Form SSA 711 Instructions

If you’re looking for the Social Security record for a deceased person, you may be familiar with Form SSA 711, Request for Deceased Person’s Social Security Record. However, there are some things you may need to know before you submit your request.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you should know about this Social Security form, including:

  • How to complete & file Form SSA 711
  • What information you should expect to receive when you file this form
  • Alternative ways to obtain information from the Social Security Administration

Let’s start by walking through this form.

What to know before you start

Although there are three pages to this Social Security form, you generally only need to complete the information fields on Page 2.

Before we begin, we should go over some of the information on Page 1. However, if you’d prefer to get started right away, you can skip this section and follow the form instructions below.

What you can expect to receive

By filing Form SSA-711, you can expect to receive either of the following:

  • A photocopy of the deceased’s Social Security Card application (Form SS-5)
  • A computer extract of the original Social Security Card application

By selecting the computer extract, you might not receive all of the information on the decedent’s original application form, such as:

  • Parent information
  • Place of birth

If you’re performing genealogical research, you may be better off requesting the photocopy of the original application form instead of the computerized printout.

Fee schedule

Regardless of the format you request, you will have to pay a fee to obtain a copy of a deceased person’s Social Security records:

  • Photo copy of the decedent’s SS-5 Form: $30
  • Computerized printout: $28
  • Certified copy: Add $10 to the total cost for each certified copy

Most people will not need to have a certified copy of the SS-5 Form, unless you need to present this information in a court of law.

Payment methods

The Social Security Administration offers several forms of payment. You may send a check or money order with your completed request.

If you are requesting multiple records, make sure that you properly calculate the total cost to process all records. Include the complete payment with your request.

You may also use Form SSA-714 if you wish to pay by credit card. The Social Security Administration will accept the following credit cards:

  • Visa
  • Master Card
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Diner’s Club

Do not send cash with your request. The Social Security Administration cannot accept cash.

How do I complete Form SSA 711?

At the top of page 2, enter the information about the type of Social Security records you’re interested in. In Lines 1 through 3, you will need to:

  • Decide the number of records you wish to request, and how many
  • Calculate the total cost for each line item

Line 1: Request for photocopy of original application

For each SS-5 application photocopy, you’ll need to pay $30.

Enter $30 in Line A if you are able to provide the deceased’s Social Security number. If you are not able to use the decedent’s SSN, enter $30 into Line B instead.

Line 2: Request for computer extract

For each computer extract of the Social Security card application, you’ll need to pay $28.

Enter $28 in Line C if you are able to provide the deceased’s Social Security number. If you are not able to use the decedent’s SSN, enter $28 into Line D instead.

form ssa 711 request information

Line 3: Certification

If you need certified copies of any documents, enter an additional $10 for each copy in Line E.

Add the amounts from Lines A through E, then enter the total amount in Line F.


If you are paying by credit card, complete Form SSA 714 and attach it to your application. Otherwise, endorse your check or money order for the amount listed on Line F, payable to “Social Security Administration.”

Do not send a self-addressed envelope, and do not send cash.

Line 4: Deceased individual’s information

In Line 4, you’ll need to enter as much of the following information as possible:

  • Birth name: Enter the decedent’s birth name as it appears on his or her birth certificate, including first, middle, and last name
  • Other names or aliases: Married name, legal name change, etc.
  • Gender
  • Social Security number, if available
  • Date of birth: Enter the birth date in MM/DD/YYYY format
  • Place of birth: Include city and state
deceased individual's information

Line 5: Parents’ information

In Line 5, enter as much information about the decedent’s parents, if possible. If you cannot provide the deceased person’s Social Security number, then the SSA expects you to complete as much of this section as possible.

Include the following information:

  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Mother’s married name
  • Father’s complete name

Line 6: Requester’s information

In Line 6, enter the following information about yourself:

  • Printed name
  • Signature and date
  • Street address, including city, state, and ZIP code
  • Telephone number
  • Fax number
  • Email address
form ssa 711 requester's information

If you have concerns about the SSA having access to sensitive information that you put onto this form, you may need to review your privacy rights, located in the Privacy Act statement on the back of this form.

How to file

If you’re filing your request via regular mail, send your completed form and payment to the following address:

P.O. Box 33022
Baltimore, MD 21290-3022

For express mail requests, use the following address instead:

6100 Wabash Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21215

Do I have to use Form SSA 711 to obtain information?

Not necessarily. There are several ways to obtain information related to Social Security records.

FOIA Request

Under the Freedom of Information Act, known as FOIA, the U.S. government and federal agencies must make certain information upon taxpayer request. A taxpayer can submit a Freedom of Information Act request, known as a FOIA request, to the Social Security Administration to obtain documents or information.

However, there are limitations. For example, if the information is publicly available, then the SSA will not respond to a FOIA request. You can simply obtain it on your own from the SSA’s FOIA Reading Room.

FOIA Reading Room

The purpose of this site is to provide quick access to certain federal records that do not contain sensitive information. This might include things such as:

  • Frequently requested statistics
  • Additional information about the Social Security program and federal Medicare program
  • Proactive disclosures, such as administrative reports

If the information you’re seeking is not available in the online reading room, then you can submit an online request through the SSA’s revamped FOIA Public Access Link.

To use this site for submitting your information request, you must log in using a secure system. The U.S. government recognizes the following as secure logins:

  • ROME

However, you might not find records regarding a specific individual, such as a family member, using a FOIA request.

Requesting your own Social Security records

There are several ways you can obtain your own Social Security information.

Go to the SSA office

You can request your own records, such as your Social Security benefits record or Social Security statement, simply by going to your local SSA office.

Requesting your own Social Security card application

If you are looking for your original Social Security card application, you can file Form SSA-L996. There is a $30 application fee, and you should expect to wait 4-6 weeks for processing.

Go to your online SSA account

The SSA highly recommends that participants go to my Social Security account to obtain their records. This is a secure way to do the following:

  • Request a replacement Social Security card
  • Obtain a personalized estimate of your retirement benefits or benefits for your surviving spouse
  • Obtain proof that you are not receiving benefits
  • Download a copy of your Social Security statement, in PDF format
  • Review your work history to ensure accuracy

Authorizing records release to a third party

In certain cases, you may need to release your records to a third party. For example, you may need to release certain information to a financial institution for loan purposes.

To do this, you can file Form SSA 3288, Consent for Release of Information, to authorize the SSA to release your personal information to a third party. For ease of use, the SSA allows you to do this on the SSA website, as well.

Requesting someone else’s Social Security records

Conversely, someone can file Form SSA 3288 to authorize the SSA to release certain information to you.

However, this won’t work if you you’re requesting information after a Social Security beneficiary’s death.

If you’re a beneficiary or next of kin, you might need to file Form SSA 7050, Request for Social Security Earnings Information.

Records that are not available

The SSA website generally states that the following types of information is not available to the public:

The FOIA does not require agencies to disclose all records. Some examples of records we may not disclose are:

  • Classified records
  • Information that is confidential by law
  • Internal personnel rules
  • Personal information about living people
  • Records of investigations or
  • Trade secrets or confidential financial information

Video walkthrough

Watch this instructional video to learn more about obtaining a deceased person’s Social Security record using Form SSA 711.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use Form SSA 711 to request records for any deceased person?

The Social Security Administration cannot process a request for information for individuals who died before November 1936 or people born before 1865, unless they were assigned a Social Security number.

Do I have to use Form SSA 711 to request a Social Security record?

You might not need to file this form to request a record. Depending on the nature of the request, you may obtain certain information by submitting a request through the SSA website or by going to your local SSA office.

How do I get Form SSA 711?

You may find most SSA forms on the SSA website. For your convenience, we’ve attached the most recent version of this form to this article.

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