You can find your Social Security number by checking your card, asking your guardian if they know it, checking certain documentation, talking with a former employer or requesting a new Social Security card.
Your Social Security number (SSN) is a key piece of your identity in the United States. But with only a small card to remind you of the number, it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you’ve forgotten your SSN. If you’re struggling to remember your or your child’s nine-digit number, here are five ways to find it.
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How to find your Social Security number
1. Look at your card
Checking your Social Security card is the fastest way to find your SSN. All Social Security cards have the person’s name and Social Security number printed on the front, even if the person is not allowed to work in the United States. If you were assigned an SSN, you were issued a physical card when the number was assigned to you. Just because you don’t have the card doesn’t mean you weren’t assigned an SSN.
2. Talk to someone who might know your SSN
If you think someone else might know your Social Security number, give them a call. It’s often a parent or legal guardian who requests the initial issuance of a child’s SSN — and it’s common for that adult to supply the child’s SSN on forms as the child grows up. For this reason, a parent or guardian might have their child’s SSN memorized and be able to provide it if asked.
3. Check tax and financial documents
Your Social Security number often appears on tax documents and financial statements. Check tax forms such as your old W-2s, 1099s, or tax returns to see if your SSN is on one of them. If you don’t have access to your tax forms, look at other financial documents you have available. Some bank statements or summaries from investment accounts may include your SSN at the top.
4. Contact a former employer
The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires all employers to verify employees’ SSNs. This ensures that an employee’s wages are correctly reported for tax purposes and that any Social Security payroll tax contributions go to the right person’s record. If you’ve forgotten your Social Security number, you can contact a former employer to see if they can provide you with it. The employer is unlikely to give you the information over the phone without verification of identity, so be prepared to visit the employer in person and talk to HR.
5. Request a new Social Security card
If you’ve exhausted all of your resources and still can’t figure out what your SSN is, you can request a replacement Social Security card. The replacement card is free, and if you just need a replacement without updating any information, you can probably request the new card online. You’ll have to provide a state-issued ID, and you might need to take additional documentation to a local Social Security Administration office to prove your identity.
Did you know…
The Social Security Administration limits how many replacement cards you can request. You can only request three replacements a year and 10 over your lifetime. So it’s a good idea to keep your Social Security card in a safe place where it’s unlikely to be stolen and is protected from potential dangers such as flooding or fire.
How to find your child’s Social Security number
1. Look at your child’s Social Security card
Just like with your card, your child’s card will have their name and Social Security number printed on the front. This is the fastest way to verify your child’s SSN.
2. Call their school or doctor’s office
Some providers and organizations request your child’s SSN to confirm their identity. If you’ve provided this information previously, ask if you can get that information from them. You will likely have to provide proof of your identity as the child’s guardian to get the information.
You are not required to give your or your child’s Social Security number to doctor’s offices, except at VA hospitals. However, medical facilities can refuse to provide you with service if you do not give them the information. And your insurance provider might require your SSN to process a claim.
3. Request a new Social Security card for your child
You can request a new card for your child. To do so, you will need to fill out Form SS-5 and provide documentation of:
Your relationship to your child or custody of the child.
Your child’s U.S. citizenship status if it hasn’t been established with the SSA previously.
You can fill out the form online and go to a local SSA office to provide the necessary documentation.
Can I find my Social Security number online?
How can I look up my SSN?
Can I call the Social Security Administration to find out what my SSN is?