TN 40 (08-23)

RM 10210.260 Definitions for Evidence of Age for an SSN Card

Definitions for evidence of age for enumeration purposes are shown below.

A. Primary evidence of age

Primary evidence of age is a U.S. public birth certificate (BC) established before age five and issued by a state or local Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) for an individual born within its jurisdiction.

  • For the purpose of this definition, “United States” means the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • Courtesy BCs issued by some states to individuals born outside of their jurisdictions (e.g., to foreign-born adopted children) are not primary evidence of age.

B. Alternative evidence of age

Alternative evidence of age is a document other than primary evidence of age that shows the individual's name, date of birth or age, and is at least one year old. Alternative evidence documents can be expired. Alternative evidence of age can be less than one year old if:

  • The individual is less than one year of age; or

  • The individual is foreign born and meets the requirements in RM 10210.270C and RM 10210.290 and as appropriate; or

  • The individual is a U.S.-born adopted child. If the birth record submitted (e.g., the amended BC) is less than a year old, see RM 10210.405D.3 regarding the issue/recordation date of the document submitted as evidence of the child’s identity.

C. Independent verification

Independent verification means asking the issuing agency or custodian of the record to determine whether a document submitted by an applicant is authentic. Independent verification means the same thing as collateral verification.

When primary evidence of age is required, but the applicant alleges that it is not available, SSA must contact the BVS in the State where the person was born and ask if a record of the person’s birth exists. If a record cannot be located, a negative response (negative verification) is returned, and alternative evidence of age can be used.

D. Probative value

Probative value is the weight given to a particular piece of evidence.

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RM 10210.260 - Definitions for Evidence of Age for an SSN Card - 08/25/2023
Batch run: 11/20/2023