Upon birth of your child, FirstLight will file the official birth certificate with the state. Additional copies can be purchased by filling out an application and paying a fee.
Please visit Kanabec County for more information.
Social Security Number
When you have a baby, one of the things that should be on your “to do” list is getting a Social Security number for your baby. The easiest time to do this is when you give information for your baby’s birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while verifying your child’s birth certificate.
Why should I get a number for my child?
If your child is born in the United States or is a U.S. citizen born abroad, you need a Social Security number to claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return. Your child also may need a number if you plan to:
- Open a bank account for the child
- Buy savings bonds for the child
- Obtain medical coverage for the child
- Apply for government services for the child
Must my child have a Social Security number?
No. Getting a Social Security number for your newborn is voluntary. But, it is a good idea to get a number when your child is born. You can apply for a Social Security number for your baby when you apply for your baby’s birth certificate. The state agency that issues birth certificates will share your child’s information with the Social Security Administration and they will mail the Social Security card to you.
If you wait to apply at a Social Security office, you must show proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship, age and identity, as well as proof of your own identity. Your child’s birth record must be verified, which can add up to 12 weeks to the time it takes to issue a card. To verify a birth certificate, Social Security will contact the office that issued it. This verification is to prevent people from using fraudulent birth records to obtain Social Security numbers to establish false identities.
How do I apply?
At the hospital: When you give information for your baby’s birth certificate, you will be asked whether you want to apply for a Social Security number for your baby. If you say “yes,” you need to provide both parents’ Social Security numbers if you can. Even if you do not know both parents’ Social Security numbers, you can still apply for a number for your child.
At a Social Security office: if you wait to apply for your child’s number, you must:
- Complete an Application For a Social Security Card (Form SS-5).
- Show original documents proving your child’s U.S. citizenship, age and identity.
- Show documents proving your identity.
Your baby’s Social Security card should arrive in approximately three weeks.
What if my child is adopted?
SSA can give your adopted child a Social Security number before the adoption is complete, but you may want to wait. Then, you can apply for the number using your child’s new name, with your name listed as a parent. If you want to claim your child for tax purposes while the adoption is still pending, you need to contact the Internal Revenue Service for Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions.
What does it cost?
There is no charge for a Social Security number and card. If someone contacts you and wants to charge you for getting a number or card for any reason, please remember Social Security services are free. You can report anyone attempting to charge you by calling our Office of Inspector General hotline at 800-269-0271.
What if I lose the card?
You can replace your Social Security card if it is lost or stolen. You now are limited to three replacement cards in a year and 10 during your lifetime. Legal name changes and other exceptions do not count toward these limits. For example, changes in non-citizen status that require card updates may not count toward these limits. Also, you may not be affected by these limits if you can prove you need the card to prevent a significant hardship.
Keep your child’s Social Security card in a safe place. It is an important document. Do not carry it with you.
What about misuse or fraud?
If you think someone is using your child’s Social Security number fraudulently, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by calling 877-438-4338 or visiting www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
It is against the law to use someone else’s Social Security number, give false information when applying for a number or alter, buy or sell Social Security cards.
Questions? For more information and to find copies of social security publications, call 800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov. All calls are treated confidentially. Specific questions can be answered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Automated phone service is provided 24 hours a day.
Still have questions? Call FirstLight at 800-245-5671 or 320-225-3625.