I was born in the USA and at the age of 2 I moved to Mexico City where I lived here all my life.

Now I want to have my US citizen passport but don't have the SSN. Do I need to get this Social security number first before filling the DS-11 form?

Is there a chance I can get the passport without this number explaining or giving some documents that all my life I have been living outside the US?

Thanks in advance for your help. Luis

  • 1
    Are you certain that you've never been issued a social security number? At some point in the late 1980s or early 1990s it became routine for newborns to apply in the hospital. If you were born after that, you may already have a number. If you do, you should find out what it is.
    – phoog
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 21:00
  • How have you been filing US tax returns each year on your worldwide income without a SSN?
    – DJohnM
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 4:11

1 Answer 1


According to the instructions for Form DS-11 (U.S. Passport Application):

Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6039E) and 22 U.S.C 2714a(f) require you to provide your Social Security number (SSN), if you have one, when you apply for or renew a U.S. passport. If you have never been issued a SSN, you must enter zeros in box #5 of this form. If you are residing abroad, you must also provide the name of the foreign country in which you are residing. The U.S. Department of State must provide your SSN and foreign residence information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. If you fail to provide the information, your application may be denied and you are subject to a $500 penalty enforced by the IRS. All questions on this matter should be referred to the nearest IRS office.

Other sections of the instructions say that if you fail to provide your social security number, then your application "MAY RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT PROCESSING DELAYS AND/OR THE DENIAL OF YOUR APPLICATION". However, if you are sure that you have never had an SSN, then the above instructions to fill in zeros apply.

  • 1
    To make this answer complete, a reference of the sorce of @phoog (applied for newborns in the hospitals) should be added. Commented May 22, 2019 at 2:49

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