TN 28 (01-23)

RM 10225.135 Elements of a Prisoner Replacement Card Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A. Inmates covered by a prisoner replacement card MOU

The prisoner replacement card MOU only covers prisoners that submit applications for replacement SSN cards who have:

  • already established U.S. citizenship on Social Security Administration records; and

  • no changes to the Numident record.

The MOU does not cover:

  • non-U.S. citizens;

  • individuals whose identity cannot be verified using prison records;

  • applications for changes to the information on the Numident (including changes to citizenship status); and

  • applications when the prison or SSA record shows that the prisoner used more than one Social Security number (SSN), or fraud or identity theft are indicated in SSA records.

B. Elements of prisoner replacement card MOU

Only formal, written MOUs signed by both the regional commissioner (RC) and an authorized official of the correctional facility are valid.

An approved model MOU is available from the Regional Enumeration Specialist. Parties authorized to negotiate MOUs as per RM 10225.130 (“Negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Process Replacement SSN Cards for Prison Inmates”) should use the model for all prisoner replacement card MOUs.

1. The purpose and background of the MOU

This part of the MOU:

  • Identifies the correctional facility(ies) and the servicing FO(s);

  • States requirement that only U.S. citizens are covered under this MOU;

  • Specifies the type of SSN card to be issued (replacement card with no changes to the Numident record); and

  • States prisoner circumstances under which the application may be submitted (For example, due to be released from prison within the timeframe specified in the applicable MOU, participating in pre-release program).

NOTE: Effective January 28, 2023, SSA’s national MOU with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) allows for the submission of applications for replacement SSN cards within 1 year of release. This will only apply to BOP applications that the servicing FO receives on or after January 28, 2023.

2. An explanation of the functions performed by a correctional facility

This part of the MOU:

  • Includes a specific description of the facility’s policies and procedures used to verify the identity of each inmate;

  • Provides FO with a list of officials authorized to certify accuracy of facility records;

  • Provides facsimiles of authorized officials’ signatures;

  • Explains facility responsibility to ensure that the prisoner completes and signs appropriate forms; and

  • Ensures security of SSN cards as specified in the MOU.

3. Functions we perform

This section of the MOU includes a description of FO screening and processing of SS-5 (“Application for a Social Security Card”) received from the facility.

4. Agreement on the terms of agreement and required signatures

This part of the MOU:

  • Includes a general statement about conditions for effectuation and termination of MOU;

  • Ensures that the MOU includes signatures of persons authorized to sign for SSA and the correctional facility; and

  • Includes a provision stating that the MOU is effective for a maximum of 5 years.

C. Prisoner replacement card MOU maintenance

The RO:

  • keeps original copies of MOUs signed by the RC and correctional facility authority.

  • maintains original copies of documentation of all enumeration audits performed at correctional facilities. (For more information on audits, see RM 10225.150.)

  • forwards a signed copy of the MOU to the servicing FO or Area Office to be kept in a FO administrative file.

The administrative file maintained in the FO includes:

  • a copy of the signed MOU;

  • a current list of prison officials authorized to certify prisoner identity including their positions and signatures (for a sample letter of authorized signatures, see RM 10225.155); and

  • documentation of any audits SSA performed at the facility.

The FO asks the authorized prison authority to update the list of names, positions, and signatures each year and any time authorized officials change.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
RM 10225.135 - Elements of a Prisoner Replacement Card Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - 01/27/2023
Batch run: 01/27/2023