Just check “Yes” on that section of the form. Everything will be mailed to you at a later date. Be sure the mailing address you provide is one that you check regularly.

Getting your baby’s Social Security card

If you did not request a Social Security number through the birth certificate process, you can still get one. The process might be slower, however.

You’ll need to do the following at a Social Security office:

  • Complete an application
  • Prove your child’s U.S. citizenship, age, and identity
  • Prove your identity and your relationship to your child

Bring your baby’s birth certificate. Parents need to provide a government-issued ID.

This article has been created by a national group of Kaiser Permanente ob-gyns, certified nurse-midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and other specialists who came together to provide you with the best pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn information.

Some of the content is used and adapted with permission of The Permanente Medical Group.