Did you know that you can “opt out” of getting a social security card? Well, I didn’t. I assumed that every child that is born at the hospital automatically gets a social security number. I thought that one of those millions of papers I had to fill out surely provided the information needed to obtain that very important piece of paper. So, I waited. Like most moms I suppose. It’s been five months and I still haven’t received my daughter’s paperwork.
After you have a baby at the hospital, you fill out paperwork and if you check the box to issue your baby a social security number, you should receive your social security card in the mail within 2 weeks. (Not so, for a birth certificate. You actually have to order your birth certificate, and pay for it, in order to receive it. Blog: How to Get/Order a Birth Certificate in Hawaii) This obviously wasn’t the case for me. We can’t file our taxes (and claim her as a dependent), open a bank account for her, or get a passport (Blog about the passport process HERE) without a social security number - so I picked up the phone to figure out what happened.
I called the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Someone picked up right away. I was told that I should have received it 2 weeks after the paperwork was submitted. Problem was… in my postpartum chaos, I didn’t remember actually filling out the paperwork. The woman on the other line asked me if someone had said “Would you like to get your baby a social security number?” I didn’t remember anyone asking me that question so I can only assume that I didn’t fill out the paperwork to begin with. I asked if the paperwork I would need to submit to get my daughter a social security number and card was different from the paperwork they would have provided me at the hospital and she said it was one and the same. That was good news. Whether you’re looking to change a name on a social security card, get a copy or submit for a brand new card… the same paperwork must be filled out. You can find that paperwork by clicking HERE.
It’s a one page application. You need to fill it out and provide evidence in the form of original documents certified by the custodian of the original record. Notarized copies or photocopies which are not certified by the custodian of record will not be accepted. All of your original documentation will be returned to you.
To apply for an original card, you need to provide at least two documents to prove your age, identity and U.S. citizenship. (If you’re over 12 years old, and have never received a social security number, you need to apply in person and can’t do it by mail). You only need to provide one document if you are seeking a replacement card.
If the card is for a baby that was born recently, you can provide their birth certificate and a recent medical record. You must also provide your own form of identification.
To submit the application, you can mail it. To find the address for your local social security administration office, you can enter your zip code at this link and the address will pop up.
Or, take it to your nearest social security office.
Here on Maui, it is located at:
2200 MAIN STREET
WAILUKU, HI 96793
For the life of me, I couldn’t find the local phone number to the social security office on Maui online. So here it is! (855) 572-4863 or (855) 572-4865 – the clerk told me you can speak to someone in the Maui office at one of these two numbers.
I finally received my birth certificate for my daughter (click HERE for the blog on how to get a birth certificate or copy of one) so I went straight to the social security office. The building is located on the corner of Main and High. You enter and go to the left and the social security office is right there on the right hand side. (See images in my vlog above)
After entering there is a “visitor check-in” kiosk. You answer a few questions on the electronic portal and it spits out a number so you can sit down and wait your turn. The chairs are super comfy. I checked in at 12:43 p.m. and my number was called around 1:10 p.m. I was told today was a “slow day.” On busier days, it probably takes longer. PS – There is no parking validation. I parked on the street and it was free.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get the information about needing two forms of identification for my 5-month-old daughter… I brought the birth certificate and thought that would be enough. This is when the clerk informed me that I needed to get a medical record from Waipuna’s doctor. Fortunately, she goes to Maui Medical Group. So, I schlepped Waipuna and the stroller across the street to request a recent medical record. The main thing was her birthdate needed to be on this documentation. The social security clerk would have accepted an insurance card IF it had her birthdate on it. Unfortunately, the one I had in my wallet, did not.
The doctor’s office was super quick with the print out so I went back across the street and signed in all over again. This time, it only took 15 minutes for me to get in front of a clerk. She took all of my paperwork and worked on her computer. I asked if she would tell me Waipuna’s social security number and this clerk said she could not. Fortunately, the first clerk had already told me her number (shhh… I’m assuming this might be against the rules?) but my phone died so I wasn’t sure if it was actually in my phone. (It was. Thank goodness! I can actually file my taxes without having to wait for the card to come in the mail!) The clerk said it would take 5 to 10 business days for me to receive my card.
What I realized from going to the social security office is that the hospital DID give me the paperwork. I must have checked the right box on the paperwork because Waipuna already had been “numerated” (she had an SS number). The card itself must have gotten lost in the mail or something. I did find out that if you have a P.O. Box, you should put your child’s name on your mailbox! Some post offices won’t deliver a social security card unless the child’s name is on the box. In hindsight, this is probably what happened to us. We *just* received Waipuna’s card in the mail but it was accompanied by a form indicating we needed to add her name to the box.
The social security office will give you a receipt which you should keep in a safe place in case you do not receive your social security card within two weeks. If that’s the case, you can take the receipt with you to the office to rectify the situation. Hope this helps!!