Social Security numbers for newborns

Farm Forum

Q How do I get a Social Security number for my newborn?

A A very easy and popular method used by many new parents is the voluntary Enumeration at Birth (EAB) process. Enumeration at Birth starts while still at the hospital. Using it, the state agency that issues birth certificates sends the child’s birth registration information directly to the Social Security Administration. Without any additional paperwork, a Social Security number (SSN) is issued to the child and the card mailed to the parents.

If not using Enumeration at Birth, parents must wait for the newborn’s official birth certificate to be issued. Then they can complete a Social Security number application and provide it, the birth certificate and their own ID documents to Social Security. The application and specific details are at Using Enumeration at Birth is convenient for parents.

Whether automatically through the Enumeration at Birth program, or by completing a Social Security number application and providing evidence to a local SSA office, no fee is involved. Social Security does not charge for SSN activity, whether a new number, changing your name, or replacing a lost card. Make sure you are at the official Social Security website,, and not a private site. Look for .gov (government).

Did you know? Annually near Mother’s Day, Social Security publishes the most popular baby names in the United States for the previous year. Based on Social Security number applications, learn the popular baby names for 2012 at the SSA website, Learn the most popular names in each State and see how the popularity of a given name changes over time. Nationally for 2012, the five most popular female names are Sophia, Emma, Isabella, Olivia and Ava with the most popular male names being Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah and William. When visiting the baby names pages, also learn about Social Security benefits for children. How popular is your name? Go to and find out.

Based in Grand Forks, Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Send general interest questions to him at Read his online articles at http://