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Social Security: EAB is easiest way to get Social Security cards for newborns

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

A: A very easy, free 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, the Social Security Administration provides the most popular baby names of the previous year based on applications for new Social Security number (SSN) cards.  Parents usually apply for the child’s SSN at the time of birth, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names. Popular baby names for 2013 are on the SSA website at  There you can learn popular baby names for the nation, by state, and see changes in popularity of a given name over many years.  How popular is your name?

Nationally in 2013, the five most popular male names are Noah, Liam, Jacob, Mason and William.  The five most popular female names are Sophia, Emma, Olivia, Isabella and Ava.

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