How to Find Your Social Security Number

If you need to know how to find your Social Security number (SSN), plan to visit a local Social Security office to obtain this confidential information. You can’t look up your SSN online. Your Social Security number is used to track your income and earnings and it’s also a relatively easy way to identify you for legal purposes.

A current or future employer must ask for your Social Security number. If you’re employed, your paycheck or personnel file may be the easiest way to find your Social Security number. Many employers use the Social Security Number Verification Service. E-Verify is also used by employers to confirm an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S. E-Verify also uses information from Social Security Administration (SSA) records to determine if an individual is U.S. employment-eligible.

Ways to Find Your Social Security Number

If you’re a working adult and you’ve filed federal or state tax returns, you’ll find your SSN on these documents:

  • Other tax documents, such as employment W-2 or Form 1099, will also include your Social Security number.
  • If you need to replace a dependent’s Social Security card for the purpose of filing a tax return, you may need to get a replacement card.
  • If you can’t find your Social Security number and you aren’t employed, take the following steps to obtain a replacement card as soon as possible.
  • If you’re a parent and need to replace a Social Security card for your child of less than 12 years, plan to visit a nearby Social Security office with his or her identification documents in hand.

Whether you need a replacement Social Security card for yourself or for a dependent child, Social Security will replace the card up to three times in a year or 10 times within your lifetime. Social Security doesn’t charge for replacement Social Security cards.

There’s no need to pay for an external service to replace your Social Security card for a fee. Your Social Security office will help you fill out the require paperwork if you need help. Contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or review information available on the Social Security website at

After your request form and documents are received and accepted by SSA, you should receive a replacement card in about two weeks.

Find Your Social Security Number

To obtain a replacement Social Security card and your Social Security number, you must bring acceptable proof of identity to a Social Security office:

  • Print and complete a Form SS-5 before your visit.
  • Bring the original copy of your birth certificate or bring a certified copy of the birth certificate. Notarized copies or photocopies aren’t acceptable forms of identification.
  • Provide your U.S. passport, ID card from school, hospital record of birth, religious records, or adoption decree to verify identity.
  • Submit documentation regarding U.S. citizenship.
  • Present a copy of your driver’s license or other state-issued identification.

SSA accepts original documents of copies that are certified by the issuer/agency only. If you don’t have an acceptable proof of identity now, request it before visiting your SSA office. You must present proof of identity to replace a card or to submit a first-time application for a Social Security number.

Your Unique Social Security Number

Social Security Agency issues a Social Security number to all individuals born in the U.S. Your Social Security number is a unique identifier. No two individuals have the same SSN.

You need a Social Security number to work and to receive Social Security retirement benefits. Protect your card and your SSN. Identity theft can occur if your Social Security number falls into the wrong hands.

If you’ve forgotten your Social Security number and can’t find your card, take the steps above to retrieve it as soon as possible. Visit a Social Security office and explain the circumstances to any agent there. Bring documents described above to prove identity. If your name has changed since the original SSN was assigned, bring a marriage certificate, court order, or divorce decree to show your name change.

After you receive a replacement Social Security card, set up a My Social Security Account to review earnings and credits needed for retirement benefits. If you need to find your Social Security number in the future, you’ll have instant online access to the information.