Having a baby is a busy and exciting time for the parents. If the baby is born in the US it also involves lot of paperwork. Would-be parents should have a good idea about the documents needed for a newborn in the US otherwise the paperwork involved after the baby is born would be overwhelming for them. Documents required for the new-born are
Birth Certificate for a New Born Baby
How to apply for my newborn baby's birth certificate?
You will be required to fill out a form during your hospital stay for the birth certificate and the rest will be taken care by the hospital. In some states, the hospitals advise you to apply for SSN first and then the form for birth certificate. The reason for the one month lag is simple. The hospital has to send a record for the baby's birth to the State office. Once the office has that record, the birth certificate can be issued very quickly. Verify the process at your hospital in advance.
In either case you will receive the birth certificate through mail. In case you haven't decided the name of your baby, then you can fill out the form later and submit it at your County Health Department. It might take a while before you actually receive it. But it is always better to think about the baby's name in advance as it is much easier to apply for a birth certificate at the time of birth. There is no charge for this service.
Why do I need extra copies of my baby's birth certificate?
Any certificate of birth issued by a hospital is not a legal document. You need to apply for a birth certificate to be at your local county department. You will be required to submit copies of the birth certificate on the following occasions:
- Getting your child into school or at the time of school enrollment
- Getting a work permit
- Getting a passport
- Getting a drivers license
- Getting a social security number
How do I apply for extra copies of birth certificate?
- You will be given a form during your hospital stay to order extra copies of the birth certificate. Fill it and post it to your county Health Department along with the required fee per copy. Your baby's record will be at this office for 3 years.
- If you want some more copies after this time duration, then you must send in baby's name, date of birth, and parents name at your State Health Vital Records Office. For example, if you need more information on birth certificates in California visit: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/default.aspx
- Select the county that applies to you on this link http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/CountyRecorderOffice.aspx
- There is a fee per copy for the birth certificate but it differs at different locations. For example, it is $17 per copy in San Diego and $22 per copy in Virginia.
- The application for the extra copies must be notarized
Social Security Number for a New Born Baby
Why should I get SSN for my baby?
Your baby is a U.S. citizen by being born in the U.S. As a US citizen, SSN is very
important for your baby. Getting a SSN is just the beginning of the valuable protection and benefits your child may be eligible for in the future. Young children need SSN for many reasons. For example you will need the SSN if you want to:
- Open a bank account
- Show your child as a dependent on your income
- Buy saving bonds
- Get medical coverage
- Apply for any government services for your child
Consider it a first step in some of the most essential things people do in the U.S. Not having an SSN is likely to cause delays in several processes mentioned above.
How do I apply for my baby's SSN?
You have two choices. You can:
- Apply for SSN in the hospital when you furnish information for your baby's birth certificate. It is always much easy to apply at the time of birth. You will be asked if you want to apply for a SSN for your baby. If your reply is "yes", you will be required to provide the SSN of both parents. Your baby will be assigned a number which will be directly mailed to you.
- You can apply later also for a SSN, through the Social Security Administration Office. You will need to:
- Fill out an SSN application. (You need to provide both parents SSN.)
- Show evidence of your child's age, identity and citizenship.
- Show evidence of your identity.
Contact information for SSN
- You can get the online form here
- You can also visit one of the local Social Security offices .
- You can also call at the toll free number, for SSN related matters. 1-800-772-1213
Do I have to pay in order to get a SSN?
No. There is no fee for a SSN card.
I have lost my baby's SSN card. What should I do to get a replacement?
Keep your baby's SSN card in a safe place. It's an important document. However, if you lose the card, it can be replaced free of charge at your nearest social security office.
Newborn Baby's Passport (American passport)
Do I Need to Obtain a Separate Passport for My Baby?
If applying for your child under age 13
As a parent or legal guardian you have to apply for your child. Both the parents have to appear in person and sign up at a passport agency or authorized passport acceptance facility. If only one parent can appear then a notarized Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent from the non-applying parent/guardian should be submitted. Both the parents are required to show their current valid ID. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must show an alien registration card ("green card"), valid foreign passport, or driver's license. If you do not have an acceptable ID, someone with current valid ID must vouch for you as described above. A child would be issued a Passport valid for a maximum of five (5) years.
Documents Required for US Passport for your Newborn Baby:
Passport processing services at USPS
Do I need to apply for Passport Card for my baby?