Administrative services you will encounter during your stay in California

Social Security

Does a noncitizen need a social security number?

Unless you are a noncitizen who wants to work in the United States, you probably do not need a Social Security number.

Generally, only noncitizens authorized to work in the United States by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can get a Social Security number. Social Security numbers are used to report an individual’s wages to the government and to determine a person’s eligibility for Social Security benefits.

You need a Social Security number to work, collect Social Security benefits and receive some other government services. Lawfully admitted noncitizens can get many benefits and services without a Social Security number. You do not need a number to get a driver’s license, register for school, obtain private health insurance, or to apply for school lunch programs or subsidized housing.

Some organizations use Social Security numbers to identify you in their records. Most, however, will identify you by some other means if you request it.

Although many companies, such as banks and credit companies, may ask for your Social Security number, you generally are not required to provide one if you don’t have one.

How can I get a social security number and card?

There are two ways you can apply:

–  You can apply in your home country before you come to the United States when filing an application for an immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State. In almost all cases, if you apply for a Social Security number and card with your immigrant visa application, you do not have to visit a Social Security office in the United States.

– You can visit a Social Security office in person : click here to find the closest location

If you are not an immigrant or did not apply for a Social Security number on your immigrant visa application, you must have your papers from DHS showing your U.S. immigration status and authorization to work in the United States. Then you should apply for a Social Security number and card by visiting an office. We recommend you wait 10 days after arriving in the United States to apply for a Social Security number. This will make it easier for us to verify your DHS documents online, which will speed processing of your Social Security number application. Applying for a Social Security number and card is free.

All documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. Photocopies or notarized copies of documents are not accepted. A receipt showing you applied for the document cannot be accepted as well.

One document may be used for two purposes. For example, your DHS work permit may be used as proof of both your identity and work-authorized immigration status. Your birth certificate or passport may serve as proof of age. However, you must provide at least two separate documents.

What if you need a number for other reasons

If you are not authorized by DHS to work in the United States, you can get a Social Security number only if you can prove you need it for a valid non-work reason. That might happen, for example, if a state or federal law requires you to have a Social Security number to obtain benefits to which you have already established entitlement.

If you need a number for tax purposes and you are not authorized to work in the United States, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If a business or government agency asks you for a Social Security number and you are not authorized to work in the United States, ask if they can identify you in some other way. In most cases, you will be able to get the service or license you need without a Social Security number.

SSA 2 (Many things can be done online)

Toll free number: 800-772-1213



When and How to file?

April 15th is the deadline each year for filling tax forms on income earned during the preceding calendar year. Each year toward the end of January, every US employer prepares a W-2 Form for each employee showing the amount earned during the preceding tax year and the amount of taxes federal and state, withheld.

You must have a social security number in order to file income tax returns. If your spouse, or children are ineligible for a social security number, you must apply for an individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An ITIN may be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)> Note that ITIN is not a valid form of identification outside the US tax system. You cannot get a driver license with one. ITIN’s doesn’t authorize you to work in the US, it doesn’t endorse one’s legal status. The ITIN is strictly for federal income tax return purposes.

880 Front street
San Diego, CA, 92101
Phone : 619-615-9555


Administrative Documents

To obtain administrative documents

City of SD 2

City Administration Building
202 C St., 11th Floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 236-6330
Fax: (619) 236-7228

Recording documents

Birth and Death certificate

Marriage services

Where to go when you need a certified copy of a document?

You need to find a notary public (or notary or public notary). In the common law world the notary public is a public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business. A notary’s main functions are to administer oaths and affirmations, take affidavits and statutory declarations, witness and authenticate the execution of certain classes of documents, take acknowledgments of deeds and other conveyances, protest notes and bills of exchange, provide notice of foreign drafts, prepare marine or ship’s protests in cases of damage, provide exemplifications and notarial copies, and perform certain other official acts depending on the jurisdiction.

What is an Apostille?

An Apostille is the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
Under the Hague Convention, only one authenticating certificate, called an apostille, is necessary to ensure acceptance in these subscribing countries. (Apostille is French for “notation.”).

In California, apostilles are issued by the Secretary of State’s office.

For example you need an apostille if you want to declare to the French Consulate the birth of a child in the United States more than 3 months after his/her birth.

There is a three-step process to obtain an apostille

  1. Have your document notarized by a public notary
  2. Obtain signature certification by a County Clerk
  3. Obtain an apostille at the
    Secretary of State’s office
    300 South Spring Street, Room 12513
    Los Angeles, CA 90013