How Long Does it Take to Get A Social Security Card for A Newborn (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-5 weeks

A Social Security Card is an identification of an individual and is required for various purposes like filing taxes, claiming insurances, etc. It contains a unique Social Security Number issued to the applicant.

The Social Security Card is needed for the newborn to claim the child as dependent on the parent’s income. It is also a requirement for opening a child bank account, for applying to the government services for the child, getting medical coverage for the child, etc. Even in some localities, the post offices deliver the documents only if there is a Social Security Number issued to the recipient.

However, getting a Social Security Card for the newborn is totally voluntary but it is highly recommended to apply for the SSN when the child is born.

How Long Does it Take to Get A Social Security Card for A Newborn

How Long Does It Take to Get a Social Security Card for A Newborn?

States of USAEstimated Time for SSN Issuance
California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, etc 1 Week
Alabama, New York City, Massachusetts, Texas, etc.2 Weeks
Washington, Los Angeles, Delaware, Virginia, etc3 Weeks
Alaska, Wiskonsin, West Virginina4 Weeks
New Mexico7 Weeks
Puerto Rico10 Weeks

The time period of obtaining the Social Security Card varies according to the location. While in few states, it just takes 1 week to process and issue the card, some states take 7 to 10 weeks for the procedure. However, the majority of the states have a fixed period of 2 weeks for the purpose. The officials recommend waiting for 2 more weeks to receive the same by posts at the applicant’s residence.

The process involves steps as below:

While giving information about your newborn for the birth certificate, it will be asked if the parents want to apply for their child’s Social Security Number. Hence, The parents need to say yes and provide their own Social Security Numbers. In case, parents do not have their numbers, they can still apply for their child’s card.

If parents apply later after birth for their newborn’s Social Security Number, they need to complete the application for Social security number at the office. They are bound to present the original documents as proof of the US citizenship of the child, identity of the child, age of the child, and relationship of the parents with the child.

In both cases, the process is compulsory to follow and after the process completes, the authority proceeds for verification.

When we look at an average duration to obtain the Social Security Card for a newborn, we can estimate it to be 4-5 weeks.

Why Does it Take That Long?

The Social Security Card acts as an identity proof for the individuals of the State. It is required for nearly all the purposes like bank accounts, savings bonds, government services, postal services, etc. The issuance of this card becomes an important process of any state in which no due diligence could be handled.

The applicant needs to fulfill the procedure. The authorities have to verify the documents and hence issue the card taking their needed time to verify and process. Therefore, various factors like the number of applicants, the total population of the area, workforce in the office, etc. decide this time limit. Hence, the process undergoes various actions to ensure that there is no due diligence or carelessness on the part of authorities.

The authorities will take their required time to enquire about the information and complete the paperwork. To avoid any kind of errors in the process, a fixed waiting time is provided to every such applicant according to different jurisdictions of the State.

When the authorities complete their verification process, they further proceed to send the Social Security Card to the applicants by mail. The official prospectus of the Federal US declares the additional waiting time of two weeks for receipt of the Social Security Card by mail. The majority of states complete the verification process in 2-3 weeks but there are states like New Mexico and Puerto Rico that take a longer time to process. Therefore, when seen at an average, we can consider the time period of the whole process to be 4-5 weeks.


On average, it can be concluded that a Social Security Card is issued to a newborn is around 4 weeks. However, if you have not received the card within 45 days of the application, it is recommended to visit the local Social Security Office along with all the documents stated above. The application cannot be processed over the phone call if it is delayed. Therefore, it is advised to check at the nearby office to know how far the application has been processed. The child’s Social Security Card is an important document that must be issued timely and is needed to be kept safe for various purposes.



Avatar of Nidhi


Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. So when someone is born in New Mexico, they have to wait 7 weeks. It’s almost like they’re being penalized for their location.

  2. I can understand why it’s a lengthy process, but it’s still an inconvenience for parents who need it sooner.

  3. Given the importance of the card, the long waiting time is somewhat comical in today’s fast-paced world.

  4. That’s a reasonable time period considering the importance of the card and the authorities making sure all the necessary information is correct.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *