Does your child have proper identification? How to make sure
September 28, 2022
Passport on top of a Social Security card and birth certificate

    You probably weren’t thinking about Social Security numbers and birth certificates when welcoming your tiny bundle of joy. Before long though, you’ll need these proofs of identity, age and citizenship and they’ll be essential throughout your child’s life.

    Why are birth certificates and Social Security cards important?

    For kids, birth certificates are often required for enrolling in school and joining sports or other activities. You’ll need their Social Security number to get medical coverage, apply for government services, open a bank account or buy savings bonds for them.

    Later in life these documents will be needed for obtaining a driver’s license, getting married, providing identity for employment, traveling, buying a home or car, and replacing the other document if lost.

    How can you get a birth certificate and Social Security card for your child?

    When you complete the application for your baby’s birth certificate in the hospital, you’ll be asked if you’d like to apply for a Social Security number for them as well. If you don’t receive your child’s birth certificate and Social Security card within eight weeks of birth—or if you receive them and can’t find them later—you’ll need to replace them.

    Replacing a birth certificate

    To replace your child’s birth certificate, choose one of the following options:

    1. Complete the form on the Virginia Department of Health website and submit with copies of necessary documents and payment.
    2. Schedule an in-person appointment at your local DMV office or the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records at 2001 Maywill Street, Suite 101, Richmond, Virginia 23230.

    If you have questions, call the Office of Vital Records at 804-662-6200.

    Replacing a Social Security card

    To replace your child’s Social Security card, complete both step 1 and step 2:

    1. Complete and print the application from the Social Security Administration website.
    2. Mail or bring the signed application to a Social Security office. You will need your child’s birth certificate and documentation to prove your identity.

    Local Social Security offices include:

    1834 W. Cary St. Richmond, VA 23220

    13551 Waterford Pl. Midlothian, VA 23112

    245 E. Williamsburg Rd. Sandston, VA 23150

    100 Poplar Dr. Petersburg, VA 23805

    If you have questions, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Security office.

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