Passports have become an almost universal form of identification. They can be used for identification at the airport, verification of identity with a new employer, and identifying yourself when traveling to a foreign country. They obviously must contain several key pieces of identifying information about you, but just what all do they display? Is your SSN on your passport? Keep reading as we detail everything you need to know about the information that is contained on your passport. We will let you know whether you can find your SSN there as well as other important facts about Social Security cards and passports.
Is Your Social Security Number On Your Passport?
No, your United States passport does not show or contain your Social Security number. If you notice that your Social Security number is on your passport, then you should contact the Department of State to get that error corrected. If you live near a U.S. passport office, then you can visit your local office to attempt to remedy that situation. While you will not find your Social Security number on your passport, there are several other key pieces of identifying information that you will find there.
Your passport will contain your full legal name as well as a photo. Passports can be used as both photo identification and proof of U.S. citizenship. You will also have a passport number assigned, and it will appear on your passport. This is similar to a driver’s license number as it allows the Department of State to keep a record and track all the passports that have been issued. Many people ask how to find your passport number. The answer is simple – you just need to look at your passport because it is displayed there.
Your passport also displays your date of birth, the date of issue of your passport, and the expiration date. Since your passport contains a lot of sensitive data, then you should always keep it safe. Do not carry it unless necessary, and only share your passport with the proper authorities as necessary.
Passport Book VS Passport Card
You might be wondering whether there is any difference in the information contained in a passport book versus a passport card. For those not familiar, a passport book is what most people think of when they think of a passport. The book has many blank pages that are stamped as you visit other countries. The card, however, is much smaller and does not include those additional pages. It is like a driver’s license or credit card. It can only be used when entering certain countries via land or sea. Air travel always requires a passport book.
As for the information contained, the passport book and passport card are essentially identical. Your Social Security number is not shown on your passport card either. The card will display your full name, passport number, date of birth, date of issuance, and expiration date. Many people who frequently cross the border into Mexico or Canada simply carry their passport card with them at all times. You should be very careful when doing this so that you do not lose your passport. Even though it does not contain your SSN, it does contain many other sensitive pieces of personal information.
Applying For A Passport
Even though your SSN is not shown on your passport, you will need to include your Social Security number when applying for a passport. You should complete Form DS-11, the passport application form found on the State.gov website. You will need to include your full legal name, Social Security number, address, date of birth, and several other pieces of information. In addition, you will need to attach the proper documentation to prove your identity. You will be required to include proof of citizenship. This is often done with a U.S. birth certificate or certificate of naturalization. You will also need to provide proof of identity by submitting a photo identification like a driver’s license, state issued identification card, or military ID card. Finally, you are required to attach a passport photo. The requirements for the format of this photo are very specific and must be followed exactly. You will need to provide original documents and photocopies of these records. Photocopies only will not suffice, so that is why most people generally submit their applications in person at a local passport office or a participating post office.
You should know that it takes quite some time for U.S. citizens to receive their passport after submitting an application. The timeframe is generally given in weeks instead of business days. In most cases, it takes at least 6 to 8 weeks to receive your passport. So, if you are planning an international trip, make sure that you start the process in plenty of time so that you are prepared to travel. Just like most other U.S. government agencies, the Department of State is backlogged currently due to the ongoing pandemic.
What To Do If You Do Not Have An SSN
What if you do not have a Social Security number? Can you still apply for a passport? Luckily, the answer is yes! However, you still must be a U.S. citizen to get a U.S. passport. Non-citizens are not allowed to obtain passports. Regardless of your immigration status, your immigration documents, immigrant visa, or work permit will not work when applying for a passport. If you are not a citizen, then you should first work through the USCIS to obtain citizenship status. However, if you are a citizen without a Social Security number, then you can still apply for a new passport.
Applying for a passport without a Social Security number is not difficult. However, there is another simple step that must be completed. You will simply need to provide a sworn statement that you have never been provided a Social Security number before. That’s it! If you have simply lost your Social Security card, then you should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to obtain a replacement card. You can even request a replacement online through a mySocialSecurity account as long as you are not performing a name change or any other changes.
If you have never been issued a Social Security number and are a U.S. citizen, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and request an SSN through your local Social Security office anyway by completing a Form SS-5. Since this identification number is used in so many ways, then you will likely need it eventually anyway. Filing tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), applying for Social Security benefits or Medicare, or simply applying for a car loan requires this number. You should know that once you receive your SSN, make sure that you protect it well so that you do not become the victim of identity theft. There are many Social Security scams out there allowing identity thieves to gain access to your information.
The Bottom Line
Even though you need your Social Security number to apply for a passport, you will not find your SSN shown on your passport anywhere. This applies to both the passport book and passport card. If you are a U.S. citizen without an SSN, there is still a way for you to get a passport. However, since it is needed for so many other things, you should probably just go ahead and apply for a Social Security number as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is your Social Security number on your birth certificate?
No, your Social Security number is not on your birth certificate. The birth certificate is issued by a state agency depending on the state where you are born. At the time the birth certificate is requested, most newborns do not have a Social Security number yet. Social Security numbers are issued by the Social Security Administration, and your newborn will receive his or her Social Security card with their number a few weeks after birth assuming that you complete the necessary request with the SSA immediately upon birth. If you give birth at a hospital, the staff there will generally assist you with this paperwork.
What is the purpose of your Social Security number?
The original purpose of Social Security numbers was to track tax payments for Social Security purposes and eligibility to receive Social Security benefits. However, the uses for it have been greatly expanded since then. Today, your SSN is used for tax returns, loan and credit applications, and several other means of identification. Since it is used for so many purposes, it is vitally important that you protect your Social Security number as much as possible.
Do I need a Social Security number in order to get a passport?
If you have a Social Security number, then you must include it on your passport application. However, it is not absolutely necessary that you have an SSN to get a passport. If you do not have an SSN, then you must submit a sworn statement along with your passport application stating that you have never been issued a Social Security number. This applies only to U.S. citizens as non-citizens cannot be issued a passport.
How can I obtain my Social Security number?
Your Social Security number is shown on your Social Security card. If you have lost your card and do not know your number, there are a few things you can do. First, look for your number on any documents that you might already have like tax returns or bank statements. If you still cannot find your SSN, then you will need to contact the Social Security office. You will need to provide the documentation that they request to prove your identity so that they can share your number with you. You will also want to go ahead and request a replacement Social Security card as well.