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Do You Need a Social Security Card to Get a Passport?

You must have a U.S. passport to travel nearly anywhere outside of the country. The only exceptions are Canada, Mexico, and U.S. territories. You can also travel by cruise ship without a passport. If you want to visit any place else, you will need to have a valid, unexpired U.S. passport. In order to apply for a passport, you must submit the correct application and documentation to the U.S. State Department. You don’t have to show your physical Social Security card to get a passport, but you must provide your Social Security number.

What if I don’t know my SSN and don’t have a Social Security card to get a passport?

The U.S. State Department requires you to put your Social Security number (SSN) on your passport application. This also applies to passports you apply for on behalf of your dependents. So, if you are applying for a passport for your child, you must provide their SSN. If you do not provide your SSN, then your application will take much longer to process and may be denied completely.

What if I was never issued a Social Security card to get a passport?

There is an exception if you have never received an SSN. If you don’t have a Social Security card to get a passport with, you must submit a signed and dated statement with your application, stating that you do not and have never had an SSN. You must include the exact phrase, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct:  I have never been issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration.” If you are applying for a child’s passport, you must use the phrase, “I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the following is true and correct:  (Child’s full name) has never been issued a Social Security number by the Social Security Administration.” However, you should still expect to experience processing delays and possible denial of your application.

What other documents do I need to get a passport?

First, you must fill out the U.S. State Department’s Form DS-11 “Application for a New U.S. Passport.” You can get this form from the State Department’s website or any passport agency or acceptance facility in the U.S. Make sure you fill out the form completely and accurately.

Second, you will need to provide proof of citizenship. Acceptable documents include a:

Third, you must provide proof of your identity. You can use a photocopy of your:

  • Current passport
  • U.S. Driver’s license
  • State-issued ID card
  • Military ID card
  • Certificate of Naturalization

The photocopy must be on one side of a single sheet of standard white letter paper. Also, it must show both the front and back of the ID. If you don’t have any of these forms of ID, you may be able to use something like an employee ID and credit card, or a Social Security card to get a passport.

Do I need to provide a photograph for my passport?

Yes, you must submit a single, 2-inch by 2-inch passport photo with your application. It must be a color photo, taken in front of a white or off-white background, within the last six months. When you have your picture taken, you should wear normal, everyday clothing and remove your glasses and any hats or hair coverings. The photo should be from about the shoulders up, and you must look directly at the camera, with a neutral expression. If you wear a head covering for religious reasons, you can leave it on. However, you must provide a signed statement saying this with your application. In addition, if there is a medical reason why you can not remove your glasses, you must include a signed doctor’s note stating this.

COVID-19 Update: Passport agencies reopening since August 24th, 2020

Great news! Since August 24th many of the Passport agencies are entering in “Phase 2”. You will have to make an appointment before going there and keep in mind the emergency passport requests are prioritized.

Passport services reopening phases
Passport services reopening phases

How do I apply for a new or replacement Social Security card to get a passport?

Since it can be extremely difficult to get a passport without an SSN, it’s much easier to apply for a Social Security card beforehand. If you’re already overwhelmed by the passport application process and don’t even want to think about applying for a Social Security card, then you’re in luck. We realized what a hassle it can be to deal with government offices. So, we decided to streamline the Social Security card application process. Whether you need a new or replacement card, all you have to do is fill out a short questionnaire on our website. We complete your application and determine which supporting documents you need. Then, we give you a complete application package. You’ll get all of your paperwork, along with clear directions on how to submit it, and a pre-paid, trackable envelope to send your package to the Social Security Administration (SSA). All you have to do is drop it in the mailbox. We know you’re in a hurry to get your SSN and start working on getting your passport. So, we will use our extensive database to make sure that your application goes to the right SSA office that can give you the fastest processing time. Once they have approved your application, you’ll get your Social Security card in the mail in as little as two weeks. If you need a Social Security card to get a passport, start your application now and get your card on its way.

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