Getting your baby’s birth certificate and Social Security card

by Kaiser Permanente |
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A birth certificate and Social Security card are important documents that will help prove your baby’s legal identity and age. A Social Security card will also be 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 your baby’s certificate and Social Security number.

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 hospital staff will provide you with the paperwork to complete after your baby’s birth.

It’s important to plan ahead, because information about both parents will be needed when filling out the birth certificate, including:

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

Parents will also need to provide proof of identification in the form of a driver’s license, passport, or other valid state-issued ID.

When you complete the application for a birth certificate, you’ll also have the chance to apply for a Social Security number for your baby by selecting “Yes” on that section of the birth certificate form. Both the birth certificate and your baby’s Social Security card 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 for a Social Security card.
  • Provide original documents proving your child’s U.S. citizenship, age, and identity.
  • Provide original documents proving your identity and your relationship to your child.

Your baby’s birth certificate will serve as an original document. Parents will need to provide valid government-issued proof of identity.

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.

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