Basic (09-87)

GN 00302.760 Completing Requests for Census Search


There are two forms which may be used to request a census search by the Bureau of the Census. Specifically, use:

Form When
BC-600 Claimant will pay for the census search
SSA-1535-U3 SSA will pay for the census search

Do not send requests for a search of census records to the parallel FO in New Albany, Indiana.


Follow these general instructions for completing the BC-600:

Step Action
1 Assist the claimant in filling out the form whenever possible.
2 Show that the record is being requested for Social Security purposes.
3 Follow the specific instructions for completion on the back of the BC-600.
4 Also follow those instructions below for completing the SSA-1535-U3 which have general applicability to the BC-600.
5 Show the complete DO address in the space provided when the claimant authorizes the Bureau of the Census to send a copy of the record to the DO.
NOTE:  Enter the WE's name in the “purpose” block when the record is being requested for an auxiliary claimant. The Bureau will include the WE's name (and the unit number, if included in the DO address) on the census record transcript.
6 Send only one copy of the BC-600 to the Bureau.
7 Retain a duplicate copy permanently in the claims folder for possible future use (either in evaluating the record received or in supplying additional information to the Bureau of the Census).


Upon receipt of an SSA-1535-U3, the Bureau of the Census will search its records and provide age information, billing SSA on a monthly basis.

This form is for internal use only and can not be given to claimants or their representatives.

EXCEPTION:  The form can be completed by a DO employee during a personal or telephone interview with the claimant, and the form mailed to the claimant for signature.



Item Instructions for Completion

Address (1)

  • Provide as exact an address as possible (see GN 00302.760G. and GN 00302.760H.).

  • Census will search multiple years beginning with the earliest requested. SSA will be charged $65.00 for each year searched.



Use to add or explain:

  • Name discrepancies (e.g., between WE's and claimant's name if not explained in marital history section, or between claimant's present surname and surname used at time of census).

  • Additional information needed as alternative to information that may not be exact (e.g., names of brothers and sisters and their ages).

  • Complete information for census years other than those printed on the form.

ALTERNATIVE:  Instead, line out years printed on form and enter the new years to be searched in their place.

NOTE:  It should be rare to need a record for a year later than those already printed on the form.



When the claimant signs a mark (X), the DO employee who witnesses the signature must sign his/her name.

District Office Address


Show the complete DO address.

NOTE:  To assure association of the census record with the claims file, you may include the appropriate unit number.

Signature of District Manager (DM) or authorized employee


The signature of the DM or authorized employee indicates authorization for SSA payment for the search.


The SSA-1535-U3 is a 3-part, snap-out form. Send two copies to the Bureau of the Census and keep one in the claims folder for possible future use, either in evaluating the record received or in supplying additional information to the Bureau of the Census.


The 1900, 1920, and part of the 1910 census records are on soundex. Soundex permits a much quicker and more comprehensive search on the basis of less identifying information.

Ordinarily, a successful search may be completed if the following information is provided:

  • Name of the individual, and

  • Head of the household and

  • State of residence.

The 1910 census for the following States is on soundex

  • Alabama

  • Arkansas

  • California

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Illinois

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Michigan

  • Mississippi

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Oklahoma

  • Pennsylvania

  • South Carolina

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Virginia

  • West Virginia


IF claimant's address was... THEN...

In a large city

Obtain the exact address

NOTE:  When the street number is unknown, give the name of the street and a point of reference (e.g., (Main Street between 25th and 27th).


  • Indicate that the address was rural

  • Show a State or Federal highway reference, where possible

  • If the rural route is unknown or the only address was a post office, show the approximate location (e.g., 10 miles south of Anderson).


The census request forms can also be used to obtain U.S. citizenship information from the 1900 through 1950 enumerations. In addition to the information described above, add in the remarks section: “U.S. citizenship data requested” or any similar statement.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
GN 00302.760 - Completing Requests for Census Search - 10/25/2004
Batch run: 10/25/2004