TN 3 (09-09)
RM 10205.180 Applicant’s Signature on a Form SS-5 when applicant is not in the office
Ensure that Form SS-5 is signed by a proper applicant. See “Policy for determining the proper applicant” in RM 10205.025B.
A. Number holder applies on his or her own behalf
If the NH applies on his or her own behalf, the signature in item 17 must agree with the Name to be Shown on Card in item 1. For acceptable discrepancies, see RM 10205.180E.
B. Proper applicant applies on behalf of NH
When the applicant is not the NH, the proper applicant must sign his or her own name and indicate his or her relationship to the NH, e.g., John Smith, father. Using “for” in the signature block, e.g., John Smith for Mary Smith, is not correct.
C. Signature by mark
If Form SS-5 is signed by mark, it must be witnessed beneath or beside the mark by at least one person.
D. Signatures of foreign-born applicants
Accept signatures from foreign-born applicants that are in characters other than our standard alphabet without question.
E. Remarks added to signature block
Additional information in the signature block may invalidate the application. Such information includes, but is not limited to, statements that imply the applicant’s refusal to be subject to the penalty clause on the application (e.g., “without prejudice,” “under protest,” or “with reservation”).
If such an annotation is made, do not process the SS-5. Return Form SS-5 to the applicant with Form SSA-L676. In the blank fill-in box indicate that “The application cannot be processed because you altered your signature on the application.”
F. Resolving signature discrepancies
1. Acceptable signature discrepancies
When the number holder applies on his or her own behalf, the following discrepancies between the name in item 1 and the name in the signature block are acceptable:
The signature does not include the middle name.
The signature does not include the suffix.
An applicant enters his or her new married name in line 1 of item 1, but signs the signature block using his or her prior name.
The applicant signs with an obvious nickname, abbreviation, or initials.
NOTE: The evidence of identity submitted must show the entire name as shown in the Name to be Shown on Card field in SSNAP, even if the signature is not the entire name.
2. Signature discrepancies that must be resolved
When the applicant is the number holder, resolve a discrepancy between the name shown in item 1 and the name in the signature block when the names are obviously different. Use SSA-L676 to return the application and request a new signature.
RM 10205.025, Proper Applicant for a Social Security Card
RM 10212.010, Evidence of Name Change on the SSN