Can one be applied for without getting an SSN?


2 Answers 2


According to the DS-11 form and instructions a US citizen is required to provide one if they have it. It is possible to fill out the form without one:

Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6039E) requires 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 not been issued a SSN, 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 Treasury. If you fail to provide the information, you are subject to a $500 penalty enforced by the IRS. All questions on this matter should be directed to the nearest IRS office.

One thing to note is that according to the State Department:

Failure to provide information requested on the form, including your social security number, may result in significant processing delays and/or the denial of your application.

So if you choose to apply for a US passport without one you should have a valid reason why your child doesn't have a Social Security Number and needs a US passport.

  • We applied for a SSN but haven't received it yet.
    – Vagish
    Aug 18, 2014 at 16:45
  • @Vagish That would be a valid reason but why would you need to rush to get a US passport for a baby who I assume has been born in the US about a month back if that.
    – Karlson
    Aug 18, 2014 at 16:47
  • So I can apply for the UK passport too, doing one then applying for the next one after that (as I don't have multiple copies of the Birth Certificate and both require the original). So it is 4-5 weeks for the US one and 10 weeks for the UK one.
    – Vagish
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:09
  • 1
    @Vagish Again my question stands. What's the rush? Do you intend to travel with your baby in 2 months? If you need to travel to the UK you can just as easily do it on a US passport and apply for the UK one in the UK if you need your UK passport to travel then why not just apply for the UK passport straight up and travel with it. I just don't see the need to rush and besides if you don't have SSN yet your processing time may not be 4-5 weeks anyway.
    – Karlson
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:20
  • I'm probably going to wait. Going to apply for another birth certificate so I can do it simultaneously. And I maybe traveling in October/November time. I guess I can just delay traveling if I don't get the passport in time.
    – Vagish
    Aug 18, 2014 at 17:25

So just yesterday I went to request for my newborn's passport. I didn't* have his SSN. I told them it hasn't arrived yet and I don't have it and they were like "no problem, nevermind, it's not needed" as if it didn't matter at all.

I actually went and applied for express in a non-USPS office. They delivered the passport to you in less than 8 days...

*: I actually did go to a Social Security Administration office and got his social security number, but still didn't have the card. I offered the officer to correct his SSN number (I had already printed it with 000-00-0000), he again acted as if it wasn't needed but still said "here, write it down".

Knowing that he knew I was applying for 8 days express and have an international flight, his casualness about the SSN made me think it really isn't important after all.

AFAIK it's not important for newborns/minors. I don't know about adults or older children.

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