As an American citizen, you need a social security card to be economically active, use certain services, and engage in day-to-day activities. You may also need a social security card to study at certain institutions and to file state and federal taxes with the IRS.

As an American citizen, you are entitled to a Social Security number and card. You are not, however, entitled to have to application process go quickly and smoothly. Filing an application for a Social Security card with the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be a long and tedious process. 

Together with your application form, you also have to furnish the SSA with specific supplementary documents. Not filing the proper materials can delay the process and even lead to the rejection of your application. 

Let’s take an in-depth look at the documentation that you have to submit with your Social Security card.

Originals or Copies?

As a rule, the Social Security Administration does not accept any copies of the necessary supplementary documents. If you submit a photocopy or a notarized copy of a document, your application will not succeed. 

A receipt showing that you applied for a document will also not be sufficient. The SSA only accepts original documents and copies of documents that the issuing agency certified. 

Since you may not want to give the SSA your, say, original birth certificate, it may be worth your while to contact the agency and ask them for a certified copy. 

The Supplementary Documents You Need

During the application filing process to obtain a new social security number and card, you need two or more documents to prove your:

-    Age, 
-    Identity, and 
-    U.S. citizenship or current immigration status.

If you are filing for a replacement card if your existing card is lost or stolen, you need at least one document to prove your:

-    identity and 
-    U.S citizenship.

Documents to Prove Your Age

Any of the following documents are sufficient to prove your age:

-    Birth Certificate,
-    A religious record showing your date of birth,
-    Your U.S. passport,
-    A U.S. hospital document showing your date of birth, and
-    Proof of long-term residence outside the U.S.

Documents to Prove Your Identity

Any of the following documents can prove your identity:

-    Your U.S. driver’s license, 
-    U.S. passport,
-    Employee ID Card, 
-    Health Insurance card, 
-    School ID Card, or
-    Your U.S. Military ID card.

Citizenship and Migration Status.

There are only two documents that you can use to prove that you are a U.S. citizen: your birth certificate and your U.S. passport.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you have to prove your immigration status to the SSA by furnishing them with one of the following:

-    An I-551 permanent resident card together with your unexpired foreign passport,
-    An I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, or 
-    An I-1776 Employment Authorization Document. 

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can submit either your birth certificate or U.S. passport, since any one of them proves your citizenship and identity.