Practical Help for New Houston Immigrants

Social Security

Getting a Social Security Number

You must have a Social Security number (SSN) if you want to get a job, open a bank account, or get a driver’s license. The U.S. government and Texas state government use the Social Security number for identification purposes. You should apply for a SSN in the first few days after you arrive in the United States.

Getting a Social Security number is free. You should not go to any companies or lawyers who advertise that they will get a SSN for you. They cannot get you a SSN. The only way to get a SSN is to apply for it yourself.

To get a Social Security number, you must go in person to a Social Security Administration office. There are five offices in Houston:

  • 3100 Smith St. (downtown Houston)
  • 7324 Southwest Fwy (Highway 59 near the Bellaire exit)
  • 10120 Northwest Fwy (Highway 290 near Dacoma)
  • 5414 Aldine Mail Rd. (in northeast Houston near Highway 59)
  • 8989 Lakes at 610 Dr. (near Kirby and Loop 610)

You will need to bring documents that prove your identity, such as your passport and birth certificate. You must also bring government documents showing that you legally have the right to work in the United States.

If you do not have permission to work in the United States, but need a SSN in order to apply for government benefits or assistance, you must bring a letter from the government agency that provides the benefits. This letter must state your name and why you are required to have a SSN. You will need to show this letter to the Social Security Administration when you apply.

If you have a baby who is born while you are in the United States, the hospital will ask you if you want to apply for a Social Security number for the baby. You should probably say Yes. The only thing you will have to do is fill out a form at the hospital, and the hospital will mail it in. You will receive the child’s Social Security number in the mail. It is very simple to get a Social Security card for a newborn baby. If you wait until the child is older, you will have to go to the Social Security office to apply in person.

You can get more information from the
Social Security website.