Applying for a Social Security Number and Card

4/6/22 Update: The Social Security Administration has announced that Social Security offices will restore in-person services, including for people without appointments, on April 7, 2022. Masks are required. You can still, if you want, email the Ann Arbor Social Security Administration office at or call them at 1-877-402-0825 to make an appointment, but you can also visit the office without an appointment. We do not recommend applying for your SSN by mail, since your passport and other original documents could be lost. If you plan to apply for a Letter of Ineligibility, review the information below under Letter of Ineligibility.

F-1 students: If you are employed on-campus and are applying for a Social Security card, be sure to follow the instructions at the top of the Social Security Letter for U-M F-1 Students. The Social Security office will only accept original (not scanned) letters and all signatures must be in ink.

If you are eligible to apply for a Social Security number, you will need to apply through the Social Security Administration office located at 3971 Research Park Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Enter an Ann Arbor zip code (such as 48109) on the Social Security website for office hours, directions and a map to the office. To get to the Social Security office by public bus (AATA), take Bus #6 (free with M-Card) to the Stop 513. (W Ellsworth Road at S Research Park Drive). The AATA web site describes the stop.

You will need to bring the following documents:

F-1 students With on-campus employment:
Social Security Letter for U-M F-1 Students

Curricular Practical Training (C.P.T.): I-20 with C.P.T. endorsement on page two. You can't apply earlier than 30 days before your C.P.T. start date.

Optional Practical Training (O.P.T.): U.S.C.I.S. Employment Authorization Document (E.A.D.) card. You must apply on or after the start date on your EAD card.

J-1 scholar If you have not attended Mandatory Check-in: Please wait until your scheduled check-in session and do not submit the letter now. The International Center cannot issue a Social Security letter until you have checked in.

If you have attended Mandatory Check-in: Please check your records to make sure you do not have this letter already. The letter was given to you at the end of the check-in session with your insurance documents. If you lost the letter, fill-in and print the online form Social Security Letter for U-M J-1 Scholars . Then bring it to the International Center for authorization.

J-1 students Social Security Letter for U-M J-1 Students authorized by the U-M International Center.
J-2 dependents with employment authorization U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) Employment Authorization Document (E.A.D.) card

You will receive a Social Security card in the mail approximately one to two weeks after applying for it. If you have questions while waiting to receive your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration directly at 800.772.1213.

F-1 and J-1 Visa Holders: Once you receive your Social Security number, you must notify your employer and the Office of the Registrar that you received this number. Your employer and the Office of the Registrar will need to see the actual Social Security card. The Office of the Registrar is located at 2200 SAB, 515 E. Jefferson St. (Central Campus) or 2202 LL North Pierpont Commons, 2101 Bonisteel Boulevard (North Campus).


If you are not eligible for a social security number, you can request a “Letter of Ineligibility” from the Ann Arbor Social Security Office. You can either visit the Ann Arbor Social Security Office in person anytime on or after April 7, 2022, or you can fill out Form SS-5 and write “Letter of Ineligibility” at the top of the form. Mail the form to: Social Security Administration, 3971 Research Park Drive Suite A, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. No additional documents are required; just the form. The Ann Arbor Social Security Office will mail your Letter of Ineligibility to you in approximately three weeks. You are required to have the Letter of Ineligibility in order to take the driver's license written test. The Letter of Ineligibility is valid for 60 days.

If you are not in Ann Arbor, you can ask your local Social Security Administration office how to apply for a Letter of Ineligibility.

If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible for a Social Security number, please read Determining Eligibility for a Social Security Number and Card.


Reviewed and updated January, 2023

The information contained in this web site is not a substitute for advice obtained from the Internal Revenue Service or a qualified tax professional.