Social Security Number – Card issues

Note: Appointments are required for Social Security/Federal Benefits Services.
Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit at FBU.Tokyo@ssa.gov.

Applying for a Social Security number

  • To apply for your new born baby’s Social Security number after you have received his/her first passport and birth documentation, we will need you and your child’s passports and the child’s birth certificate (if born in the U.S.) or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (if born outside the U.S.) – originals only; we cannot accept photocopies. Please mail the form SS5-FS (PDF 164 KB) and original documents to U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Federal Benefits Unit, Consular Section, 1-10-5 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420 Japan. Include one self-addressed Japan Post “LetterPack” envelope (please fold it in half if necessary). If you prefer to apply in person, please contact the Federal Benefits Unit, Embassy Tokyo.

  • U.S. military members (and their dependents) and others associated with the Department of Defense may apply for Social Security numbers/cards by contacting their base legal or personnel office. For more information, please see these instructions (PDF 80KB)

  • U.S. citizens (non-military) interested in obtaining Social Security cards for themselves or their children should contact the Federal Benefits Unit, Embassy Tokyo for hours and instructions on how to apply.

  • If your child was born in the U.S. and moved overseas when he/she was an infant, please contact the Federal Benefits Unit, Embassy Tokyo as you will also need to supply documentary evidence.

  • Non-U.S. citizens and those who do not reside in the U.S. may be eligible for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for U.S. tax purposes. This category applies to Japanese citizen spouses resident in Japan without Legal Permanent Residence in the United States. Find more information on ITINs here.

  • If you and/or your Japanese spouse are immigrating to the U.S., you will receive a Social Security number once in the U.S. as a Legal Permanent Resident. You cannot apply from within Japan and must apply in the U.S.

  • Persons headed to the U.S. on student or work visas cannot apply for a Social Security number overseas. Please apply in the United States.

Mandatory Interview Certificates

If you are seeking a Mandatory Interview Certificate in order to obtain your first-ever Social Security number (in accordance with the U.S.-Japan Totalization Agreement), please view our Totalization page.

Need to look up your Social Security Number?

Effective June 24, 2013 the Social Security Administration updated the regulations concerning Social Security Number verifications. A replacement Social Security Number card will not be issued to non-U.S. citizens or residents who have no current need for a Social Security Number.

If you are a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien (“Green Card” holder) and you need to verify your Social Security number, please directly contact the Federal Benefits Unit, Embassy Tokyo.

If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal Permanent Resident Alien (“Green Card” holder) and you need to verify the details shown on your Social Security Number record, you must apply directly to the Social Security Administration for a printout of your Social Security Number record (known as a Numident). For more information, please visit SocialSecurity.gov.

Applying for a Replacement Social Security Card

American Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents can apply for replacement Social Security cards through Embassy Tokyo. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit, Embassy Tokyo. You will need to bring your current valid passport or permanent resident card, along with the SS-5 application form (PDF 164 KB).

Please note: Replacement Social Security cards are issued overseas to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents only. If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, and you are currently residing in Japan, you will not be entitled to a replacement card even if you misplace it.

Amending Your Social Security Card

Amendments such as name changes can be filed at Embassy Tokyo. Please contact the Federal benefits Unit, Embassy Tokyo.

If there is a name change, you will need to bring current valid photo identification as well as evidence of the name change (such as a marriage certificate, divorce certificate, or court order authorizing the name change).

Please note: Replacement Social Security cards are only issued overseas to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. If you are not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, and you are currently residing in Japan, you will not be entitled to a replacement card even if you misplace it. If you would like to report a name change, the Federal benefits Unit, Embassy Tokyo can assist in amending the record in the SSA system, but a replacement card will not be issued.